Info on 21D Lake Elmo, MN

I am planning a trip to the Minneapolis area next weekend. Our hosts have suggested that we fly into Lake Elmo (21D) airport. The runways are on the short side 2,450’ and 2,900’ given my practice. Yes, I have stopped in less than 2,000’ but I’ve usually had another 500 - 1,000’ feet left over.

Does anyone have an info on the place? Specifically, are the approaches clear? Are there any obstructions nearby?



The airport info pages are fairly detailed. They include a section in which users can provide comments. I hope some kind pilot has preceded you and posted his comments.


Marty, I flew into Lake Elmo 4 or so years ago. All I remember is that it was tough to spot. As far as obstructions go, the way towers are going up I wouldn’t be much help. By the way, why not down town St. Paul, or for that matter Flying Cloud on the west side? Both have much more pavement to leave in front of you.

Marty -

For what its worth, if there is an alternative airport in the area (which there must be), I’d go for it.

New airport (for you), short runway, gusty crosswinds, a few clouds . . .


If you aren’t comfortable with the runway length at Lake Elmo, your best (and closest) alternates are either Anoka County/Blaine (ANE) or St. Paul’s Downtown Holman Field(STP).

Both airports have nice facilities and long runways. The approach to runway 14 at STP is beautiful as downtown St. Paul is only slightly off to your right as you make the approach. In addition, both ANE and STP have control towers. A previous post suggested Flying Cloud (FCM) which is also very nice but it will be a much longer drive for your hosts so I therefore wouldn’t recommend it to you.

Have a nice trip!

I use 21D frequently (I was based there for several years). Its approaches are clear in all four directions and there are no obstructions. It has lots of big hangar buildings, which makes it easy to spot from some distance, and there’s a prominent smokestack a few miles to the east that makes it easy to locate visually. The runways are in excellent repair. It is not nearly as busy as some of the other airports in the Twin Cities. Folks there are friendly, and there’s at least one hangar owner there who’s on the Cirrus wait list. I’ve landed Yankee Flying Club’s SR20 there without any problem. There are two commercial businesses on the field – one FBO that sells fuel but doesn’t do much else, and one good maintenance operation. Nice airport, I’d encourage you to use it!


Thank you all. To respond to a few comments:

I will practice my landing at a long field and ensure that I am very comfortable at that length with a good cushion. If conditions upon arrival are not favorable, I will go to a larger alternate.

I am pretty comfortable in crosswinds but as always, I set limits for myself. As for runway length, I’m currently limiting my landing choices to 3,500’ minimums, but have had no problem stopping in less than 2,500’ (if I want to). Actually, I hate using my brakes and do not mind rolling out. I’ve already paid for the runway, and if I do not cause any other pilots hardship, why not? In my practice, if I cannot stopp in less than 2,500’ consistently, then I will not try it there.

thanks again,


OH, PS: The reason I picked this field is that the folks we are visiting live much closer to it compared with any of the alternates. much shorter