South Metro Airport Action Council
** S M A A C **

Neighbors Join Senator Dayton in Blasting NWA at Pearl Park Press Conference

Senator Mark Dayton called a press conference to respond to remarks by NWA's CEO Richard Anderson about noise complaints. Anderson said the issue was whether government funds should be spent for "jobs or air conditionin g" in South Minneapolis. Senator Dayton said he supported loans and subsidies given NWA in the wake of 9/11, but felt betrayed when NWA slipped in an amendment to the FAA re-authorization bill that prohibits using Federal airport improvement project funds (passenger fees and appropriations, not airline-paid fees) for noise mitigation efforts at MSP. He called it a "theft of the democratic process." Dayton invited Mayor Rybak, Council member Scott Benson, and SMAAC President Jim Spensley to join him at the conference, as well as an annoyed resident, Susan Taylor, who lives in the (1992 map for 1996) 64 DNL area NWA targeted for de-funding.

A crowd of 50 or more cheered them on. Mayor Rybak told of a meeting with Anderson where the two had agreed to communicate regularly about NWA's increased use and benefit from MSP expansion AND dealing with the increased noise and pollution that resulted. Rybak said that he certainly had not been consulted about the amendment. "He (Anderson) will shake your hand one day and stab you in the back another." Rybak said. "I take this as a personal insult as well as creating a problem in Minneapolis."

Spensley said that NWA used misleading terms and outright lies in recent press interviews. "The importance of NWA to Minnesota in terms of transportatio n, jobs, and taxes paid is considerable, but this &Mac246; as Senator Dayton said &Mac246; means they should be considered in the public process." Spensley said. "This dirty trick in Washington is typical of NWA."

Spensley said that NWA unduly influences MAC using political patronage, misleading or false testimony, and its dominant position at MSP. "We know," Spensley said "that noise has not been abated here, but increased. Not one single retirement of the noisiest Northwest airplanes has occurred on schedule, but scheduled retirements and lesser growth were -- and are being --used to draw noise exposure maps." Anderson was quoted as saying that NWA had "fully supported noise abatement at MSP."

SMAAC prepared a Fact Sheet to substantiate Spensley's remarks that noise is now even worse than had been thought when the extended SIP program was planned in the MAC capital budget.

SMAAC maintains, with ROAR -- Residents Outraged About (Airport) Racket --and with a national organization.

Media: For further information, contact Jim Spensley at 612/824-9988 or email Reply.

Southwest Minneapolis/North Richfield

Every day in 2000 there were about 180 more over-flights by the noisiest Stage II and hush-kit airliners here than there were in 1992. This trend was observed in 1995, and a pledge was made to extend the Sound Insulation Program based on the old noise exposure map to these areas, loosely the areas on the proven-wron g map delineated by the 64 to 60 DNL contours lines.

In 1995, the MSP Noise Control Plan was scheduled to be updated to project noise in 2001 and in 2004 (the first full year using 17-35). The revision never occurred, but MAC budgeted $150 million in its 5-year CIP in the out-years after the 69 to 65 DNL areas had been treated.

In 2000, NWA persuaded MAC to reduce lease rates, and the favor became associated with the cost of a less-than-full SIP noise treatment here. In a separate actions, MAC reduced the $150 million to $80 million, pushed the dates out two more years, and canceled plans to update the noise exposure map (for 2004 projections). The treatment of the 69 to 65 DNL areas had proved to be more costly than planned, and the schedule had to be extended to use PFC funds for 2001 to 2004 and a $37 million FAA AIP grant to complete it. Runway construction was also slipped.

In November, 2001, and again in February 2002, MAC cut its CIP program by 80%, and slowed the SIP to a trickle. Treatment in this area was postponed again. PFC revenues were down about 10 to 12 % in 2001 and 2002. MAC canceled plans to update the noise exposure maps (for 2005 projections). Northwest Airlines influenced each of these cuts and postponemen ts. Not a single one of the 1992-for-1996 Northwest Airlines assumptions about use and fleet-mix (retirements of noisiest airplanes) had happened by 2000. MSP use was 125% of the 2001 projections, higher for NWA, because its per cent of flights increased. No DC-9s, 727s, or DC10s had been retired.

There is no justification for NWA's back-door efforts to limit noise mitigation in its "history of supporting the SIP" and noise abatement at MSP. Call it greed and arrogance: the history is that spinning a tale and political patronage has put hundreds of millions of dollars in NWA's pockets. Here is more of the same.

Table 1: Operations Increasing Noise over SW Minneapolis and North Richfield
Since the Noise Exposure Map was prepared.

Operations per day----------1,230---1,530---300
[At night, 6 pm to 6 am]------200-----600---400
Using noisiest aircraft---------865---1,050---185
Over SW Mpls./N Richfield--345-----525---180
[At night, 6 pm to 6 am]-------40-------75----35

South Metro Airport Action Council &Mac246; SMAAC 15 August 2003

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