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What’s New with the North Dakota Passport Program

August 18, 2020 14:51 | Anonymous

Mike McHugh, Aviation Education Coordinator 

North Dakota Aeronautics Commission

701-328-9650  |  mmchugh@nd.gov

Since the inception of the Passport Program, created in 2010, 72 pilots have flown to all 89 North Dakota airports and submitted their stamp book to receive their prize: a coveted leather jacket. Each time I talk with a pilot who has completed the program, I ask them to share their journey: How long did it take? What kept you going? Where can we improve? To date, not one pilot has told me they regret picking up a book and collecting stamps. The most recent story I have found fascinating was that of Pat Fagan and his friends. It is definitely worth the read, and you can find it on page 10. Pat is one of approximately 15 out-of-state pilots who have collected airport stamps in North Dakota. 

With a lack of typical activities this spring and summer, quite a few pilots have been using the extra time to work on the Passport Program. Given the recent interest in the program, I want to share some minor changes for pilots to be aware of in the upcoming months. 

First, we now have an optional registration for the passport program available on our website. Prior to this registration, we have no information about participants until a completed book is turned in for an award. I would like to encourage those of you working on collecting stamps, regardless of how far along you are, to register on our website: aero.nd.gov/education-programs/passport-program. By completing this short form, we have more information to assist participants and the ability to communicate with them in the future when needed. Registration is optional but encouraged. 

Secondly, I am excited to announce that we are working with a national group to allow stamps to be received via check-in through a mobile app. The passport book isn’t going away; this app simply gives us another way to collect stamps. Our plan is to expand this option to other states with Passport Programs for easier stamp collection. 

And last but not least, we are planning to add a Platinum Level to the Passport Program. This would be available for pilots who have completed the Gold Level and are looking for another challenge. While details are being worked out, we hope to officially roll it out by the end of this year. 

Please remember:

Check NOTAMS prior to heading out to collect stamps. With construction season, there may be some temporary runway closures. 

If you are unable to land at an airport or cannot find the passport stamp, do not hesitate to contact the NDAC office and we will mail you a sticker to use in place of the stamp. A picture at the airport or logbook entry showing you were at that airport is always helpful. 

As you are flying and notice any areas which are unsafe or could be improved, please reach out to the NDAC staff and we will relay the information to the airport manager. 

Stay safe and I hope to see many of you on the stage at the Passport Awards presentation in Spring 2021!

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North Dakota Aviation Association

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PO Box 7370
Bismarck, ND 58507

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