MSP LTCP --SMAAC Announcement

What MSP Airport’s LONG-TERM COMPREHENSIVE PLAN Means for Climate Change

SMAAC today released an announcement that it was supporting changes across the U.S. and at MSP Airport to reduce GHG emissions.  Here are some excerpts.

"Citizens' groups and cities in several States connect the National Airspace System (NAS) to climate change now that the net increase in miles flown per trip since 2005 has been pointed out. The Special Metro Airports Analysis Center’s White Paper Air Traffic Control at Major Hub Airports and Metroplexes urged Congress to plan a National Airspace System for reasonable and responsible air traffic control, instead of trying to automate currently crowded routes.

"In many ways, Next Gen was a start-over at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP). Serious safety incidents were discounted by the Metropolitan Airports Commission (MAC); air traffic planning became entangled in the extended sound insulation litigation, and poor choices were made about new routes and environmental assessments near the airport.

"There may be no requirement in Minnesota law to complete a formal environmental study before negotiating “air rights” and capacity with the Federal government. So what? Cost and safety risk management can be agreed upon with GHG per flight an added benefit."



The cover message raised two questions:

The FAA reacted properly to the 2010 near-mid-air collision by adding approach and departures routes that seldom intersected and required less attention by air traffic controllers. Planning routes was one of the first Next Gen functionalities. Computers created routes and converted them to GPS directions for easy re-use as displayed maps and profiles (altitude) or navigation (using autopilot controls). The Next Gen developments that would "know" these routes in realtime to maintain separations were then scheduled for use in 2012, then 2015, now 2025 at MSP. 

The problem discovered in 2006 --converging runway headings --could create intersecting paths instantly and within reaction time. Not yet part of Next Gen or aircraft systems, operations need to be manually synched warned the NTSB in 2013. MSP Tower procedures had ben added in 2011 and so the LTCP Update in progress wasn't changed. But FAA suspended uses of R35 that were in the draft plan and now being considered (we hope) in the 2021 plan, although FAA changed the rules this May.

NOT "FAIR" Comment: Sound insulation to "mitigate" noise from planes flying over your house isn't going to mitigate aircraft flying into your house... hope you hear them coming. You probably will, it's  going to be warmer so your windows will be open because more routes will make it unlikely MAC is buying you air conditioning. 

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  • Smaac Forum Panel
    commented 2019-12-20 15:26:03 -0600
    SMAAC members are going to raise MSP LTCP questions including the propriety of the LTCP Stakeholders Advisory Panel, the 9-year delay in air traffic control refinements and the lack of cost/benefit analysis at the caucuses.

    There is a very real threat (level of risk) that:
    A] Airlines and FAA will not abandon the “effificency” notion that amounts to trusting in the timely deployment of systems and personnel able to securely manage realtime operations at MSP [rather than planning to economic needs and safer margins].
    B] MSP operations as planned -lots of arrivals per hour for awahile, then lots of departures for awhile, then fewer operations - maximize fuel use and emissions of GHG perf;ight.
    The greater climate change impact (too few hubs) is hardened by a little more hub capacity/hour; localized at peaks as aircraft are metered for precise arrivals and departures are quequed, idling near the runways.
    C] Peak-hour flight schedules at MSP as planned before the 2010 near-mid-air-collision over Richfield remain in play flight by flight and the CRO/asymmetry issue looms over MSP facility planning and lack of area, NOTE: MAC staff (Rief) is tactically aware but FAA and aircraft systems deployments are politically and competitively varied, unreliable.

    City and "public"members of the panel consent to increasing public health and safety risks for unneeded air transportation swrvice. The Center estimated that limited-to-affordable safe capacity hourly rates would restore use of runway capacity at about 35 to 40 airports for city-hub-city connections: reducing GHG emissions per trip at least 20%. Previous studies (2011-12) of MSP average fuel use compared to 2005 —related to longer, slower departure routes —showed at least a 5% increase in fuel burn per flight. NOTE: The diverse routings increase total noise exposure but decrease DNL 63 to 60 noise exposure eligibility.