MAC OKs part of FAAplan; Changes to south Minneapolis delayed - KMSP-TV

MAC OKs part of FAA flight plan; Changes to Edina, Minneapolis delayed

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A full house at the MAC meeting on Nov. 19, 2012. Photo by Scott Wasserman / FOX 9 News. A full house at the MAC meeting on Nov. 19, 2012. Photo by Scott Wasserman / FOX 9 News.
An airplane makes a close pass over a south Minneapolis neighborhood An airplane makes a close pass over a south Minneapolis neighborhood
MINNEAPOLIS (KMSP) -

The Metropolitan Airports Commission passed a motion to accept part of a new flight path recommendations from the FAA on Monday, with exceptions for Edina, Richfield and Minneapolis.

After the motion was accepted, an FAA representative informed the panel that the decision will likely put the effort to change take-off patterns on hold until July 2014 because new studies will be needed before implementation can begin. That means the status quo will likely remain until that process is complete.

The plan was met with resistance by south metro residents who opposed the effort to have all planes follow consistent routes out of the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport out of concern that noise would radically increase for those living under the flight path.

Instead of fanning-out like they do on takeoff now, the new "performance-based navigation" pattern would use technology to direct planes into narrow corridors, or highways, that would impact some neighborhoods in Eagan, Edina and south Minneapolis, while others would hear much-less noise.

The MAC approved the FAA's plan for the paths that traverse over Eagan and Mendota Heights, which means the FAA must now determine whether half of the airport can operate one system with the proposed technological advances while with the other half operates in a different way.

The FAA says the proposed routes will improve safety and fuel efficiency, but opponents say the noise will increase as much as 150 percent.

However, the new flight pattern system has not been implemented fully in any city. After Monday's vote, it looks like Minneapolis won't be the first to make the switch full transition.

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