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Agency History

The North Dakota Aeronautics Commission was established in 1947 by the State Legislature to provide representation of the state in aviation matters and to provide responsibility for the state’s aviation programs and regulatory framework. The Governor appoints the five members of the Aeronautics Commission to the board for terms of office of five years. A history of commissioners and agency directors can be found on the Agency History page. The Commission appoints an Executive Director to administer the agency and to oversee the agency's support staff. The office location is at the general aviation pilot terminal on the Bismarck Municipal Airport, Bismarck, ND (KBIS).

The Commission typically meets on a monthly basis. Meeting minutes are available by request, and can be found online. 

Agency Mission

To serve the public by providing economic and technical assistance for the aviation community while ensuring the safe and cost-effective advancement of aviation in North Dakota.

North Dakota Aeronautics Commission Brochure

Agency Purpose

The North Dakota Aeronautics Commission supports aviation activities in the state through communication with state, local, and Federal Aviation Association (FAA) officials, congressional offices, and national aviation groups. The commission is responsible for administering North Dakota’s laws in regards to the registration of aircraft, aircraft dealers, aerial applicators, and the collection of aircraft excise tax. The Aeronautics Commission provides grant funding for airport infrastructure projects and manages aviation education initiatives and programs throughout the state. The office also provides airport planning services, helps to maintain the state’s Automated Weather Observation Systems (AWOS), and provides airport inspections for the general aviation airports.

The Aeronautics Commission also works to maintain and update publicized planning documents to help maintain and grow North Dakota’s aviation transportation system. Statewide airport capital improvement plans, aviation economic impact studies, airport directories, state aviation system plans, and pavement condition index studies are a few examples of these documents.

The Executive Director also serves as an ex-officio member of the Northern Plains UAS Test Site Authority, Upper Great Plains Transportation Institute Advisory Board, the Atmospheric Resource Board, and the North Dakota Aviation Council.

Feedback

If you would like to provide feedback regarding your visit to one of North Dakota's airports, or have comments or suggesstions for the North Dakota Aeronautics Commission staff, please complete the form found on our feedback page

Commissioners

 

Dr. Kim Kenville : Chair : Grand Forks

Kim began teaching for the University of North Dakota’s John D. Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences in the fall of 1999 where she currently teaches airport management. Since 2008, Kim has been the director of the graduate program for the Department of Aviation and holds the rank of full professor. Dr. Kenville received her Ph.D. in 2005 from Capella University in Organization and Management. Prior to returning to UND, Kim worked in airport operations for Detroit Metropolitan and Milwaukee County airports. She is a certified member (C.M.) of the American Association of Airport Executives and holds a private pilot’s license. Kim was appointed to the Aeronautics Commission in September of 2011.

Warren A. Pietsch : Vice Chair : Minot

Warren is president of Pietsch Aircraft Restoration & Repair and Minot Aero Center at the Minot International Airport. Warren soloed at the age of 16 and has continued in aviation. He began chartering for the family business, ventured into airshows in 1981, and worked for ATA Airlines 1989-2008 serving as a captain for L-1011, B-727, B-737. Warren is a current and founding board member of the Dakota Territory Air Museum and the Chief pilot for the Texas Flying Legends Museum, Houston TX. Holding a single & multi-engine ATP, SeaPlane rating, Commercial glider CFIG & CFIs and is an Aerobatic Evaluator for ICAS, Warren was appointed to the Commission in May of 2012.

Cindy Schreiber-Beck : Member : Wahpeton

Currently Cindy serves in the ND Legislature, on the board of the Fargo Air Museum, and as the Executive Director of the ND Agricultural Aviation Association (NDAAA). She is the owner of Tri-State Aviation, an FBO with a concentration on WWII aircraft restoration. Tri-State Aviation also manages the Wahpeton Harry Stern Airport. She is active in the local business community and has served on the Commission since 1997.

Jay B. Lindquist : Member : Hettinger

Jay is president of Air Dakota Flite, a full service, fixed base operator (FBO). J.B. has a strong aerial applicator background and has been crop spraying for 50 years. He has been a Certified Flight Instructor and has served as the Manager of the Adams County Municipal Airport, Hettinger, ND for 40 years. His other interests are in retail and farming. J.B. was inducted into the North Dakota Aviation Hall of Fame in 2012. He has been a member of the Commission since 1993.

