FAA signs off on MAC's $127 million airport noise settlement

The Federal Aviation Administration today approved the Metropolitan Airports Commission spending $127 million to settle its noise-mitigation lawsuit with Eagan, Minneapolis and Richfield.

In October, Eagan's City Council voted unanimously to settle the years-old lawsuit against the MAC, allowing hundreds of city residents to shield their homes against noisy overhead traffic to and from Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. Minneapolis and Richfield's city leaders also voted in favor of the settlement.

In a formal letter released today, the FAA said the settlement does not go against any federal grant assurances; thus, the MAC is free to spend the millions on home improvements for residents along the noisy air traffic corridor.

The settlement allows about 700 homeowners in northeast Eagan to receive a total of $7.4 million to help shield their homes from high-decibel noise.

In Eagan, 492 homes north of Yankee Doodle Road and south of Interstate 494 - including those along both sides of Minnesota 55 to Inver Grove Heights - are eligible for MAC-sponsored noise-mitigation options.

Homeowners along that route can either have central air conditioning and $4,000 for a specific list of noise-dampening improvements or $14,000 for improvements not including air conditioning. Such improvements include storm windows, doors and roof baffling.

Also, 38 multifamily homes in Eagan can receive up to $1,500 in air conditioning improvements, and up to 177 homes not included in the most recent mitigation area outlined by the MAC - but included on the MAC's 2005 maps - could get up to $2,500 in noise relief.