NOC Work Plans and Accomplishments

The MSP NOC was established in August 2002 as an advisory board to bring industry and community representatives together to address aircraft noise issues associated with MSP. The group makes policy recommendations to the Metropolitan Airports Commission. 

More information about the NOC can be found in its bylaws.

NOC Work Plans and Accomplishments

Each year, the NOC establishes a Work Plan. View the 2018 NOC Work Plan. Please see the list below for past NOC accomplishments

2017 MSP Noise Oversight Committee (NOC) Accomplishments 

  • Reviewed the MSP 2016 Annual Noise Contour Report (assessing the 2016 actual noise contour) published per the requirements of the Amended Consent Decree, including maps and text for noise mitigation program qualification.
  • Received an update and celebrated the results on how Optimized Profile Descent (OPD) flight procedures have reduced the carbon footprint of aircraft arriving to MSP by 28,465 metric tons as a result of Area Navigation (RNAV) arrival procedure implementation in March 2015.
  • Heard an update on the adjustments made to Area Navigation (RNAV) Standard Terminal Arrival Routes (STARSs) by the FAA.
  • Received regular updates from the FAA on Converging Runway Operations and advocated the FAA follow the requests from the NOC’s Resolution #02-2016 to do an environmental and capacity study on the existing and future impacts of CRO and to utilize the MSP runways and flight headings that would disperse noise.
  • Received an update on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit decision regarding the FAA’s implementation of Performance Based Navigation procedures at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.
  • Reviewed and approved a new monthly report containing MSP operations, aircraft noise complaints, sound level measurements and noise abatement procedure data consolidated in a four-page report accompanied with a new interactive website publishing in-depth noise data to the public.
  • Expanded the interactive reports website to report turboprop activity outside the Eagan-Mendota Heights Corridor and developed and approved an alternate way to report the Runway Use System based on airport flow.
  • Received regular updates on and provided feedback to the MAC regarding its Noise Program Communication Enhancement Plan, which included redesigning quarterly public meetings to improve community engagement and developing four Noise Basics videos and fact sheets to help explain the various aspects of aircraft noise.
  • Heard from the MAC Executive Director and CEO, Bryan Ryks on updates on the organization, recent accolades, trends in passengers and operations and future development at MSP.
  • Received a report on two airports using steeper glide slopes for noise reduction purposes and evaluated the operational and financial feasibility as well as the noise benefits of implementing a steeper glide slope at MSP above the standard 3-degrees.
  • Evaluated the benefits associated with implementing a Fly Quiet Award Program to reward aircraft operators for their noise reduction efforts and evaluated three airports that have instituted a program in the past.
  • Received a presentation from Delta Air Lines on their fleet mix plans at MSP.
  • Studied the history and use of Distant Noise Abatement Departure Profiles (NADPs) at MSP.
  • Completed a Fleet Mix and Nighttime Operations Assessment to receive greater detail about what types of aircraft use MSP and what flights are operating at night.
  • Reviewed research initiatives from FAA Center of Excellence/ASCENT, TRB, and FICAN.
  • Received ongoing review of the monthly operations reports, including the FAA’s use of the Runway Use System (RUS).
  • Received a report on an airport using landscaping in an effort to reduce ground noise for surrounding neighborhoods and discussed the efficacy of a similar option at MSP.
  • Commissioned a mobile noise monitoring study to quantify the noise reduction benefits of Vortex Generators on the Airbus 320 family of aircraft.
  • Received an update on the FAA’s efforts to re-evaluate noise measurement methods at U.S. airports.
  • Received a status update on the communication efforts and the implementation of the Residential Noise Mitigation Program from the Project Manager who reported that 138 single-family homes and 88 multi-family units in Minneapolis are eligible to receive sound insulation packages in 2017 and additional 286 single-family homes are eligible to receive insulation packages in 2018.
  • Heard an update on the 2018 Super Bowl in Minneapolis and the FAA’s and MAC’s efforts to prepare, communicate and facilitate the associated demand on the airspace and airport facilities.
  • Received an update on the Second Amendment to the Consent Decree, which allows the MAC to use the new FAA-approved noise modeling software in the development of the annual noise contours and clarified language regarding homeowners choosing to opt out of the program.
  • Evaluated citizen input received during quarterly Listening Sessions as possible discussion topics at future NOC meetings.
  • Conducted the Fall Listening Session to collect ideas from citizens on what they would like the NOC to include in its 2018 Work Plan.

