Newest Generation Airbus 320 Begins Serving MSP

Only weeks after delivery, a new airplane has been flying regularly into the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP). In October, Spirit Airlines became the first U.S. airline to take delivery of the Airbus A320neo (“neo” stands for “new engine option”). Spirit added three of these airplanes to its fleet with two more expected in December. In the past two months, these planes have flown in and out of MSP 40 times. Ultimately, the low-cost carrier plans to own 55 of these airplanes by 2021.

“From an aircraft noise perspective, it’s promising to see MSP airlines continue to invest in new aircraft purchases,” said Dana Nelson, Manager of Noise, Environment and Planning for the Metropolitan Airports Commission (MAC). “Our surrounding communities are often impacted by decisions made by the airlines and it’s helpful to see positive actions that reduce noise and emissions for our neighbors.”

Spirit’s A320neos are powered by new generation Pratt & Whitney engines. According to Airbus, the aircraft’s 85 decibel maximum noise-level contour during takeoff is around 50 percent smaller than the current A320. Sound data collected from the MAC’s collection of Remote Monitoring Towers is encouraging when compared to data from existing Airbus 320 aircraft. Not only are many of the noise levels recorded by the A320neos quieter than comparable models, they are also shorter in duration.

Another MSP airline, Frontier Airlines, also took delivery of its first Airbus A320neo in October and has another 80 on order.