Community Request Accommodated through Collaborative Engagement

Community Request Accommodated through Collaborative Engagement

September 26, 2022

Last week the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) formalized a best practice that will reduce aircraft noise over residential portions of the City of Eagan. This comes after three years of collaborative community engagement between the City, the Metropolitan Airports Commissions (MAC), the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP) Noise Oversight Committee (NOC), and FAA local Air Traffic Management and Great Lakes Region.

In 2019, residents in the City of Eagan worked with the city’s Airport Relations Commission (ARC) to develop eight procedure adjustment requests for aircraft departing MSP. The FAA thoroughly evaluated the potential impacts of these request to airport safety and efficiency. Additionally, the NOC evaluated the procedures for holistic noise exposure.

Through extensive analyses and discussion, one request remained, for the Air Traffic Control (ATC) Tower to assign some aircraft with an initial fix of COULT from Runway 17 to the parallel runways (12L and 12R) when airport operational conditions allow. The request is consistent with long-standing noise abatement procedures, the Eagan-Mendota Heights Corridor and the Runway Use System (RUS).

Due to the decrease in air traffic triggered by the pandemic, the FAA could not begin evaluating the request until traffic returned to more normal levels, which occurred in January 2022.

On September 15, Elliot Black, FAA acting Great Lakes Regional Administrator, formalized the request as a best practice in a letter to MAC Chair Rick King. The use of this best practice has had a measurable achievement of the City of Eagan’s objective to reduce the number of departures from MSP that fly over residential portions of Eagan.

“The best practice approved by the FAA is an excellent demonstration of community engagement that has created meaningful change,” said Dianne Miller, Eagan City Administrator.

“The partnership between the Eagan community, the NOC, and the FAA has resulted in a noise reduction for those living under flight paths while maintaining safety for aircraft.”