The past few months have been a busy time for neighbors challenging plans for increased airplane noise throughout our neighborhoods. The prospect of the implementation of RNAV (Area Navigation) technology at MSP sometime in 2014 made this a hot topic in the November elections. All of our city council members and our new mayor Betsy Hodges committed to continuing the efforts to prevent more airport noise and air pollution from the implementation of RNAV. Efforts are now underway between these local representatives and residents to develop action plans on this issue.
At the state level, State Representative Frank Hornstein has crafted legislation for this upcoming session that will address the potential impact of airport expansion on our neighborhoods. Co-sponsored by Representatives Hornstein, Wagenius, Davnie, and Rosenthal, the bill would require an Environmental Impact Study (EIS) for changes made to MSP as part of an airport expansion project, “MSP 2020.” These changes are in preparation for an estimated increase of 20% more air traffic by 2020. “We need a full environmental study, by an independent agency, before we can fully understand the impact of these changes to our neighborhoods, parks, and schools,” says Steve Kittleson of MSP FairSkies Coalition.
While local and state support is important, RNAV is part of federal legislation and community organizers are continuing to focus their efforts at the federal level. Several grassroots neighborhood organizations similar to MSP FairSkies have been created throughout the country to challenge RNAV. Kittleson adds, “We are working together with groups in New York, New Jersey, and California to make changes at a federal level. We are looking to protect neighborhoods, parks, and schools not just here, but in other cities that are also facing the same noise problems.”
The MSP FairSkies Coalition could use your support. If you are interested in learning more about this issue, volunteering, signing the petition, or purchasing a lawn sign, please visit www.mspfairskies.org.