City approves agreement that extends noise mitigation near airport

Minneapolis has the most extensive airport noise mitigation program in the nation, and it took an important step on May 10, 2013 to preserve that program for the future. This action was critical in light of a projected increase in flights and the expiration of old commitments.

MAC is now working to finalize a long term plan that includes several projects to prepare the airport for projected needs into the future. Minneapolis City officials have been tracking plans and pushing the MAC to extend the existing noise mitigation program to any homes that may be impacted by the future airport traffic.

On May 10 the City Council approved a measure to have the MAC continue to address the impact of airport noise on surrounding Minneapolis communities through an amendment to a 2007 court-approved settlement agreement. Under the proposed amendment, MAC will use the actual flight data for 2013 and following years to, using their computer model, annually produce contours showing which blocks are receiving noise above the agreed upon threshold of 60 DNL. After a home that has not previously been offered noise mitigation has been within the new 60 DNL or 63 DNL contours (for the larger program) for three consecutive years, the process for providing noise mitigation for these homes would then begin.  

Because the original settlement agreement was between the MAC and multiple jurisdictions, all of those parties must approve the amendment to the settlement agreement. The amended agreement must also be approved by the Court and the Federal Aviation Administration.

Once approved by the court, the FAA and each of these parties, the agreement will provide that noise will be monitored and mapped annually and will ensure that homes that are newly within the 60 DNL or 63 DNL  will get noise mitigation of the kind provided in the 2007 settlement. It also ensures that mitigation will be based on our locally recognized noise standards which are more stringent than other communities. 

Throughout this negotiation process with the MAC, the City’s goal has been to preserve the most extensive noise mitigation program in the country, which is what our residents deserve.


Published May 13, 2013