Press Release

26 August 2013


Minneapolis, MN


Citizens represented by MSP FairSkies Coalition will challenge requirements for RNAV implementation in meeting with Congressmen Keith Ellison and Erik Paulsen, the Metropolitan Airport Commission (MAC) and the Federal Aviation Association (FAA).

Neighbors from Minneapolis, Richfield, and Edina will meet at a community forum hosted by Representative Keith Ellison to talk about the status of RNAV (Area Navigation) – a type of navigation that puts planes on a track, leading to consolidation of airplane traffic and noise. The meeting is August 27, from 5:30 to 7:00 at Washburn High School, 201 W. 49th St. in Minneapolis.

According to Kevin Terrell of the MSP FairSkies Coalition, “We already have one of the most efficient airports in the country, so the bottom line is that the benefits of RNAV at MSP are minimal, the impact on the community is high, and the process to evaluate the impact of new noise patterns is deeply flawed and outdated. Every major noise-related agency in the world recognizes those flaws, yet the FAA is the judge, jury and executioner of anything related to RNAV implementation. Whose community is it, anyway?”

In light of that, MSP FairSkies Coalition will be calling for greater transparency and trust from the FAA and MAC, as well as a true partnership that leads to smart growth throughout the region.

“RNAV is supposed to be better for the environment, yet the FAA has not even done an environmental impact study (EIS) to back up this statement,” said Steve Kittleson of the MSP FairSkies Coalition. “35% of all Minneapolis students will be within range of the new flight paths and these students will be in schools without air conditioning, including the state’s number one ranked high school,” added Kittleson. “We thank State Representative Frank Hornstein for sponsoring a bill requiring an EIS by an independent group and we will be pushing the FAA to agree to this.”

In addition to the environmental study, MSP FairSkies Coalition will call for:

  • Discarding the outdated noise measurement and benchmark of 65 dB DNL and replacing it with the nearly universally accepted 55 dB CNEL (Community Noise Equivalent Level)
  • Use of the modern benchmarks of 55 dB CNEL and N70 in any environmental impact study
  • Greater use of runway 17, the underutilized $700M runway originally built to move departures over the Minnesota River and away from the densely populated areas to the north and west of MSP
  • The FAA to target less efficient airports for initial implementation of RNAV
  • Initiating immediate review of alternatives to increased flight volume at MSP, such as greater use of regional airports and “zip” rail, as outlined in the Met Council 2040 plan
  • If RNAV is to be implemented, communities should have a formal role, the process should adhere to the MAC’s November 2012 vote to implement new procedures only to the south of MSP, and there must be a universally agreed upon implementation timetable with clear dates

About MSP FairSkies Coalition

MSP FairSkies Coalition is a group for residents in the Twin Cities who are working to make sure we all have a say in airport issues that impact levels of airplane noise and air pollution in our neighborhoods. Our goal is MSP Airport “smart growth” – an approach that balances growth of the airport without sacrificing the livability of the neighborhoods.

Contact: Sara Thompson at

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