Maurice E. Cook : Member : Bismarck

Maurice retired from active legal practice at the end of 2010. During his legal career he served as a State’s Attorney, City Attorney, Airport Authority Attorney, Assistant Attorney General as General Counsel for the Bank of North Dakota, as a member and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Prairie Public Broadcasting, ND Civil Air Patrol Wing Commander and ten years as Civil Air Patrol’s National Legal Officer. He served as Bond Counsel to numerous ND political subdivisions and various agencies of the State of North Dakota in the issuance of municipal bonds for thirty years. He holds a multi engine instrument pilot’s license and started flying in Hettinger, ND, in 1952. He has been a member of the ND Aeronautics Commission since 1999.

 

Commission Staff

Kyle C. Wanner: Executive Director
701-328-9651 e-mail: kcwanner@nd.gov

  • Provide strategic planning for the Aeronautics Commission
  • Implement and communicate the goals, missions, and objectives of the commission
  • Promote and enhance aviation in North Dakota and attend industry meetings and functions
  • Develop and implement policies and procedures to effectively manage staff and administer programs within the State
  • Prepare an annual and biennial budget for the operation of the Commission and present such budgets to the state legislature
  • Administer and manage the Commission budget
  • Monitor and approve expenditures of the Commission within the limits of the budget and monitor revenues
  • Employ and supervise commission staff
  • Plan and coordinate commission meetings
  • Draft legislation approved for submission by the Commission and present such legislation to the North Dakota legislature
  • Ensure Commission compliance with the North Dakota Century Code and policies and procedures
  • Coordinate the Commission’s activities with the Governor or the Governor’s designee
  • Manage the airports operated by the Commission

Gaye Niemiller : Administrative Officer
701-328-9652 e-mail: ganiemiller@nd.gov

  • Manages the fiscal process of the state airport grant process
  • Maintains grant database with the airport grants awarded, payments processed and balances and grant turnbacks
  • Provide verification of submitted documentation to the Energy Impact Office ensuring grant compliance is met
  • Act as agency liaison for ND public employees retirement
  • Act as agency contact for the State auditor’s office
  • Act as payroll and human resource contact for the agency
  • Perform budgetary preparation work and create monthly financial statements
  • Provide support to the ND Aviation Council
  • Assist airport authorities in their fly-in events and seminar planning

Sheila M. Doll : Licensing Specialist
701-328-9650 e-mail: smdoll@nd.gov

  • Serves as the main receptionist for the Aeronautics Commission office
  • Processes aircraft registration and excise tax paperwork and payments
  • Processes the licensing of aircraft dealers and aerial applicators
  • Manages the commission’s windsock program
  • Wellness Coordinator for the Aeronautics Commission

Mike McHugh : Aviation Education Coordinator
701-328-9653 e-mail: mmchugh@nd.gov

  • Manage the commission’s aviation promotional and educational programs, publications, and grants.
  • Provide updates to the state aeronautical chart and directory.
  • Develop strategies to educate and promote North Dakota aviation.
  • Promote the implementation of aviation curriculum and provide guidance and assistance to school systems within the state.
  • Provide guidance and assistance to the Aviation Air Museums within the state.
  • Manage and provide updates to the Aeronautics Commission website and social media outlets.
  • Organize and participate in special public events for the Commission such as air show booths, career day events, and airport fly‐in’s.
  • Promote events at schools such as Aviation Career Day, Real World Design Challenge, and Aviation Art Contest.
  • Manage a variety of aviation‐related programs such as the ND Airport Passport Program, Flight Training Assistance, and Airport Intern programs.
  • Monitor and provide updates regarding the promotional and educational budgets.
  • Provide support to the Aviation Council, Aviation Quarterly, and the Upper Midwest Aviation Symposium.
  • Act as an aircraft dealer and aircraft registration inspector when requested by the Director.
  • Ensure compliance of the Commission’s obligation to provide the public with a continually updated online met tower database.

Vacant: Airport Planner
 

  • Serves as an airport inspector to update and collect safety data at public airports within the state and providing recommended safety improvements and future projects to each airport
  • Acts as a program manager for the State airport grant program which includes providing recommendations for grant funding and ensuring airport compliance with grant assurances
  • Reviews and provides recommendations on airport planning documents including: airport capital improvement plans, airport layout plans, and airport master plans
  • Aids the North Dakota Airports in fulfilling requirements of the FAA’s Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Program
  • Reviews and Collects Pavement Condition Update Forms from the North Dakota paved airports
  • Aids airports and the public with inquiries regarding airspace obstruction and zoning around public use airports
  • Provides support on statewide planning studies including ‐ aviation system plans, economic impact studies, and pavement condition index studies
  • Provides support for the statewide Automated Weather Observation System (AWOS) maintenance program
  • Provides airports with technical and statistical assistance