Looking For Beauty in Airplane Noise

Local essayist muses on fraught subject.

Last month's fight over airport noise and new flight paths may have been full of pain and vitriol, but one Minneapolitan is trying to find beauty in the airplanes that fly over Southwest Minneapolis every day.

For the most recent entry in his MinnPost column about places around the Twin Cities, called "The Stroll," Sturdevant traveled to Minneapolis' so-called "Deep South" neighborhoods and turned his gaze skyward:

As irritating as this residential airport racket can be – and I live in Powderhorn, which gets its own share of overhead air traffic – there is something vaguely romantic about the ubiquity of these jetliners, bringing in thousands of visitors to the cities every minute of the day.

Inspired by the planes' colorful livery to the lives and stories of the jets' passengers, Sturdevant urges readers to claim a certain amount of ownership over the contribution the noise makes to our sense of place.

But even just a cursory understanding of the liveries, flight patterns and designs of our overhead neighbors goes a long way in adding some color and form to this specific breed of hyper-local noise pollution. It’s a distinctly south Minneapolis fact of life.

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SMAAC [-- Jim Spensley] December 07, 2012 at 03:00 AM
Ugh. Overflight noise increases health risks. During peak hours MSP operates at minimum separations, aborted approaches are common. For every "thousands of passengers" visiting the Twin Cities or return home, there are 1,100 just passing through: so twice as many pretty planes are passing over head.


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