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Continued: FAA readying airport plan that prompted cities’ protests

  • Article by: PAT DOYLE , Star Tribune
  • Last update: June 7, 2013 - 10:17 PM

Edina City Manager Scott Neal, who read Hamiel’s letter, said, “He’s pretty clear that this is going to come to us and FAA should adequately prepare communities ... to cope with it.”

Homeowner Bob Kane saw the letter as “a plea ... to have the FAA fund a focused PR campaign” to move forward with its plan after “smoothing over of public hard feelings.”

Mixed results in Georgia

The technology has been in place at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, the nation’s busiest and home base of Delta Air Lines, the dominant carrier at Minneapolis-St. Paul.

Many of those planes fly over College Park, where Ambrose Clay is a member of the City Council.

“You’ve got some people that have been victimized and some people that have lucked out,” Clay said.

The luckier ones live in Clay’s ward.

When planes were being guided the conventional way, many headed over populated areas.

“It was to our advantage for me to get that turned on so the planes would fly a more precise course, they’d fly more along this major highway and less over the residential areas,” Clay said. He called the new technology “a good thing for my ward.”

But the precise flight patterns also fall over homes elsewhere in College Park.

“When you concentrate all the planes in a very narrow corridor, then you get a persistent all-day-long effect,” he said. “I compare it to a dripping faucet. That’s what the people under the flight tracks will experience.”

Around the Twin Cities airport, the technology is expected to benefit Richfield to the northwest and Eagan to the southeast by concentrating air traffic along expressways and a river valley.

Bennett on the Edina City Council and Airports Commissioner Greg Foster, who represents Minneapolis, said they hope the FAA can tweak the technology to placate some residents.

“Can you have that technology for the flight control and still have more dispersed traffic?” Bennett asked.

Pat Doyle • 612-673-4504

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