The 2019 FAA Re-Authorization Law made key changes to plans and budgets for Next Gen deployment, aircraft and airport GPS navigation, and airport improvements (for government fiscal years, Oct to September). The changes complicated both planning for changes in FAA en route and airport operations and short-term planning for specific-airport operations.
There was a further unwise turn away from environmental impact reviews by Federal agencies as a practice for Federal operations, lands, and buildings and as a planning or regulatory responsibility. Meanwhile, several years of changes in flight routes and airport operations left airport communities facing disruptive overflights but lacking EAW/EIS or any other tools for quantifying the impacts.
Then, in 2020, COVID-19 dropped the demand for non-essential air travel and changed airport and airline operations perhaps for ever --and the pandemic stresses the airline business model in previously unimagined ways.
The public has two direct ways to intervene: national political awareness and local action.
National politics and aviation policy change needs a national, or at least very broad-based, citizen organization. We are calling this "SMAAC.us" for now.
Locally, whatever was built and however it was used isn't working as planned. It should be rare to want to "put Humpty-Dumpty together again." To expect a steep recovery of 2019-like service at MSP or at any airport is awfully foolish --and certainly will not apply at every airport. Look at what happened after 9/11 and after the recession of 2008. For this, smaacmn.org will continue.
President Spensley has proposed breaking out our organization into two (overlapping) not-for-profit corporations. One would be registered as a Section 501 (c) (4) using the web-site www.smaac.us to recruit citizens' groups in other States to join. SMAAC has shared its web-site for several years to report problems and changes across the USA at major hub airports and Metroplexes as Next Gen en route was deployed.
Next Gen was planned for the 2007 National Airspace System with over 75 major connecting-hub airports. As it turned out, the recession of 2008 and the bail-outs of banks involved in financing airlines and commercial aircraft leasers, led to most city-hub-city connections being scheduled at 30 to 35 airports. The system of national routes poses problems of many kinds at these airports.
Every so often, the terms of an Agreement between a commercial airport and the FAA can be re-negotiated to specify its use and capacity limitations and financing. This is the time and place for the people and municipalities and businesses and government to state their needs and objectins.