Not for the first time, SMAAC is frustrated by elected officials being deaf to real public health and safety issues in aviation. This is exacerbated, at present, by the pandemic's two impacts on commerce and transportation: not only is air travel restricted for sound public health reasons, the industry itself was in turmoil after the recession and poor decisions were made all around since 2010 or earlier.
Government officials at every level might have done better. This is reflected in how MSP Int'l Airport has been operated without enough transparency or approved planning --now for more than a decade --by appointed bodies.
We were encouraged when 14 of 17 candidates for Mayor in Minneapolis made agreements with SMAAC to review the planning processes and aviation policy issues stacked up at the Met Council and Metropolitan Airports Commission. We were discouraged when only four candidates fulfilled their agreement and submitted Survey Answers; more so because the very issues that are prominent (policing policy and management, race and income disparities) have aviation parallels. Both separate policy from implementation with appointed management and too few checks and balances. And there is no direct public access to the police federation or to FAA and the Metropolitan Airports Commission about the indirect consequences of inadequate planning and unanticipated events.
In a few days, our survey panel will report how well four potential Mayors understand the costs, benefits, risks and ongoing aviation-impacted community harms. The other candidates can belatedly post comments.
Why would an airports commissioner vote each year for multimillion dollar operation and capital budgets without a disclosed plan including needs (services, security, safety) and community impacts (pollution, noise, safety and other risks)?
Why would the Met Council abrogate its responsibility for reviewing the long-term plan at least every 5 years?