MSP Noise Abatement Efforts

The MAC's history of collaborating with community stakeholders, airport users, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and other government entities to address aircraft noise issues dates back to before 1970.  More recently, the MAC's efforts include its extensive residential noise mitigation program and the collaborative development and implementation of noise abatement procedures for arrivals and departures at MSP.  More efforts include use of NextGen flight tracking data,  upgraded noise monitoring devices, proactive community and pilot outreach, establishing aircraft noise abatement plans for each of the MAC reliever airports, deployment of publicly-accessible interactive reports and a FlightTracker tool through the internet.

The MAC's ongoing commitment to minimizing aircraft noise impacts at MSP involves a dedicated Noise Program Office that is responsive to concerns expressed by community members.  Charged with collecting and analyzing flight track and aircraft noise data, the Noise Program Office also explores and facilitates the use of available technologies to increase efficiency of aircraft operating procedures and data analysis.  To this end, the MAC supports community involvement and serves in a technical-advisory role to the MSP Noise Oversight Committee.

Following is a summary of noise abatement efforts at MSP:

MSP Noise Oversight Committee (NOC) 

The MAC established the MSP Noise Oversight Committee (NOC) to provide a balanced forum for interested parties to consider noise mitigation initiatives in the context of benefit, feasibility and fiscal considerations.  The NOC held its first meeting in June 2003.

Eagan-Mendota Heights Departure Corridor

This departure corridor was developed in an effort to direct aircraft, as much as possible, over noise-compatible land use areas in Eagan and Mendota Heights, southeast of MSP.  The corridor has proven to be an effective way to utilize existing compatible land uses surrounding the airport.  In addition, the corridor provides flexible ways to operationally utilize airspace over such areas.  Whenever possible, Air Traffic Control (ATC) will direct departing jet aircraft to Runways 12L and 12R so that they will overfly the corridor and stay within the corridor boundaries.  ATC will assign specific headings depending on which runway an aircraft is departing from: headings for jet aircraft are inclusive of 090 degrees, 105 degrees and 120 degrees.  A wind-corrected heading may also be assigned.  On average, monthly corridor compliance is around 95%.

Runway Use System

The Runway Use System at MSP establishes the following runway use preferences as follows:

Departures

Runways 12L and 12R
Runway 17
Balanced use of Runway 4/22
Runways 30L and 30R

Arrivals

Runways 30L and 30R
Runway 35
Balanced use of Runway 4/22
Runways 12L and 12R

Noise Abatement Departure Profiles

Noise Abatement Departure Profiles (NADP) are designed to reduce aircraft noise exposure for residents living close into an airport (within 3.5 miles = close-in procedure) or further out (beyond 3.5 miles = distant procedure) from an airport.  All airlines operating at MSP have agreed to comply with the Distant Noise Abatement Departure Profile for departures from all runways.

Minneapolis Straight-out Departure Procedure

Residents living straight out from Runways 30L and 30R experience all of the overflights from arrival operations on Runways 12L and 12R.  The Minneapolis Straight-out Departure Procedure was implemented to try to avoid sending aircraft departing from Runways 30L and 30R straight out over areas northwest of MSP.  The procedure, when feasible for the FAA, requires that all departures from Runways 30L and 30R be given a heading other than runway heading.

Voluntary Nighttime Agreements

The air carriers operating at MSP have agreed to limit the use of modified Stage 3 aircraft for scheduled operations during the nighttime hours of 10:30 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. when possible.

Noise and Operations Monitoring System

The Metropolitan Airports Commission Noise and Operations Monitoring System (MACNOMS) is one of the largest and most elaborate flight track and aircraft noise monitoring systems in the country.  This system collects noise data from 39 Remote Monitoring Towers located around MSP and acquires flight track data through the use of eight multilateration sensors located throughout the Twin Cities metro area.  The data collected include noise levels, aircraft types, flight tracks and flight information.  Public access to these data is available through the Tools & Reports page.

MSP Noise News Newsletter

This newsletter is published and distributed quarterly to help inform interested community members of the activities associated with MSP and actions taken by the MSP Noise Oversight Committee.  The quarterly newsletters are available at MSP Noise News on the For Our Neighbors page. Readers who wish to receive news updates electronically should subscribe to "All News Content" on the macnoise.com website. Readers who do not wish to register to this website may subscribe to the RSS feed.

macnoise.com Website

This website facilitates dissemination of information pertaining to aircraft noise and operations, and includes:

  • Query options for aircraft operations data and aircraft noise levels
  • Mapping tools to help determine eligibility for the Residential Noise Mitigation Program
  • Access to monthly operations and noise reports
  • Display of arrival or departure flight tracks
  • Meeting dates for the MSP Noise Oversight Committee and other MAC scheduled meetings
  • Option for registering a noise complaint on-line

Nighttime Power-backs

All airlines at MSP have agreed to eliminate power-back from the gates during the nighttime hours.  All nighttime flights will be pushed back from the gates with aircraft tugs.

Engine Run-up Field Rule

All airlines operating at MSP are required to conduct maintenance run-ups at a designated run-up pad and to comply with the MSP Run-up Field Rule.

Training Restriction

The major air carriers operating at MSP have agreed not to conduct training operations (e.g., touch-and-go operations) at MSP.

Runway 17 2.5 Nautical Mile Turnpoint Departure Procedure and River Departure Procedure and River Departure Heading

This procedure was implemented concurrently with the opening of Runway 17/35 in October 2005.  On August 27, 2003 the Federal Aviation Administration issued a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI)/Record of Decision (ROD) approving an Environmental Assessment prepared by the MAC for the implementation of the procedure.  Monthly procedure compliance is around 99%.

Runway 17 215-Degree Departure Heading

This procedure was designed for westbound departures off Runway 17 during southeast operational flows at MSP.  It was implemented in April 2007 and dramatically reduces the instances of aircraft overflight impacts south of the Minnesota River Valley in the City of Burnsville. 

Pilot Education Program and Noise Abatement Sensitivity Training

The MAC works with the aircraft operators that utilize MSP and with the Air Traffic Controllers to encourage awareness of noise issues and to help increase compliance with current noise abatement procedures.  In 2010, an MSP Pilot Guide was published on the Noise Program Office website and distributed to airlines operating at MSP.

West Cargo Ramp Hushkitted Aircraft Engine Start Procedure

This program was implemented in July 2007 on the cargo ramp located west of Runway 17/35.  The procedure outlines specific aircraft tugging operations and aircraft positioning on the ramp area prior to aircraft engine starts, which significantly reduces aircraft noise impacts for hundreds of residents in the City of Richfield adjacent to Runway 17/35.