Proposed flight patterns getting pushback

1:29 PM, Nov 16, 2012   |    comments
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GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. - It's a plan that is designed to cut down on airplane noise near the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, but complaints are all Minneapolis City Councilman John Quincy has heard from residents unhappy about the plan.

"My email is full in excess of 500 messages," said Quincy. "They do feel it's being imposed upon them without their input."

He and others on the council believe the Federal Aviation Administration and the Metropolitan Airports Commission have not released enough information about a plan that would condense and concentrate flight patterns at MSP.

Airport officials argue the new routes will increase safety and efficiency, but acknowledge it will also increase noise for some neighbors.

The airports commission is scheduled to vote on the proposal Monday.

Minneapolis Councilwoman Sandy Colvin Roy believes the process left out residents.

"They did not get enough time to try to absorb deeply technical information," said Minneapolis Councilwoman Sandy Colvin Roy.

No one from the airport was able to talk to KARE 11 on camera Thursday night, but in a statement MAC spokesperson Pat Hogan says the commission has informed the public on this issue multiple times.

"While the proposal for flight changes and the timeline for a decision on them are driven by the Federal Aviation Administration, the MAC did, in fact, take great pains to publicize the Noise Oversight Committee's informational open houses on the issue," he wrote in an email.

He says multiple newspapers were notified about the process but adds the FAA has no obligation to do so. The Noise Oversight Committee or NOC wanted to provide as much information as possible, he says.

Richfield City Councilman Tom Fitzhenry says the proposed routes have been discussed many times and believes the process should move forward.

He lives in a neighborhood that may hear fewer planes overhead if the plan is approved.

And for those in Minneapolis who may be confused or don't feel they have enough information about the process, he says blame your council member.

"My responsibility is to bring it back to my community and make my community aware of what's going on," said Fitzhenry.

The mayor of Edina is also concerned about the lack of information provided to his city. He has asked the Governor to step in and delay Monday's vote.

The FAA claims if the vote is delayed it will be another 16 months before it can implement the new flight patterns.

"Do I want to let our citizens put up with another year and half of noise when I told them I'm working as hard as I can to quite it down," said Fitzhenry.

But Minneapolis council members believe residents need more time to digest the information.

"It's taking a pause to really do this thoroughly and thoughtfully," said Quincy.

Metropolitan Airports Commission will meet at 1 p.m. Monday at their offices at the airport, which is located at 6040 28th Avenue South in Minneapolis.

(Copyright 2012 by KARE. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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