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Alex Airport receives Governors Award

Kreg Anderson, Alexandria Municipal Airport manager, accepts the Governors Award from Cassandra Isackson, MnDOT Aeronautics director. (Contributed)

The Alexandria Municipal Airport was recently awarded the Governors Award presented by the Minnesota Department of Transportation's Office of Aeronautics and Gov. Tim Walz.

The Governors Award, which was given out at the Minnesota Council of Airports annual conference April 25, gives special recognition for excellence in airport planning, development, operation and maintenance, as well as promoting the spirit of aviation within the community.

Airport manager Kreg Anderson accepted the award from MnDOT Aeronautics Director Cassandra Isackson.

"Kreg Anderson, the current manager, and Todd Roth, the previous manager, have consistently worked through the years to make improvements to the airport, the results of which is an active airport community that promotes the spirit of aviation," said Isackson.

In accepting the award, Anderson thanked the City of Alexandria, the mayor, city council, airport commission and everyone else who is an ambassador for the Alexandria airport.

"This award is for no single individual," he said. "It is truly an award for the community and everybody who is a user of the airport, assisted us in achieving this award."

A brief history

What was known as "Raiter's Pasture" began as a turf strip in the 1920s. In 1940, the U.S. Army Air Corps took over the airport and built the two paved runways that are still in use today. During World War II, the airport's mid-continent location served as a stopover for war planes traveling between the east and west coasts.

The airport was eventually named Chandler Field after Harold Chandler, a WWII pilot with the Air Transport Command, primarily flying medical evacuation flights from the Pacific Theater. In 1962, he moved to Alexandria, became the airport manager and operated Chandler Flying Service.

From the 1920s through the '70s, a variety of airlines had service to Alexandria, including Northwest, Canadian-American Airline, Wisconsin Central Airlines and Mississippi Valley Airlines.

In 1946, the state began making investments in the airport, and over the past 70 years more than 60 projects have been completed in partnership with Alexandria.

Today, the 640-acre airport has more than 70 based aircraft, a 100-foot by 5,099-foot primary runway and 75-foot by 4,098-foot crosswind runway and an Instrument Landing System.

Celeste Edenloff

Celeste is a reporter for the Alexandria Echo Press and has lived in the Alexandria Lakes Area since 1997. She first worked for the Echo Press as a reporter from 1999 to 2011, and returned in June 2016 to report on the community she calls home. Besides writing articles for the Echo Press, she has a blog, “Newspaper Girl on the Run.” Celeste is on a continuous healthy living journey and loves to teach bootcamp fitness classes and run. She has participated in more than 200 races with her husband, Al, covering the 5K, 10K, 10-mile and half-marathon (13.1 mile) distances.

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