Increase in Departures to the North and West

Based on recent comments from community members about a perceived increase in the number of departures to the northwest off Runway 30L, the Metropolitan Airports Commission (MAC) Noise Program Office analyzed flight track and weather data comparing March 2013 to March 2012. The results show that the greater number of aircraft operations to the northwest in 2013 is attributed to a greater number of days with winds from the north and/or west, compared to 2012.

North flow means that arrivals are normally approaching MSP over the communities of Mendota Heights, Eagan or Bloomington for landing on Runways 30L, 30R and 35, and departures are taking off from MSP using Runways 30L and 30R and flying over areas of south Minneapolis, Edina, or Richfield. 

"This makes sense since aircraft arrive and depart into the wind, particularly when wind speed is greater than seven miles per hour," according to Elaine Buckner, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Air Traffic Manager. The FAA responded to MAC inquiries about the increased number of aircraft departing from Runways 30L and 30R and confirmed there have been no changes to runway use assignments or procedures. 

Some community members wondered if new Performance-Based Navigation (PBN/RNAV) procedures had been implemented. This is not the case. 

For information about the MAC's action related to the PBN/RNAV procedures please click here: MAC's Action. Also, the MAC proposed a framework to the FAA for communicating with members of the community regarding the proposed PBN/RNAV procedures. Click here to view the MAC's communication framework: Proposed PBN/RNAV Communication.  The public is also invited to attend the bi-monthly MSP Noise Oversight Committee meetings, as well as the quarterly Public Input Meetings. The next Public Input Meeting will be held Tuesday, April 23, 2013 at 7 p.m. in the MAC General Office Building located at 6040 28th Avenue South, Minneapolis.

Members of the public can also call the airport noise information line at 612-726-9411. The line is generally answered Monday through Friday during regular business hours, but individuals can at any time leave a message for a return call.