Evidently the disjoint between peak-hour capacity and forecast passengers continues. The MAC began several capacity-related projects reviewed by Met Council for funding or economic impact in capital improvement plan (CIP) projects 2010-2019. Due to changes in air traffic and CRO restrictions, plans for runway-use deviated from the 1996 Plan to use active runways to "share" approach and departure overflight disturbances uniformly among neighborhoods.
MAC and FAA, years ago, estimated the maximum safe operations per hour at about 160, unbalanced: either 100 arrivals and 60 departures, NW flow or 60 arrivals and 100 departures, SE flow. To interpret this plan as possible, other critical assumptions were made:
1. Ground traffic management (open gates or parking space for aircraft, runway transit time or speed, time lost in switching flow and average weather and wind conditions).
2. How many days per year would weather, maintenance and emergencies decrease possible runway-use hours?
3. Cost and schedule details based on airlines forecasted numbers for airfield facilities and aircraft changes.
4. Cost and schedule details for airport facilities based on passengers and passenger services.
However, use of MSP airport recovering from COVID-19
What the New Rules Allow. Either A. Less than 136 operations per hour with nearly equal arrivals and departures" or B. balancing arrivals and departures over a longer period than an hour. That is, in comprehensive plan assumptions, the 25% peak hour difference and the two options are very significant and quite different.
MSP will lack the space to safely move and hold aircraft (park at gates or elsewhere) in either flow between 4 PM and 8 PM. At 7 AM in NW flow, a large departure bank will limit arrivals. If as many as 75 aircraft land before 7 AM or between 8 and 9 AM in either flow, MSP will lack the space to safely move and hold the aircraft. In SE flow, MSP could allow perhaps 60 take-offs and 80 take-offs if 60 or 70 aircraft were available and the turn-around of arrivals was swift. It will be interesting to see what changes will be made and when. The NOC has slept as two policies were accepted: allowing more noise exposure per location per flight and reducing daily flights per route by using more routes; now there is nothing left for the Noise Oversight Committee to oversee except how the contour maps are prepared, but it doesn't.
Safe and affordable (costs financed by airfares do not hobble Twin Cities economic growth capacity) MSP facilities and operating costs, an annual O&D passenger goal, and increases in GHG, carbon sub-micron particulates or other overflight emissions limits, and the issue of land use or land acquisition are beyond the sole authority of MAC.