Regarding Kevin Terrell’s very useful Opinion piece (Star-Tribune August 23rd). He was absolutely correct: local travelers who are paying for it and citizens who are living with it “hate” the MSP 2035 plan; also the 2020, 2025, and 2030 MSP expansion plans. The economic and environmental difficulties ahead were mislaid while MAC and the Met Council were making the plans.Read more
Various groups are mobilizing concerned citizens to attend the "Pre-draft 2030 Plan for MSP" presentation:
METROPOLITAN AIRPORT COMMISSION
MSP AIRPORT LONG RANGE PLANNING MEETING
Thursday, August 27, 2015
5:00 to 8:30 PM
MAC General Offices
6040-28th Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55450
The MAC sent an email notice just today. It announced that
The purpose of this meeting is to educate and inform the public of the LTCP purpose and process prior to publication of the draft document.
In other words, no questions, no protests, no impatience -- just take it all in and be happy with high fares, more noise, and no meaningful environmental reviews. The message repeats that projections and forecasts have been prepared through a consultant. The purpose of the LTCP is to identify facility needs, based on already-forecasted numbers? What then is the purpose of the meeting other than to discourage citizens and organizations from complianing about overflight noise and pollution increases implicit in the plan for both more and larger aircraft using MSP.
While it is in fact very difficult to project anything 20 years ahead, SMAAC has asked for details and an open discussion. The planning process cannot be transparent if the sources used for the forecasts and the airline plans are not evaluated realistically in public meetings.
Planning future use of MSP from projections by incumbent for-profit airlines in various stages of negotiatons with the MAC for the next 20 years seems a bit foolish.
SMAAC notes that the planned capacity for MSP in 2020 was based on State economic growth needs and trends in demographic and employment data. Current operations are significantly different than the plans approved in the FEIS for MSP Expansion for the period 2005 to 2020..
Citizen's groups around airports are "getting the run-around." as a group in Oregon complained,
"Valid community concerns regarding aviation noise and pollution (are) routinely deflected, ignored and minimized (by airport authorities) in an effort to promote aviation interests over the greater good."
As SMAAC has been doing for years, Oregon Aviation Watch strongly urges negatively impacted residents to hold their (elected officials) responsible for abiding rather than reducing overflight noise and pollution.
It is important but tediously slow to deal with airport/overflight noise. Important because noise complaints periodically cresendo to a politically significant level: that opens a door to examine all the advantages and disadvantages of the oveflights that make the noise. Tediously slow because the aviation industry leaders are resourceful, politically connected, and forward-thinking about profits. Profits are assured if government assumes liability and funds air traffic control, if government inspectors and auditors are scarce by lack of funding, if government subsidizes NextGen avionics, and if "fortress hubs" that reduce competition are the first but most costly to develop and operate.Read more
In February, SMAAC made an Administrative Appeal of the MSP 2014 Annual Assessment of Environmental Effects (AOEE). The EQB staff did not acknowledge the Appeal. An inquiry in May revealed that the EQB staff opinion was that the Appeal was misdirected.
Last month the Minnesota Attorney General wrote SMAAC that the Administrative Appeal was properly addressed to the EQB. SMAAC attempted to contact the EQB by telephone and by email. Notwithstanding the AG opinion, an EQB staffer wrote SMAAC this week suggesting that we take both our (procedural) appeal and the substance of our contention that the procedural error, if any, had a material effect on the AOEE findings back to the MAC.
SMAAC responded that we had been seeking a discussion of noise and air pollution increases from flight operational changes, citing correspondence from FAA the changes in overflight altitude and a definitive (we thought) scientific study connecting specific submicron particulates pollution to low-flying jet aircraft. The procedural errors were, we alleged, that the above documents were not included in the Hearing Record, the absence of public deliberation (or identification of the deliberators) responsible for the Finding of No Significant Impact.
Too many people seem to think the Federal Aviation Admistration (FAA) and the airlines are in charge of MSP, but they still complain about oveflight noise to the Meropolitan Airports Commission (MAC) or the Noise Oversight Committee (NOC). Complaining about noise is OK, but a small step that so far has never reduced neighborhood noise a decibel. Is the noise hotline also the air pollution hot line? Is it the place where printers or sound studios or electonic manufacturers complain about low flights (vibrations) spoiling a document, a recording or a batch of tiny microchips?
Has the City of Minneapolis complained at NOC about overflights interfering with the City's Wide-Area Wi-Fi system? Have viewers or advertisers called the hotline about flights 'pixilating' broadcast digital TV? Just asking.
Why isn't there an overflight hot line? There is a security hot line and an emergency hotline. And a number to call if you are treated poorly by a MAC employee (well, maybe not that).
The Park Ridge IL citizens' group CAPP and the Chicago Tribune columnist and reporter Jon Hilkevitch asked SMAAC to comment following a news story last week. The City of Chicago operates O'Hare; the Chicago Airspace Plan is enlarging the O'Hare footprint, adding gates and terminal space. and removing two parallel runways, replacing them with two new parallel runways with the same headings but further from other runways. CAPP asked the NTSB if the runway re-locations solved the converging runway use problem the NTSB warned about in 2013.
FAA is holding hearings on the neighborhood impacts of the proposed multi-billion dollar hub expansion. With the White House pushing for lower greenhouse gas emissions, FAA will also get comments on air pollution and safety.Read more
An Update on Airport Safety and Noise
A Nationwide Problem. The ongoing airport noise and pollution issue is now centered on FAA flight route and runway use changes.
This is a copy of official comments made from SMAAC to Metropolitan Airports Commission regarding the MSP 2015 AOEE
SMAAC last petitioned the Commission to review MSP safety and site limitations October 29, 2014. Various changes in flight routes increased noise and pollution near MSP. The changes were initially made by FAA to “reduce air crossings” shortly after the near-mid-air collision in September 2010. However, further changes — departure runway changes, instrumented routes, and more, rather than less, flights scheduled at or very near absolute minimum intervals — increased over-flight noise exposure and concentrated emissions of pollutants.Read more