News from the MAC Chair - July 2023

News from the MAC Chair - July 2023

July 31, 2023

We are well into the summer travel season at the Metropolitan Airports Commission (MAC), and our continued pandemic recovery is showing no signs of slowing down. In fact, last month we experienced nine out of our 10 busiest days at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP) since the start of the pandemic, surpassing 40,000 passengers at the TSA checkpoints on 15 separate days. We are still on track for our total passenger volumes to reach 90% of 2019 levels by the end of 2023 – a notable milestone in air travel recovery. I am grateful as always for the tremendous employees at the MAC and MSP who keep the airport running in a smooth, safe and secure manner for our growing number of travelers.

Metro Transit light rail safety

Light rail safety continues to be a top priority for us, and we are pleased that the Minnesota Legislature appropriated $2 million to fund a series of Metro Transit initiatives to improve transit safety. Our MSP Airport Police Department is working closely with the Metro Transit Police Department to increase the presence of officers and social workers on the portion of the light rail connecting Terminal 1 and Terminal 2 to ensure our employees and passengers feel safe while riding.


MSP Long-Term Plan public comment period

This summer, we reached an exciting milestone in the process of developing our 2040 Long-Term Plan for MSP Airport. The MAC published the draft plan June 21, opening up a 60-day public comment period.

Long-term plans help us prepare for future growth in passengers and air service demand at each of our airports. The Federal Aviation Administration asks airports to update their planning documents every seven to 10 years, which aligns with the Metropolitan Council’s guidelines for airport planning. 


The MSP long-term plan is a visionary plan that will guide future projects and improvements at MSP. It sets the airport up to meet future needs, adapt to shifts in air travel and continue to provide the award-winning experiences MSP is known for. It includes projects to improve MSP’s terminals, parking facilities and airfield. The plan incorporates 12 additional gates between Terminals 1 and 2, outlines opportunities to relieve curbside congestion and recommends reconstructing parking facilities that are reaching the end of their useful life. The plan also includes enhancements to airfield taxiways. No new runways or runway extensions are proposed. 

While the draft plan outlines potential airport projects, it does not authorize construction or provide budget for any specific project. Future improvements identified in the long-term plan will still need to go through a separate planning process prior to construction, including any appropriate environmental review.

This draft plan reflects feedback and input gathered through extensive stakeholder and public engagement to determine facility needs through 2040. Earlier this month, we presented the draft plan at our final Experience MSP public meeting. It was great to see so many people interested in learning more about the future of MSP and providing their feedback on our draft plan.

I, along with my fellow Commissioners, believe this plan aligns with the future needs of our airport. But we want to hear from you before we finalize the plan: please share your thoughts on our website, by email or by mail through Aug. 21, 2023, when our public comment period will close.


MAC marks 80th anniversary


July also marks the 80th anniversary of the MAC. The Minnesota Legislature established the MAC on April 19, 1943, with the law taking effect on July 6 of that year.

In 1943, the MAC owned and operated Wold-Chamberlain Field (which is now MSP Airport) and Holman Field (which is now St. Paul Downtown Airport).

Since then, we’ve expanded to include five more general aviation airports across the Twin Cities. Over the past 80 years, we have transformed the way we provide air travel to be even more bold and innovative as we invest in growth, technological advances and elevated customer experiences.

We look forward to continuing to serve you over the next 80 years in alignment with our purpose: to provide exceptional airport experiences so Minnesota thrives. 





Rick King_MACRick King_MAC





Rick King


Metropolitan Airports Commission