2016 MSP Noise Oversight Committee (NOC) Accomplishments 

  • Reviewed the MSP 2015 Annual Noise Contour Report (assessing the 2015 actual noise contour) published per the requirements of the Amended Consent Decree, including maps and text for noise mitigation program qualification.
  • Commissioned a Wind and Aircraft Noise Complaint analysis detailing how wind trends determine MSP runway use and resultant aircraft noise complaints from areas of the metro overflow by aircraft. 
  • Investigated the noise reduction benefits of Vortex Generators on the Airbus 320 family of aircraft.
  • Heard an update on the introduction of the FAA’s Aviation Environmental Design Tool (AEDT) to replace the Integrated Noise Model (INM).
  • Received updates from the FAA on Converging Runway Operations (CRO) in January, March and September and unanimously passed Resolution #02-2016 requesting the FAA to do an environmental and capacity study on the existing and future impacts of CRO, which was subsequently passed by the MAC and forwarded to the FAA. 
  • Heard a presentation on Stage 5 Noise Certification.
  • Reviewed the Crossing-in-the-Corridor Procedure and advocated for increased use during the nighttime hours.
  • Developed an Eagan-Mendota Heights Corridor Study and worked with the FAA to evaluate options for turboprop and propeller-driven operations.
  • Received updates from Elaine Buckner on the FAA Area Navigation (RNAV) arrival procedure adjustments being implemented in 2017 and collaborated with the FAA to provide informational materials to the community to effectively explain the adjustments.
  • Offered feedback regarding the MAC Noise Program Community Engagement.
  • Heard from the new MAC Executive Director and CEO, Bryan Ryks who talked about the importance of community collaboration.
  • Received an update on Noise Mitigation Program activities to be undertaken beginning in 2017 under the terms of the Amended Consent Decree and the communication efforts for homeowners.
  • Received a presentation from MAC Airport Planner on the status of the MSP Long-Term Comprehensive Plan.
  • Received a presentation from Delta and Sun Country pilots about procedures regarding aircraft landing gear extension.
  • Commissioned a Study of 12L and 12R Arrival Operations in response to concerns from residents to the northwest of MSP about increased arrival operations over their communities.
  • Completed a Fleet Mix and Nighttime Operations Assessment to receive greater detail about what types of aircraft use MSP and what flights are operating at night.
  • Reviewed Research Initiatives from FAA Center of Excellence/ASCENT, TRB, and FICAN.
  • Received ongoing review of the monthly operations reports, including the FAA’s use of the Runway Use System (RUS).
  • Heard preliminary results on how Optimized Profile Descent (OPD) flight procedures have reduced the carbon footprint of arriving aircraft as a result of NextGen Area Navigation (RNAV) arrival procedure implemented at MSP in March 2015.

