Pilots Complete “Fly North Dakota Airports” Passport Program

Photo above – (Left to Right) Kyle Wanner – Director of the ND Aeronautics Commission, Nathan Sayler, Jim O’ Day, Connie Hanson, Rodger Haugen.

Multiple pilots were recently presented with awards for participating in the “Fly North Dakota Airports” Passport Program. This program began in North Dakota in 2011 and it rewards pilots who fly to North Dakota’s publicly owned airports, attend FAA safety seminars, and visit North Dakota’s aviation museums.  This program promotes safety, continuing education, and encourages pilots to practice approaches and landings in many different environments. This program also offers an opportunity to promote and support North Dakota’s airports and their community businesses and tourism opportunities.

There currently are three award levels within the North Dakota passport program and the highest and most prestigious award level of Gold is achieved by flying to all 89 ND public airports, visiting the Fargo and Minot Air Museums, and attending three FAA safety Seminars.

The gold award was achieved by five pilots during the past year and these individuals received a leather flight jacket embroidered with the North Dakota Flying Legacy logo. These pilots join the 98 others who have completed the passport program in previous years, making a grand total of 103 pilots who have achieved the gold award since the program’s inception.

The following is a list of the individuals achieving the gold level in 2023:

  • Ray Brooks – Bismarck, ND
  • Connie Hanson – Devils Lake, ND
  • Rodger Haugen – Devils Lake, ND
  • Nathan Sayler – Valley City, ND
  • Jim O’ Day – Fargo, ND

The awards presentation occurred on March 3rd and was conducted in Robin Hall at the University of North Dakota in conjunction with the North Dakota Aviation Association, Fly-ND Conference. Presenting the awards were Kyle Wanner, Executive Director and Mike McHugh, Aviation Education Coordinator of the North Dakota Aeronautics Commission. The program is sponsored by the North Dakota Department of Commerce’s Tourism Division in partnership with the North Dakota Aeronautics Commission, the Airport Association of North Dakota, and the North Dakota Aviation Association.