Gov. Mark Dayton appointed Dan Boivin chairman of the Metropolitan Airports Commission on Thursday, promoting a current commissioner who has represented Minneapolis' interests in addressing airplane noise.
Dayton said Boivin, an attorney who has practiced commercial law, brings "business savvy" to the chairman's job. "He understands the role of MSP Airport to the economic competitiveness of our state. He also understands that the airport exists to serve the needs of Minnesota consumers."
The appointment comes a week after Dayton told more than 400 business leaders and government officials that he wanted a commissioner who would foster greater competition among airlines to hold down fares and improve service.
Boivin has served on the commission since 2002 as Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak's delegate. The mayors of Minneapolis and St. Paul have authority to fill two seats on the 15-person commission.
Boivin is a longtime friend and supporter of Rybak. Both live in south Minneapolis. Rybak has complained about noise from jets, and over the years Boivin has cast votes against reducing sound-proofing efforts.
The airport's expansion plans envision rapid growth in passenger traffic over the next two decades. Rybak asked at the meeting of business leaders whether additional traffic would bring more noise.
"It's a big concern," Boivin said. "If it means that because of increased noise we have to consider doing additional things, we'll take it under consideration."
Boivin also echoed Dayton's recent comments regarding competition, and said he'd like to encourage Delta to resume service to outstate Minnesota.
Pat Doyle • 651-222-1210