MAC newsletter, December 2017

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MSP Airport's Noise Oversight Committee targets 2018


The Metropolitan Airports Commission (MAC) board recently approved the MSP Airport Noise Oversight Committee’s (NOC’s) recommended work plan for 2018.

The wide-reaching plan includes activities such as: discussing how changes in runway use to enhance safety affect aircraft operations and noise; monitoring the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA’s) progress to re-evaluate how aircraft noise is measured; reviewing runway use priorities; and assessing 2017 actual noise level maps and how those levels affect eligibility for residential sound insulation.

“We are very fortunate to have a dedicated and knowledgeable group of individuals representing airlines and noise-impacted communities working together to address aircraft noise concerns around Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport,” said Brian Ryks, the MAC’s executive director and CEO. “Their collaborative efforts, with the cooperation of FAA officials, continue to drive solutions that benefit airport neighbors.”

Before presenting the 2018 work plan to the board, the NOC co-chairs listed key achievements in 2017. Among the highlights, the NOC:

 ·         Worked with the FAA to inform communities about slight changes in existing arrival routes at MSP

 ·         Advocated for the FAA to study impacts of air traffic control changes related to converging runway operations at MSP and that the FAA use runways and flight headings in ways that disperse noise

 ·         Worked with the MAC to enhance communications with airport neighbors, including changing how its quarterly public meetings are run and creating a series of “aircraft noise basics” videos and fact sheets

 ·         Reviewed and approved a new monthly report format, as well as a new interactive reports website

 ·         Evaluated the feasibility and potential noise benefits of pilots staying higher longer upon arrival into the airport

 ·         Completed an assessment of the types of aircraft operating at MSP.

 ·         Completed an assessment of nighttime operations at MSP

 ·         Commissioned a noise monitoring study to quantify noise reduction benefits of vortex generators – devices placed under an aircraft’s wings that divert wind

 ·         Oversaw efforts by the MAC to measure the benefits of optimized profile descents, in which pilots descend continuously toward the runway for landing rather than descending in steps

For more information on Noise Oversight Committee activities and the MAC’s noise mitigation program, visit

Scootaround arrives at MSP


Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport (MSP) has a new resident in its Terminal 1 baggage level: a Scootaround mobility equipment service and repair station.

The station, which opened in early-October as a beta test, is the first of its kind in the country. The new service will make it easier for MSP travelers to receive quick repairs to their damaged wheelchairs, powerchairs, and scooters. The new location will also facilitate full equipment replacements when necessary.

“Our goal is to make Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport as accessible as possible to all travelers,” said Brian Ryks, CEO of the Metropolitan Airports Commission, which owns and operates MSP. “Scootaround’s presence at the airport ensures that people who depend on mobility equipment have quick, convenient access to repair services and short-term rentals of mobility devices if needed.”

Since opening, the station has received claims from a number of airlines – including Delta and United – and has repaired damage to rollators, wheelchairs and more.

Kerry Renaud, President and COO of Scootaround, added, “Each year, thousands of airline passengers travel with their assistive devices. This equipment, which is often essential to the passenger’s mobility, can sometimes be damaged during transit. Scootaround’s in-airport office at MSP provides an efficient, one-step repair or replacement service for passengers and airlines alike.”

In addition to repairs, Scootaround will also be able to arrange equipment rentals for residents and visitors to Minneapolis-St. Paul, whether they’re attending a convention, seeing a concert, or heading to a major sporting event like Super Bowl LII.

Scootaround is the nation’s leading provider of mobility equipment solutions, offering rental and repair services for scooters, wheelchairs, powerchairs, and rollators at over 2,000 locations across North America.

Toys for Tots gets a bundle from MAC employees

Piles of toys from various work locations around the MSP Airport campus this month were delivered to Toys for Tots just before Christmas, marking more than 20 years of donations from Metropolitan Airports Commission employees.

