The South Metro Airport Action Council's work has been disrupted by COVID-19 directly and indirectly. Meetings, Forums, White Papers, and Public Announcements all involve coordination and work, but now by telephone, e-mail or circulating writings as working drafts. We need some committee structure and volunteers to do this successfully on-line.
SMAAC is financed by Forums, memberships, and donations --fund-raising) could be supplemented by corporate sponsors, grants or contracts. We are exploring By-Law and legal provisions to allow that.
The Board wants to work on:
- National issues cooperatively with folks around other major hub airports on FAA Re-Authorizations; with climate change groups to advocate science that applies, in fact, to how airspace is used for commercial aviation. Plans are to create, support or cooperate with other major airport groups to deal more directly with Federal environmental, health, and safety agencies and the U.S. Congress.
- Gov. Walz, who appoints 12 of the 14 MAC Commissioners, has issued Executive Order 19-37 directing State agencies to minimize GHG volumes emitted. Flights at MSP International Airport became a significant source of GHG (and probably submicron particulate) emissions after it was expanded (2004) and after approach and departure routes were modified (2010).
- It is still important to protest routes and runway rates at MSP as increasing public health risks as well as disturbing neighborhoods and schools with noisy overflights. The Legislature limited annual use of MSP, for cost and environmental protection, but the MAC's lax environmental stewardship has allowed increased noise and pollution per flight (increased fuel consumption).
- The airline lobbies successfully attained laws that exempted commercial flights from Environmental Protection Agency regulation and no Federal overflight environmental assessment worksheets (EAWs), environmental impact statements (EISs), or status reports are usually required before expanding airports using the Federal Airport Improvement Program (funding). The Minnesota Legislature created the Metropolitan Airports Commission (MAC) with exceptions to Minnesota Pollution Control Agency rules and procedures, although the Commission is a "public corporation" not a State Agency or Department.
- All of the above are related to airspace and runway use-management and safe airport capacity, but fixes involve different tactics and contacts.