Residents in Uproar Over Twin Cities Airport's New Runway

People living in Eagan, Apple Valley and Burnsville have borne the brunt of the overhead rumble, filing many of the approximately 9,000 complaints the Metropolitan Airports Commission has logged since Nov. 1.

In addition, use of the new runway is likely to pick up in the summer. The slow start is partly because it takes time for the Federal Aviation Administration to integrate the new runway into the overall system, said Chad Leqve, manager of the MAC's aviation noise program. Northwest Airlines' scaled-back operations after the Eagan-based carrier's 2005 bankruptcy filing also have contributed to the diminished use.

Leqve would not say if early forecasts for the runway's use were simply too high.

"And I'm hesitant at this point to give any type of prediction as to where total numbers will be," he said.

In the meantime, Leqve and his staff continue to listen to complaints and work with the FAA to try to make adjustments when possible.

For instance, he said, pilots on westbound departures weren't turning where they were supposed to 30 percent of the time when the runway first opened. The MAC talked with the FAA, which issued a new order in December to remedy the problem. Compliance is now at 98 percent.

Eagan's assistant city administrator, Dianne Miller, said the city is waiting to see if noise significantly worsens. Both she and staff in Burnsville field fewer calls, but say that's because most people are calling the MAC directly to file complaints.

Jim Skelly, Burnsville's spokesman, said he hopes residents attend a community meeting the MAC is holding today in his city.

"This is the opportunity for residents to have input," he said. "These types of meetings are how decisions are made."

Ebersole hopes the MAC hears his complaints. He and his neighbors would like pilots to deviate from the flight path slightly so the planes aren't so close overhead.

He also is unhappy with the MAC's noise monitor.

"It's in a hollow surrounded by trees and a lake on one side," he said.

"To get a true measurement, they should install a monitor on the water tower near our house. Right now, it just feels very set-up."

Meggen Lindsay can be reached at or 651-228-5260.


The Metropolitan Airports Commission is hosting a public-input meeting on airplane noise at 7 p.m. today at Burnsville High School, 200 Burnsville Parkway Wt.

The Numbers

2,789: Overall airport noise complaints for November and December 2004

8,152: Overall airport noise complaints for November and December 2005

Knight Ridder content Copyright 2005 provided via The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

News stories provided by third parties are not edited by "Site Publication" staff. For suggestions and comments, please click the Contact link at the bottom of this page.

We Recommend