NOC Votes to Unanimously Support CRO Resolution

At its regularly scheduled meeting on Wednesday, the MSP Noise Oversight Committee (NOC) unanimously approved Resolution #02-2016 requesting a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) environmental review and documentation of existing and future impacts to noise and airport capacity from non-intersecting converging runway operations at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP).

The resolution notes that Converging Runway Operations (CRO) rules implemented by the FAA in August 2015 for Runway 30L and again in February 2016 for Runway 30R have caused a change in runway use trends and slowed arrival rates at MSP.

The NOC has been engaged on this topic since August 2015, tracking concerns from surrounding communities and airport users. Due to these concerns, the NOC has requested the FAA assess the impacts to noise and airport capacity resulting from CRO. A copy of the resolution can be found here.

After adopting the resolution, the NOC heard from FAA MSP Tower Manager Elaine Buckner, who said the FAA’s main goal is to maintain compliance with all FAA Safety Orders, while minimizing capacity and environmental impacts. She said a Safety Risk Management (SRM) panel is currently evaluating simultaneous departures from Runways 30L and 30R, while accepting arrivals to Runway 35. This configuration was common before the new rule came into effect, but it has not been used since.

“While it will not be exactly the same, this configuration could get us closer to how we previously operated,” she said.

Buckner also said the FAA is looking at a potential option to make Runway 30R departures turning north independent of arrivals on Runway 35. She cautioned that this proposal needs extensive study before any approval could be considered.

Buckner committed to keeping the NOC updated on both items. She will give her next update at the NOC’s November 16th meeting. 

The presentation and other materials from the meeting can be viewed at: http://www.macnoise.com/our-neighbors/noc-meetings.