Kudoes to the Metropolitan Council for promoting clean enegy initiatives by cities and counties and public agencies (except MAC?).
For nine years, Met Council has not reviewed MSP plans to restore some hourly flight capacity and allow airlines to further concentrate connecting fleet operations in consecutive hours because these plans remain sequestered by MAC.
MetC hasn't accepted evidence that routing flights in MSP airspace at higher operational rates steeply increases fuel burn volume and reduces fuel efficiency. An estimated 40 percent increase in carbon particulates and GHG emissions per flight is associated with lower, slower and longer flight paths around MSP --to allow less than 10 percent more operations per hour. This is because there has been no Public Hearing on MSP Long-Term planning and capital investments and the likely environmental impacts and land use restrictions since 2010.
A slight increase in MSP use as a major hub probably would result in more carbon emissions than a total switch to wind and solar power for city requirements would save in, say, Minnetonka or Richfield.
The CRO runway suspension (MSP, July 2014) was not quantitative in that scheduled use of R-35 had been less than 40 arrivals in NW flow and a reduction for safety was specified only when there were coincident departures on Runway 30L or 30R. The uncertainty in maximum safe operations per hour needs to be settled because it impacts costs, pollution and zoning.
SMAAC has published a White Paper tracing the history of FAA development and deployment of ATC , navigation and safety enhancements, based on policies other than global warming or other harms to the natural environment. The paper recommends a realignment of FAA supported routes based on reasonable operations per hour at every airport. An analysis of the National Airspace System (NAS) shows that fewer operations and fewer passengers delivered to their final destination annually required more flight hours, more airport operations, and more fuel used per mile flown compared to 2005. The difference was airline-driven by consolidating hubs in 2008-09 and closely scheduling larger connecting fleet banks. This could be undone to the benefit of air travelers (fares, comfort and safety) and the environment.
Use of the NAS has been increased along certain routes --at a high cost in FAA, airport and aircraft systems --while most routes have fewer flights and the vast majority of airports had fewer daily flights in 2015 that in 2005. The error is in investing in very risky high maximum hourly rates when shorter city-hub-city routes and many airports are used sparingly by the airlines. This is without regard to global warming or safety risks, but it creates more GHG and carbon particulates per passenger or per flight. Congress needs to act by directing, at the least, a comparison of the costs and risks.