Minneapolis GA Airport Opens New Runway

 - August 19, 2022, 10:41 AM
The new 3,500-foot Runway 14/32 at Minnesota's Lake Elmo Airport was part of a $23.9 million, multi-year modernization project at the Minneapolis-area reliever airfield. (Photo: Metropolitan Airports Commission)

Minneapolis-area Lake Elmo Airport has inaugurated its 3,500-foot Runway 14/32. The nearly $24 million project, which was largely funded with federal and state grants, replaces the previous 2,850-foot Runway 14/32, which will be retained as a taxiway.

Construction began in 2019 as part of an airport modernization plan and also included the realignment of an adjacent roadway, upgrading the instrument approach, new lighting and signage, and other safety improvements.

Located east of St. Paul and west of the St. Croix river, Lake Elmo is one of six general aviation airfields operated by the Metropolitan Airports Commission (MAC) and is a reliever airport for Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. Through the past several years of the Covid pandemic, MAC’s GA airports saw double-digit growth in the number of flights they supported. Lake Elmo Airport is served by Lake Elmo Aero, the only FBO on the field, and tallies 32,000 operations annually.

MAC has invested more than $50 million in improvements to its reliever airports over the past five years, including a runway extension at Crystal Airport in 2020.

“Our reliever airports play an important role in the Twin Cities region, especially as we saw a resurgence in private business travel, recreational flying, and flight training during the pandemic,” said MAC chair Rick King. “These infrastructure investments will help us better meet the needs of our strong and growing aviation community.”