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Airport Commissioners Compromise on Noise

Southwest Minneapolis, Richfield, Edina get reprieve from new routes.

Area residents’ ears are safe—for now.

According to Fox 9, the commission governing the Twin Cities airports will let the FAA implement a new set of flight paths over Mendota Heighs, Eagan, and the Minnesota Valley, but will leave the current system in place in Minneapolis, Richfield, and Edina.

FAA officials told the Metropolitan Airports Commission that the split implementation will delay any implementation on either side of the Minnesota River until 2014.

"Organizing works," tweeted Southwest Minneapolis' City Councilmember Betsy Hodges (Ward 13), shortly after MAC took their vote.

FAA officials had asked the Metropolitan Airports Commission to endorse a set of technologies called RNAV and PBN, the technologies would allow air traffic controllers to concentrate flight paths—currently scattered across much of Southwest Minneapolis—into a select few "highways in the sky." This would result in a small section of blocks seeing a dramatic increase in overflights.

Local residents and elected officials strenuously lobbied MAC not to endorse the new technologies yet, effectively postponing their implementation in Minneapolis for a year. Over the weekend, news emerged that MAC commissioners were bending to the pressure.

Public interest showed at the meeting—according to the Star-Tribune, the standing room-only crowd spilled out of the main MAC meeting room and into an adjacent hallway.

SMAAC [-- Jim Spensley] November 20, 2012 at 04:32 AM
There was no "compromise on Noise." The deal to route flights using one runway more precisely without a complementary adjustment for the other runways may not be easily done. Anyway, a common technology for this isn't yet deployed at MSP or available in all aircraft using MSP.
Mike E November 20, 2012 at 05:33 PM
It seems like the rich people in Edina got their way, as those of us in Richfield continue to have airplanes go over our houses; instead of over the crosstown freeway. How is this a "compromise"?
James Sanna (Editor) November 20, 2012 at 08:30 PM
FWIW, while reporting on this topic, I sometimes heard Minneapolis folks say that they would rather have the flights be distributed over a large number of houses as they are now, rather than concentrated in a few narrow spots, making life extra-unpleasant for those few folks.

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