The MAC’s Paint Shop, which coordinates the collection, received a total of 241 toys and gift cards, said Fred Lane, the general foreman in the paint shop. MAC staff collected and delivered the gifts on Dec. 18 to a Toys for Tots warehouse in Eagan.

One of the collection bins for the Toys for Tots program on the MSP campus.

The Twin Cities area is one of the most generous in the nation when it comes to donations to Toys for Tots.

MSP Airport restaurants partner with Loaves and Fishes to feed the hungry

In time for the 2017 holidays, Loaves and Fishes, a Minneapolis-based nonprofit serving free, nutritious meals across seven Minnesota counties, established a new program that collects ready-to-eat food donations from restaurant operators at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP). 

“This new partnership will help Loaves and Fishes continue down its path of strong growth,” says Cathy Maes, Loaves and Fishes’ executive director. “Over the last three years alone, we have expanded the number of meals served by 63 percent. Having access to high quality, donated food, like that which the airport can provide, allows us to not only expand our services but gives our guests access to food they otherwise wouldn’t experience.” 

Kiley Benson, director of operations for Loaves and Fishes, loads donations at MSP Airport.

Three times a week, a Loaves and Fishes staff member arrives at MSP’s loading docks in a full-size cargo van to pick up the ready-to-eat food. The items are then taken back to Loaves and Fishes’ warehouse where they are distributed among the organization’s many meal sites, given to partners for their respective meal programs, sent out with a street outreach team to be passed out to homeless communities, or given to a recovery community that depends on donations for food. 

HMSHost, which operates 30 restaurants at MSP Airport, including options popular with travelers like Minnesota Wild, Starbucks Coffee, and MKT, conceived the idea as part of its company-wide commitment to community service and reducing food waste under its “startsomewhere” sustainability program. 

Stringent food safety and quality standards in HMSHost restaurants means its leftover, prepackaged foods, like sandwiches and salads, are ideal for donation.

“HMSHost is very excited to establish this food donation program with Loaves and Fishes,” said Butch Howard, HMSHost senior director of operations at the airport. “We serve a lot of travelers in the airport, and it is an honor to also help serve the local community through these efforts.”

Loaves and Fishes will eventually receive leftover prepared food from other airport restaurants. The Metropolitan Airports Commission, which owns and operates MSP, is working with Loaves and Fishes and HMSHost to scale up the initiative to include more of the airport’s restaurateurs. Delaware North, with three restaurants, and OTG, with eight restaurants, have also recently signed on to the program.

Recognition abounds for MSP programs


As 2017 came to a close, Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP) drew praise in the form of several awards for various achievements.

The solar array projects at Terminal 1 and Terminal 2 won an award from the Twin Cities Chapter of the Association of Energy Engineers (AEE). The solar panel array on Terminal 2’s purple parking ramp became operational early this year, joining the existing panels on the top of two parking ramps at Terminal 1.

The solar arrays at MSP were also submitted to AEE’s national group, and the combined rojects won an award at the national level as well. Together, the two sets of solar panels are the largest structure-mounted solar array in Minnesota. The Terminal 1 solar array, together with the replacement of halide lights in MSP’s parking ramps with energy-saving LED lighting, reduced carbon dioxide by 4,400 metric tons in 2016. Terminal 2’s array is reducing another 2,651 metric tons of carbon dioxide annually based on Xcel Energy’s Midwest generating emissions reporting.

The Metropolitan Airports Commission (MAC) also won recognition recently in the form of the American Heart Association’s Workplace Health Achievement Award. The award is based on 55 best practices, including programs, policies, partnerships, community and reporting outcomes.

The award noted the MAC’s broad participation by employees in its programs, including assistance to stop smoking and manage diabetes.

Also this year, the MAC received the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting from the Government Finance Officers Association for the MAC’s comprehensive annual financial report. The certificate is the highest form of recognition in government accounting and finance reporting. The certificate is awarded after an impartial panel finds that the annual financial report demonstrates a constructive spirit of full disclosure to clearly communicate its financial story.

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