Thousands of homes will be noisier, but not for a few years.
Dean Erickson studied the map of future airplane noise near his home in south Minneapolis and talked about tradeoffs.
"Airport noise is a huge issue for us ... a real problem," said Erickson, whose family lives in Linden Hills west of Lake Harriet. "On the other hand, I took my wife to the airport this morning. It's convenient."
Erickson was among dozens who stopped by an open house Tuesday evening at Nokomis Community Center to examine elements of a $1.5 billion expansion plan for Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport and question officials.
The session gave homeowners a chance to scrutinize highlights of an environmental impact report on the project, which is expected to increase noise at thousands of homes.
Erickson had hoped that the plan would provide him with new government-paid windows to reduce noise. But the expansion as depicted by airport officials on a series of easels wouldn't heighten noise over his neighborhood by 2020, nor provide his home with soundproofing -- though his neighborhood could experience more noise by 2025.
On the other hand, Odia Wood-Krueger, who lives in the Standish neighborhood of south Minneapolis, wasn't particularly disappointed that the expansion wouldn't include noise abatement for her house. She just wishes there were less noise.
"I bought a home with the intent of using our yard," she said.
The environmental report forecasts that 2,703 homes -- mostly in Minneapolis -- would experience more noise by 2020. But most got government soundproofing years ago and won't get any more help.
The airport says 1,131 homes in Minneapolis would get noise abatement for the first time or additional abatement under the plan. They would be eligible for air-conditioning, reimbursed upgrades and other improvements.
The expansion calls for remodeling concourses and building a new international wing and a parking ramp. It will be paid for with airport revenues, mostly from passengers and airlines. It would benefit the airport's dominant carrier, Delta Air Lines, by consolidating operations in the main Lindbergh terminal and moving other major airlines to the less popular Humphrey terminal.
Airport officials say the terminals already are overcrowded during peak travel times. Arrivals and departures are expected to rise from 437,075 in 2010 to 484,879 in 2020. By 2025, the airport predicts, that number will reach 526,040.
Former DFL state Sen. Wes Skoglund, who was at the open house, liked the idea of expanding the Humphrey terminal but said consolidating Delta's operations would boost its dominance here.
"We don't have enough competition," Skoglund said.
Pat Doyle • 612-673-4504