MSP News - November 2015

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MSP solar arrays

MSP Airport launches largest solar generation facility in Minnesota

Just 13 months after start of construction, the Metropolitan Airports Commission (MAC) – owner and operator of Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP) – has flipped the switch on what is currently the largest solar generation facility in Minnesota.

Located atop two parking ramps at MSP’s Terminal 1-Lindbergh, the facility will provide up to 20 percent of the terminal complex's energy needs when operating at peak capacity. 

The project included installing more than 8,700 solar panels on a structure 8 feet 6 inches above the top of two parking decks (Red and Blue ramps). 

“We wanted to build something iconic - something substantial that would have a significant impact not only on our bottom line but in reducing greenhouse gas emissions due to the airport’s reduced use of carbon-based fuel sources,” said Dennis Probst, executive vice president for the MAC.

To further both dollar and greenhouse gas emissions savings, the project also included replacing more than 7,700 metal halide lights with energy efficient LED technology in all four parking ramps at Terminal 1. 

In all, the project will eliminate the equivalent of 6,813 metric tons of greenhouse gasses each year. 

Travelers who park on the top level of either the red or blue ramp will certainly notice the structures. While they don’t constitute covered parking, the arrays do help shield parked vehicles from the hot sun.

Ameresco, a leading alternative energy company in the United States, led the development and construction efforts, hiring local contractors who provided more than 250 workers to complete the job in record time. Ameresco will also operate the system for the MAC.

The $25.4 million project was funded through low-interest Qualified Energy Conservation Bonds, a $2.1 million grant from Xcel Energy and $100,000 from the MAC’s operating budget.

Get an up close view of the system here: 

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msp escape lounge
Inside the new Escape Lounge at MSP

Escape Lounge now open at Terminal 1

Escape Lounge, the newest addition to Minneapolis-St. Paul International’s (MSP) traveler amenities, is now open at Terminal 1-Lindbergh.

Open to all passengers, regardless which airline they are flying, guests will enjoy complimentary food and drinks, including alcoholic beverages; comfortable seating; the use of iPads; free Internet; and a wide array of newsstand magazines and newspapers. 

The cost for a one-day pass is $40 per adult when you pre-book and $45 at the door. Children ages 6 to 12 can get in for $30 when pre-booking and $38 at the door. Hours are 4 a.m. to 9 p.m. every day.

Learn more on Fly Magazine. Or check out this StarTribune article from Sunday’s paper:

Another great reason to arrive at MSP early or plan a longer layover!

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Spirit Airlines to begin flights to Atlanta from MSP in April 2016

Spirit Airlines' logo

Spirit Airlines will begin nonstop daily service between Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP) and Atlanta, Georgia (ATL) beginning April 14, 2016. 

Spirit currently operates 11 daily flights from MSP's Terminal 1-Lindbergh. Destinations include Chicago, Dallas, Fort Lauderdale, Fort Meyers, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Orlando, Phoenix and Tampa/St. Petersburg. And now Atlanta.

Book your flight today at 

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TSA PreCheck office moves next to Gate C21 at Terminal 1

tsa precheck logo

The Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) PreCheck office at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport is now located inside the secure area next to Gate C21 at Terminal 1-Lindbergh.

PreCheck is the TSA’s expedited security screening program where travelers who qualify for the program can receive expedited screening.

Both frequent and occasional travelers can benefit from the program. Learn more about eligibility and benefits at 

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Armed Forces Service Center celebrates 45 years

armed forces service center volunteers

The Armed Forces Service Center (AFSC), located in Terminal 1-Lindbergh, celebrated its 45th anniversary November 23 with a reception for volunteers (several of which are pictured here at Terminal 2), service members and airport officials.

The AFSC is an "all-free" stop for traveling active duty military personnel and their dependents, activated reservists, and National Guard members. 

At the reception, Jeff Hamiel, executive director/CEO for the Metropolitan Airports Commission, emphasized the importance of the AFSC and acknowledged that keeping a volunteer-staffed, nonprofit organization open around-the-clock for 45 years has not been an easy feat.

"I don't know how you've done it for the last 45 years," said Hamiel. "But I hope you can do it for another 45."

Penny Purdum and Nancy Purdum Hall – daughters of AFSC founder Maggie Purdum – also spoke at the event to thank volunteers.

"This place is nothing without the volunteers," said Penny. "Thank you for all that you do." 

In addition to celebrating its 45th anniversary, the AFSC predicts that it will welcome its one millionth guest sometime in 2016. 

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Sixth annual employee art show winners announced

employee art show ad

Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport’s (MSP) sixth annual employee art show is now on display at the Thomson Reuters Concourse C Art Gallery, located inside the secure area between Gates C6 and C9 at Terminal 1-Lindbergh. 

With work by more than 120 artists, travelers will find a diverse array of artistic expressions, including sculptures, paintings, photography, and crafts.

Each work of art was created by an employee or volunteer of MSP or a family member of one. Expertise categories range from youth (12 and under) to teen (13 to 18) to adult amateurs, intermediate and professional artists.

At a Friday, Dec. 4 reception honoring all of the artists, winners in each of the categories were announced. 

For a list of the winning artists and their entries, visit the Airport Foundation MSP website.

The show is curated by the ARTS@MSP program and is sponsored by the National Arts Program®. View the show now through April 15, 2016. 

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Holiday Music Series schedule announced

The ARTS@MSP program is sponsoring a Holiday Music Series once again this year. There are two more days of fun yet to come. So if you are flying through MSP Airport on one of these days, be sure to swing by the Airport Mall and enjoy some holiday cheer.

Wednesday, December 16, 4-6 p.m.

Greater Twin Cities Youth Symphony 

Thursday, December 17, 1-3 p.m.
Joe Chvala’s Flying Foot Forum

ARTS@MSP is a program administered by the Airport Foundation MSP in collaboration with the Metropolitan Airports Commission. 

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