MAC Facts: Get to Know General Aviation

MAC Facts: Get to Know General Aviation

April 29, 2022

General aviation in the Twin Cities connects us to the world. There are about 200 airports and heliports located in the State of Minnesota. Among the many airports located in the Twin Cities, the Metropolitan Airports Commission (MAC) owns seven: Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport and six general aviation airports.  

The MAC’s system of airports provides essential aircraft operating facilities that not only accommodate transport services and flight training, but also business aviation, utility aviation, and recreational flyers. Moreover, general aviation airports are where people, young and old, learn how to fly.  

Many pilots go on to aviation careers and others utilize their learned skill for recreation or a myriad of support services such as volunteer transport, search and rescue, surveys, and more. The number of certificated pilots in the State of Minnesota in 2021 was 14,638 according to the Federal Aviation Administration. Of these, 4,296 were student pilots. The number of pilots grew about 5 percent and student pilots grew about 14 percent in 2021 compared to 2020.

Non-pilots also benefit from general aviation airports through other career opportunities and employment; education; aircraft viewing and airport events; and services.  Job opportunities associated with general aviation include mechanic, avionics and instrument repair technician, ground instructor, dispatcher, flight navigator, flight attendant, flight engineer, airport operations agent, air traffic control, airport administration, safety inspector and many more positions.  There are 1,030 direct jobs at the MAC Reliever Airports, 780 indirect jobs, and 950 induced jobs. The MAC Reliever Airports produce $756 million in economic output every year. The State of Minnesota maintains a list of commercial aviation businesses available here.  

To learn more about the MAC’s general aviation airports, please check out this new video that provides an overview of how general aviation airports function and the people they serve.