2015 MSP Noise Oversight Committee (NOC) Accomplishments

  • Reviewed the MSP 2014 Annual Noise Contour Report (assessing the 2014 actual noise contour) published per the requirements of the MSP 2007 noise litigation Consent Decree, including maps and text for the second year of noise mitigation program qualification under the First Amendment to the Consent Decree
  • Approved the inclusion of a new aircraft noise complaint map in the monthly Technical Advisor’s Report showing complaint location density in a more visible and comprehensive manner
  • Reviewed trends in Structural Disturbance Complaints at MSP and found that two households were responsible for increased structural disturbance complaints.
  • Reviewed the history and origin of the NOC and the recommendations by the 2002 Blue Ribbon Panel
  • Received an update on the 2035 Long-Term Comprehensive planning process and reviewed the draft 2035 Forecast Noise Contours
  • Compiled a new monthly report to assess the FAA’s use of the preferential Runway Use System
  • Conducted a noise monitoring study for the City of Sunfish Lake
  • Conducted the Annual MSP Nighttime Operations Assessment
  • Received a presentation on climate and weather trends and affects to aviation from the National Weather Service
  • Reviewed status of the Consent Decree Noise Mitigation Program implementation at MSP, which was completed in 2014
  • Reviewed FAA Center of Excellence/PARTNER, TRB and FICAN initiatives, including airport-related health effects research
  • Received updates from the FAA on the implementation of the Area Navigation (RNAV) Standard Terminal Arrival Routes (STARs)
  • Reviewed MSP Converging Runway Operations and received an update from the FAA on new procedures, operational use of the runways and maximum arrival capacity
  • Reviewed nighttime flight trends and found that 2015 had increased flights between 10:30 PM and 6:00 AM and sent letters, in conjunction with MAC Chair, Dan Boivin, to the MSP air carriers emphasizing the increased noise impacts from these flights
  • Received an update on the 2016-2022 Capital Improvement Program
  • Conducted the Annual MSP Aircraft Fleet Mix Assessment, which determined the use of modified Stage 3 aircraft is minimal at MSP and small, Regional Jet traffic is decreasing
  • Continued to review input received from the quarterly MSP Listening Sessions and prepared documents responsive to comments and questions

2014 MSP Noise Oversight Committee (NOC) Accomplishments

  • Reviewed the MSP Annual Noise Contour Report (assessing the 2013 actual noise contour) published per the requirements of the MSP 2007 noise litigation Consent Decree, including maps and text for the first year of noise mitigation program qualification under the First Amendment to the Consent Decree
  • Reviewed a report analyzing the early turns of departures from Runway 12L
  • Prepared and approved NOC Resolution #1-2014, which provided extensive history of the NOC's involvement in the MSP NextGen flight procedures process and endorsed the implementation of NextGen STARs arrivals at MSP. The resolution also requested that the FAA conduct a case study of an airport similar to MSP before beginning work on RNAV SIDs departures, as well as additional FAA community outreach and public engagement in the SIDs evaluation process.
  • Approved the inclusion of new graphs and charts in the monthly Technical Advisor's Report of the Remote Monitoring Tower monthly DNLs over a five-year period, as well as a qualitative noise level comparison at each RMT for the specific month.
  • Reviewed an analysis of the Runway Use System that found air traffic demand and winds, among many other factors, have important roles in runway use configuration
  • Conducted a mobile noise monitoring study for the cities of Edina and St. Louis Park
  • Conducted the Annual Scheduled Nighttime Operations Assessment, which found that average daily nighttime operations have declined from a peak of 73 in 2007 to 46 in 2013
  • Developed a video library of guest speakers at NOC meetings to educate the public on aviation issues; videos include: FAA Air Traffic Control, Sound Measurement, Aviation Innovations, the MAC CIP Process, and Air Carrier Scheduling
  • Reviewed a comprehensive analysis of the Metropolitan Airports Commission Noise and Operations Monitoring System, which found noise events and flight tracks to be strongly correlated and accurate within historical norms
  • Approved a comment letter to the FAA regarding the categorical exclusion of environmental review for RNAV procedures, noting that airport operators and communities must be involved early on in the RNAV process and that consideration must be given to unique and specific extraordinary circumstances that are present at the local level regarding RNAV
  • Reviewed a detailed Seasonal Effects on Aircraft Operations study that found distinct seasonal aircraft operations patterns based on passenger demand
  • Reviewed status of the 2007 64 to 60 DNL noise mitigation program implementation process at MSP, which was completed in 2014
  • Reviewed FAA Center of Excellence/PARTNER, TRB and FICAN initiatives, including airport-related health effects research
  • Analyzed the aircraft altitude gradient graphics
  • Continued to review input received from the quarterly MSP Listening Sessions and prepared documents responsive to comments and questions