Hector Municipal Airport Safety Improvements

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The City of Hector, MN needs funding in the amount of $6.2 million dollars for urgent safety upgrades to their airside Airport infrastructure. The Airport, in its current layout, has a number of serious deficiencies including:

  • Obstructions in its approach to Runway 12.

  • Obstructions to a clear Runway Visibility Zone (RVZ) at the intersecting runways.

  • A non-compliant, narrow paved runway. 

  • The existing Runway 12/30 lighting is not FAA-approved, non-frangible lighting.

  • No beacon as required for night operations.

  • No safety-related navigational aids such as Precision Approach Path Indicators (PAPIs) and Runway End Identifier Lights (REILs).

  • The length of Runway 12/30 is inadequate to meet the needs of the most demanding aircraft using the airport, the Air Tractor 502, used by the agricultural spraying company that is based at the Hector airport.

  • The length of Runway 12/30 is inadequate for medical evacuation services (medivac) aircraft needs.

While funding through FAA and MnDOT Aeronautics is available for these projects, it would take decades to execute them based on Hector’s Airport Improvement Plan (AIP) funding of only $150,000 per year. Until these safety issues are resolved, the FAA will not allow use of AIP funds to construct revenue-generating facilities such as hangars, which are also in high demand at Hector. At this time, there are 8 pilots waiting for hangar space, and the City has no way to construct hangars which can be leased to private individuals or businesses, missing out on an important revenue stream which would help sustain the Airport’s daily operations. Hector’s current municipal debt load precludes the City from paying for these improvements outright.

Federal funds are being requested for the design and construction of needed revisions to non-compliant airfield surfaces and lighting, the removal of obstructions to safe navigation, and the addition of navigational aids that make the Airport safer and more useful for the general public.


Year Established


Yearly Operations


Economic Activity


State and Local Tax Revenues

Master Plan

Chapter 1


The Hector Municipal Airport (“1D6”) is a growing aviation facility located in Southwest Minnesota.  It is operated by the Hector Municipal Airport Advisory Committee and the City of Hector. 

Chapter 2

Inventory of Existing Conditions 

This chapter provides an overview of existing conditions at Hector Airport.

Chapter 3

Aviation Demand Forecasts

Estimating growth and aviation demand at the Hector Municipal Airport (1D6) is a crucial element in the master planning process to ensure reasonable allocation of future resources.

Chapter 4

Facility Requirements

This chapter will identify the facilities necessary to meet the 20-year forecast of aviation demand at Hector Municipal Airport (1D6).

The resolution of safety needs on the airfield is urgent.  Failure to correct the airfield problems could result in injury or death of pilots and passengers.

Airport Safety Improvements

The total project cost of construction of the safety improvement project is significantly more than can be borrowed by the City, nor can FAA or MnDOT currently meet funding needs.  The City of Hector has found itself in a situation where their need is so great that the programs already in place to help them cannot support a project so large.

Why This Project Matters

This project is important to the State of Minnesota because the use of congressionally directed funds for this need will allow FAA and MnDOT to direct resources to other deserving projects within the State, maximizing the use of other non-congressionally directed federal funds for matching on other projects that require support. The grant need for this specific project is so high and would consume such a large share of funds from both regional FAA and MnDOT that it would cause a ripple effect for other needed airports projects in Minnesota to be delayed in funding by a year or more.


This project is important to the residents of the City of Hector and the surrounding area, as it will support the businesses community, including the businesses based at the Airport.  Safer approaches to the runway and increased length and width will make medical evacuation services (medivac) more reliable and secure, improving health outcomes during emergencies.  The pilots of the nearly 30 based aircraft at Hector will be able to fly in and out of the Airport with the NAVAIDS and approaches they need to make it home safely.


The Federal Aviation Administration and Minnesota Department of Transportation – Office of Aeronautics has partnered with Hector and supports these improvements.  Both organizations have supported the airport over the years with funding for regular maintenance items and a grant for a Master Plan and Airport Layout Plan, which was the means to identify the safety issues being discussed here.  The Airport is also supported by the City of Hector, the Economic Development Association, and the local business community.

This project works to meet required improvements by both the FAA and MnDOT.  Failure to address the safety concerns may result in the closure of a runway or other changes reducing the utility of the Airport.



For any inquiries, questions or comments, please contact Angela Holm, Aviation Division Lead at:



City of Hector

Andrea Aukrust - City Administrator



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