Most Elected Offcials Unaware of MSP Issues

Because the media reported no incidents at MSP during the short Federal shut-down, elected officials and MAC Commissioners got off the safety hook.

The FAA Air Traffic Control Tower's requests for staffing relief fell on deaf ears at the Great Lakes Regional Office; the lack of up-to-date safety inspection reports due to FAA inspector furloughs didn't hold up air traffic, but there were a few more than usual go-arounds.

Indications are that there were more than a few problems with security delays and baggage handling for local passengers due to TSA furloughs, there were increased complaints, parking at Lindbergh was occasionally a problem.  Flights were missed, but only United, as far as we can tell from media reports, waived ticket-change fees.

The financial status and the air-crew readiness of the majority carrier at MSP, Pinnacle/Endeavor, couldn't have been improved by the shut-down, but no information has been made available about this contract-operator's status:  pilot training, work rules, inspection audits, aircraft repairs and scheduled maintenance reports are, at best, tardy.

The MAC's 2014 capital improvements plan and annual Assessment of Environmental Effects were sent out for comment on schedule not, but it is unlikely that the Federal agencies can comment on the MAC's schedule.  Fedral agency comments are common,  but the plans add space at MSP terminals for Federal agency uses.

It is not clear when PBN/RNAV routes will be settled, but new routes and peak-hour schedules, as projected by MAC (and the airlines currently using MSP) supposedly justify the capital improvements.  We doubt there is an elected official in or from Minnesota who knows, much less is concerned, about the safety, feasibility, schedule, or cost of MSP capital improvements plans.


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