Neighbors Fight to Slow MSP Airport Expansion

Updated: 03/16/2014 10:50 PM
Created: 03/16/2014 8:24 PM
By: Jay Kolls

A citizens' group wants lawmakers to toughen environmental studies and reduce allowable decibel levels for flights over dozens of neighborhoods near Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.

MSP FairSkies supports several proposed laws at the Minnesota State Capitol that would, effectively, slow down expansion plans at MSP International Airport.

Right now, the group says, environmental studies only focus on ground issues and do not examine the environmental affects of airplane noise. With air travel at MSP International Airport expected to increase significantly over the next 15 years, MSP FairSkies wants to make it a law that environmental studies about airplane noise are included in any expansion plans, before they are approved.

The airport would like to add more gates, parking and terminal space to accommodate the higher passenger volume, in coming years. But FairSkies says those plans need a strong public vetting and neighbors need time to weigh in on the proposed changes.

The Metropolitan Airports Commission (MAC) has told lawmakers exhaustive environmental studies have already been done and the Federal government does not think airport expansion would have a negative impact on the environment.

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