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Federal aviation officials will begin testing a new operating pattern at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport on Friday, following last month's suspension of a pattern they feared could result in a midair collision.

Loren Olson, a Minneapolis government relations representative, told a City Council committee Thursday that the FAA intends to begin a 60-day trial of a pattern that calls for increased spacing between arriving planes during peak traffic times. Arriving planes will be spaced 8 miles apart, rather than 3 or 4, she said.

"We appreciate that the FAA is showing some sensitivity to the community's concerns," she said. "We've been speaking to the FAA and the [Metropolitan Airports Commission] about this and feel it is a good step."