I am excited to be joining the North Dakota Aeronautics Commission (NDAC) team as their new airport planner for Western North Dakota! I grew up in Pierre, SD, where I graduated from T.F. Riggs High School in 2015. I attended the University of North Dakota (UND), graduating in August of 2020 with a B.B.A. majoring in Aviation Management. I also have my Commercial Pilot’s License ASEL/AMEL, and have two years of experience as a line technician before finding my new home with the NDAC.
My love for aviation was very prominent early in my life. I would beg for any toy, or Lego set, that had anything to do with planes. When we first moved to Pierre in 2007, my favorite part of our new house was the amazing view of the airport from our living room window. I first got a taste of flying on my 14th birthday, when my mom organized for a family friend to take me up on a scenic flight in a Cessna 172. I was absolutely terrified, but by the time we got back on the ground I was forever hooked. Thus began my addiction, and I knew I wanted to pursue aviation as a career. My next step was UND, where I had an amazing college experience from 2015-2020. Some of my favorite memories were made at UND: joining the hockey team in Tampa Bay and watching them become national champions in 2016; flying next to thunderstorms for my summer internship with Weather Mod; and the best, of course, was meeting my future wife, Michaela, on our first day of band camp during freshman year.
When I’m not working or flying, I have plenty of hobbies to keep myself busy. Music is another passion of mine; I can’t have a road trip without losing my voice from screaming in the car. I love to stay active with my wife, rollerblading and swimming in the summer, and pretending we know how to play hockey in the winter. I’m also quite a gamer as well, including Xbox, PlayStation, and my own PC which I built myself a few years ago.
I am extremely thankful for the NDAC team for giving me this wonderful opportunity. I am ready to get to know aviation from a whole new perspective, and I cannot wait to help our airports and aviation industry grow across our beautiful state of North Dakota!
Blue skies and buttery landings, Grant Erwin