Thank you for responding and particularly for submitting ideas for actions.
- Over 99% of the respondents had no idea that the MAC had reorganized, appointed a Long-Term Comprehensive Plan (LTCP) Stakeholders Advisory Panel, and embarked on an 18-month process. The “never heard of the panel’ including 3 Council Members in cities that assigned staff to be on the Panel.
- Most respondents wanted SMAAC to hold Forums (addressing GHG emissions in particular) and organize communications programs to engage the public, and through the public, elected officials. We have a few volunteers for forum arrangements, social-media networking, and caucus resolutions.
- Many respondents suggested alliances with Climate Change activists and environmentalists.
The South Metro Airport Action Council (SMAAC) notified the Metropolitan Airports Commission (MAC) and the Federal Aviation Agency (FAA) that the Council intends to engage the public in monitoring the development of the MSP Long-Term Comprehensive Plan for 2020-2040. The impacted travelers and the overflown populations should be more directly consulted, interviewed, studied and consulted.
SMAAC messaged the MAC’s Planning, Development, and Environment Committee and FAA Great Lakes Regional Air Traffic Control Administrator that the public’s proper participation included questions & answers about environmental, safety and health risk changes in overflights and at MSP. The changes implemented in 2010 precipitated a ten-year delay in presenting the 2015-2025 LTCP for a Metropolitan Council Public Hearing.
The message also noted the appearance of FAA Administrator Rebecca MacPherson, who has made several visits to MSP to explain the next-to-final step in air traffic management, leaving 5-year gap. Safety changes at MSP involving landings on R-35: Runway use rates (or the interval between flight operations) are complicated by the number of runways in use and, in ‘northwest flow’ by the possibility of an aborted R-35 approach risking a collision or low altitude emergency maneuvers by entering airspace occupied by aircraft departing MSP after take-off on the parallel runways.
Paraphrased text of the email:
MAC: Dealing with the public's questions during the planning process could make the Met C Transportation Policy Plan Hearing delay more acceptable. Public health and safety and the environment questions abound about the LTCP; economic impacts need more attention.
The LTCP and 20 years of capital improvements will depend on EITHER the forecast daily operations being planned with balanced safe operations/hour and low safety risks OR being planned with the intent to pursue more runway-use “efficiency” and more flight capacity with whatever Next Gen systems may be deployed here and deal later with safety and too late for environmental remediation..
The two choices mentioned echo the choices considered in the dual-track studies and debated for many hours during and after legislative hearings. Those were, are: limit use and consider public health and safety, environmental impacts, and compatible zoning in the cost of flight operations before adding capacity or not. The difference is now we know the external costs are huge and the airport costs are unpredictable.