MAC Facts: Community ResourcesPosted on July 15, 2021
The Metropolitan Airports Commission (MAC) provides community resources including viewing, historic, and natural areas throughout the Twin Cities. The MAC’s airports are also located in the vicinity of local resources, providing a gateway to these amenities.
Aircraft Viewing Areas
Aircraft viewing areas are a great place to see aircraft activity at our airports. Each MAC airport has a public viewing area. Click on each airport name to map the viewing area location: Airlake; Anoka County-Blaine; Crystal; Flying Cloud; Lake Elmo; St. Paul Downtown; MSP.
Historic Holman Field
The MAC’s Saint Paul Downtown Airport, also known as Holman Field, is full of history. The Holman Field Terminal Building is made from Kasota limestone, built in 1939 through the Works Progress Administration (WPA) program. The airport also played an important role in defense production during World War II, housing Northwest Airlines' B-24 Bomber Modification Center.
Nearby in Indian Mounds Park, another airport landmark stands 100-feet-tall, known locally as the Beacon on the Bluff. The rotating beacon features a lighted twenty-four-inch mirror with a one-kilowatt lamp mirror that spins at six revolutions per minute. It was constructed in 1929 to help light the way for pilots traveling between Saint Paul and Chicago.
The airport is also home to Holman’s Table, a dining experience that celebrates the spirit of travel, encouraging guests to relax and embark from the everyday. The restaurant is situated inside the Terminal building and offers a fantastic view of the airfield.
Crystal Airport Wildlife Area
The MAC partnered with the City of Crystal and the Three Rivers Park District to provide the Crystal Airport Wildlife Area on the northeast corner of the Crystal Airport. The 40-acre wildlife area features a boardwalk and a 0.7-mile nature trail that circles a wetland area. The boardwalk includes an outdoor learning station for visitors. The MAC acquired the site for the Crystal Airport in 1948. The wetland on the corner of airport is the only wildlife area in Crystal and is adjacent to Brooklyn Center’s Kylawn Park to the east.
Other Local Resources
MSP is located adjacent to the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area – the only national park site dedicated exclusively to the Mississippi River. Use the National Park Service’s Mississippi River Companion to find your way around the park by foot, bike, canoe, boat, or car.
MSP is also located adjacent to historic Fort Snelling and Fort Snelling State Park. In addition to MAC’s aircraft viewing areas, the park is a great location to view MSP’s frequent fliers as they take off and land at the airport. Look for an updated interpretive sign coming soon!