Major expansion at MSP Airport in the works

7:24 AM, Sep 20, 2012   |    comments
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Passenger jet flies over south Minneapolis
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  • MINNEAPOLIS -- A major expansion of M-S-P International Airport is in the works, and it will eventually bring more noise to some neighborhoods.

    That $1.5 billion dollar package of projects will add new gates and parking ramps to both terminals, and update rental car return systems.  The plan is based on anticipated growth in passenger air traffic in the Twin Cities area.

    "We believe we're going to be going from about a 33 million passengers today upwards of over 40 million by 2020 and over 50 million by 2030," Dennis Probst, the executive director of the Metropolitan Airports Commission, or MAC, told KARE. 

    It will also realign the terminals, making Delta the only carrier the Lindbergh Terminal, now known as Terminal 1.  The other airlines would be moved into an expanded Humphrey Terminal, or Terminal 2.

    The commission is weighing an environmental impact statement, which must be adopted before work can begin on any of the projects in the airport's long-term plan can proceed.

    "Virtually all the improvements that are being proposed between now and 2020 have to do with passenger facilities," Probst explained.

    "Essentially anywhere the passenger touches us, either before they get on the airplane or after they get off the airplane, will be the focus."

    That 2,400-page environmental impact assessment anticipates that hundreds of additional homes will qualify for MAC noise-proofing programs.  That can include central air conditioning, sound-dampening storm windows, insulation or other improvements depending on where the home falls on the noise contour lines.

    "There will be a total, in round numbers, of about 1,100 homes that are affected," Probst said. "Those are homes that are either new to the program, or already qualified but are getting a slightly different package because of the air traffic changes."

    The MAC has held two community meetings already, and will hold a third at 5:00 p.m. on October 1 at the commission's headquarters at 6040 28th Avenue South in Minneapolis.

    A formal public hearing will follow at 7:00 p.m. at the same address, which is near the airport.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, redistributed or reinterpreted.)

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