FCM Long-Term Plan - Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

FCM Long-Term Plan Update

The Flying Cloud Airport (FCM) Long-Term Plan (“the Plan”) is a forward-looking planning tool that studies the facility and infrastructure needs based on projected 20-year aviation demand.

The planning process will focus on evaluating when facility improvements are needed to accommodate project demand in a manner that is safe, efficient, orderly and cost effective and that maintains and enhances customer service.

The Plan does not authorize construction or improvements to facilities. Rather, it helps the Metropolitan Airports Commission (MAC) better understand and plan for future facility needs. The appropriate venue for the discussion and analysis of environmental mitigation, such as noise mitigation, in the context of a proposed development is in a National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) environmental document (Environmental Assessment, Environmental Impact Statement, etc.)

Like cities in Minnesota, the MAC is required to complete a Long-Term Plan for each of its airports. The last FCM LTP was completed in 2010 with a planning period out to 2025. In 2021, the MAC launched efforts to update the LTP for FCM with a new planning horizon to 2040. The LTP is expected to be completed in 2023.

Public involvement is an important part of this project. The planning process will be divided into four distinct phases, or “milestones.” These milestones will culminate in a public event. Four public events will be held to share information about each phase and receive input. Input received during each milestone’s public event will help inform the remaining phases of the planning process.

The dates, times and locations of these events will be determined before the events and posted to the project website. A notice will also be sent to subscribers who’ve asked to receive email notices about the project.

The fourth public event will occur during the public comment period, which will begin after the MAC board has approved publication of the draft plan. Written comments about the draft Plan will be collected during this time. Members of the public will be invited to submit written comments through email or physical delivery during the comment timeframe. All written comments received will be published in the final report and included in the project record.

Ultimately the MAC Board will need to approve the Plan. However, the document’s approval does not authorize any construction or related activities. For any of the proposed projects to be included in the Capital Improvement Program and be approved for funding and construction, an environmental evaluation and Board authorization are required.

Additionally, the Metropolitan Council must review the Plan and determine if it is consistent with its Regional Transportation Plan.

Throughout the process, comments can be submitted using the “Contact Project Team” link on the project website, in writing sent to the email or mailing address posted on the project website, or in person at the public events.

Input from the public is one of the factors that the project team will consider in developing the Plan. Other factors that are critical for the project team to consider include:

· Airport level of service standards,

· MAC’s established goals and objectives for the Plan,

· Airport design standards,

· Safety and feasibility,

· Federal and state policies, and

· Project costs

The Plan may not be able to incorporate all input provided by the public. The project team will listen to concerns, input and aspirations shared by the public and, when possible, make changes to alternatives developed to reflect public input. Additionally, feedback will be provided to the public on how it influenced decisions in the plan.

Comments from the public may be added to the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on the project website or answered verbally as part of a public event. Lastly, comments received during the public comment period after release of the draft Plan will be considered during its finalization.

Sign-in sheets from public meeting events and Stakeholder Advisory Panel meetings will be included in the document. Additionally, comments made during the public comment period by municipalities, elected officials and associations will be included in their entirety and responded to in the final Plan. Comments from individuals during the public comment period will not be included in their entirety, nor will they include identifying information. Rather, they will be summarized and included in the final document.

The objectives of the Stakeholder Advisory Panel (“Panel”) are to present information about the planning process to major stakeholder groups and to ensure that those tasked with making planning decisions hear and consider public concerns and aspirations related to the process.

Specifically, the Panel is an advisory board representing major stakeholder groups that have an interest in the planning process. The Panel serves several important functions, including:

· Representing a broad range of stakeholder groups;

· Receiving information about the planning process; and

· Communicating public concerns and aspirations as the voice of key stakeholders.

It is important to note that the Panel serves only in an advisory capacity. While the Panel may offer opinions, advice and guidance, the MAC is solely responsible for all planning decisions.

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