MINNEAPOLIS - Although the Metropolitan Airports Commission voted on a controversial plan to change flight patterns Monday, some are still confused with what may happen.

The commission, also known as MAC,voted to split a proposal by the Federal Aviation Administration that would have concentrated planes over certain routes rather than fan them out. Pilots would use GPS technology to accomplish this.

Some neighbors are worried they would experience constant air traffic from above, which is why Minneapolis and Edina objected.

"I was trying to get out of what I found in California. Now I'm afraid you're going to take that away. I ask you, please don't," said an emotional Kim Jones of Edina at Monday's meeting.

Ultimately, the MAC, which oversees MSP, voted to spilt the proposal, moving forward with the new routes in the south Metro, but keeping the routes the same in the north Metro until further study.

"I'm really pleased about the outcome. It gives us time to do some important work," said Edina Mayor Jim Hoveland.

Not everyone was as pleased.

"I respect their decision, but I think due process was swayed by a little louder voice," said Apple Valley Councilman John Bergman.

Leaders in the affected south Metro communities voted in favor of the plan, along with the city of Richfield. This doesn't change things for the south Metro cities; however, Richfield will have to wait at least another 16 months because it is wedged in between Minneapolis and Edina.

"Not everyone is going to be happy all the time. Sometimes people are part of the collateral damage of a decision," said Jeff Hamiel, MAC's executive director.

Hamiel acknowledged despite Monday's vote, things are still uncertain.

The FAA is unsure if running air traffic two different ways at one airport is possible, despite Hamiel saying other airports do the same thing.

And then there's talk the FAA could ultimately go ahead with its original plan with or without approval.

"Could they ultimately implement this strategy? I think in the long haul they can and will, but it will be after a great deal of analysis," said Hamiel.

KARE 11 was unable to reach the FAA for comment, but the airports commission says it has every indication the feds will follow the vote.
Airport officials hope to talk with the FAA in the coming days to figure out the next move.

If everything goes as planned, the new flight patterns in the south metro could be in place by the spring.

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