''We're going to raise objections to the job cuts,'' said Sen. Satveer Chaudhary, a Democratic-Farm-Labor member from Fridley. ''The state needs a partner in (airport expansion) ventures, not a competitor, someone who will keep Minnesota jobs here instead of taking the money and running.''
Chaudhary had previously introduced legislation to delay approval of the proposed $862 million expansion until Northwest provided information about outsourcing mechanics' jobs, airline security and other related issues.
But after Northwest announced on Wednesday that it plans to cut hundreds of jobs, Chaudhary said his bill would not go far enough.
He now is expected to seek an indefinite delay of the 15-year airport project, which Northwest has dubbed ''20/20 Vision.''
Northwest said Thursday that its plan for capacity reductions and job cuts in 2005 will not affect its need for more gates at its main hub airport.
''It does not change the need for gates or other facilities,'' said Northwest spokesman Kurt Ebenhoch. Ebenhoch also cited a Federal Aviation Administration forecast released Thursday estimating that 1 billion people will board planes in 2015, an increase of 45 percent.
Eagan, Minn.-based Northwest is Michigan's leading air carrier and handles about 75 percent of the passengers at Detrout Metropolitan Airport.