FAA Suspends Runway 35 Arrivals at MSP

On Friday, July 24, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) suspended certain operations at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP) - specifically, aircraft arriving on Runway 35 (over Apple Valley, Burnsville and Bloomington) when aircraft are also departing to the northwest and west (over Minneapolis and Richfield) off Runway 30L. This operation does not comply with the FAA’s converging runway requirement.

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) recommends arrival and departure procedures be modified to meet this requirement for airports where runway layouts create intersecting flight paths. In this case, an aircraft arriving on Runway 35 and executing an aborted landing (go around), could possibly cross the departure path of an aircraft departing Runway 30L. (The suspension is not the result of a specific event.) This change reduces the number of aircraft that can arrive at MSP when flights are landing and departing in a northerly direction.

MSP NorthFlow Runway Use with Area of Avoidance

With use of Runway 35 for arrivals, during north flow at MSP, 90 aircraft per hour are able to land.  Modifying the arrival and departure procedures to meet the converging runway requirements reduces the maximum hourly rate to between 60 and 64 aircraft. 

The amended procedures will stay in place while the FAA and the National Air Traffic Controllers Association evaluate methods for increasing capacity while complying with the converging runway requirements safely. 

Until then, residents living under the arrival path for Runway 35 will likely notice a decrease in overflights.

Click here for more information about the FAA's Converging Runway Requirements.