Crews to Extend Floodwall at St. Paul Downtown Airport

Crews to Extend Floodwall at St. Paul Downtown Airport

April 18, 2023

Runway Operations to Close Temporarily During Installation

The Metropolitan Airports Commission (MAC) will temporarily cease aircraft operations Tuesday at St. Paul Downtown Airport (STP) while crews install flood control measures due to rising water levels on the Mississippi River.  

The river borders the airport and is expected to reach major flood stage by Wednesday, rising above 18 feet by the end of the week.

The MAC, which owns and operates the airport, mobilized crews last week to install a portion of its two-thirds mile metal plank floodwall system along the east end of the airfield, which led to the closure of runways 9/27 and 13/31. These secondary runways will remain closed until the temporary floodwall has been removed. 

STP’s primary runway, 14/32, will temporarily close at 10 a.m. Tuesday to allow crews to extend the floodwall across the south end of the airfield. This will shorten the runway – which is normally 6,491 feet – by 1,150 feet. Crews will restripe the runway’s operational markings during the closure and reopen it by 8 p.m., weather permitting.  

“We’ve been preparing for many weeks to activate these full measures that mitigate flooding risks to the airfield and airport facilities at STP,” said Joe Harris, director of reliever airports for the MAC. “These preparations are helping maintain safe operations and minimize impacts for our customers.”

The wall is currently 4 feet high and can be raised to a maximum height of 8.5 feet if needed. This is the seventh deployment of the system since it was developed in 2008. 

STP’s terminal building and airport services will remain open during Tuesday’s installation. 

The St. Paul Downtown Airport is an important aviation hub, serving as a base for more than 90 aircraft. In 2022, the airport handled 41,592 takeoffs and landings.