Aviation Noise

Aviation noise was monitored on a temporary basis in Edina from Aug. 22 to Sept. 4, 2014. 

Click here to download the results of the study presented to the City Council on Tuesday, Feb. 3, 2015.

The issue:
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) considered implementation of Performance Based Navigation (PBN) at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP) that would impact Edina. PBN would concentrate flights into less diffused and more narrow bands coming into and departing the airport. The plan, if adopted by the Metropolitan Airport Commission (MAC), flights north and west of the Minnesota River would concentrate over southwest Minneapolis and Edina.

Currently, planes that fly over Edina are diffused in a fan-like flight path. Because of the wide flight paths, aviation noise is spread across the City. The proposed change would concentrate a large number of flights in a few narrow bands using Area Navigation, or RNAV. According to the FAA, RNAV facilitates “more efficient design of airspace and procedures which collectively result in improved safety, access, capacity, predictability, operational efficiency, and environment.”

On Nov. 19, 2012, the Noise Oversight Committee's (NOC) recommendation was considered by the MAC. City officials were present at the meeting, and asked the MAC for two things: representation on the NOC and to delay action on a letter of support to the FAA on the proposed navigation changes until the City City Council and residents have more time to learn about the issue. After hearing more than three hours of testimony by state legislators, two Mayors and several residents, the commission voted in favor of partial implementation of RNAV. The vote excluded RNAV on runways 30L and 30R, which would affect southwest Minneapolis, Richfield and Edina, until further study is conducted and communicated by the FAA with concerned residents and cities. The FAA has not began implementation on any runway yet.

Now that the vote was suspended, what happens next?
The suspension delays the issues from future MAC action for 16 to 20 months. The City has received notice from MAC to expect the RNAV proposal to be delayed until July 2014 for arriving flights, and until September 2014 for departures.

Does the City have representation on the NOC?
Yes. In January, the Edina City Council requested the MAC grant Edina full voting membership to the NOC; however, the request was denied. The City was granted membership under an “at-large” position. Now, Edina and the cities of Apple Valley, Burnsville, Inver Grove Heights, St. Louis Park, St. Paul and Sunfish Lake are represented by At-large Representative John Bergman, a City Council Member from Apple Valley.

In April 2013, Edina City Council Member Joni Bennett was appointed to the “at-large city group” of the NOC, which is meant to work with and advise At-Large Representative Bergman. Additionally, Edina resident James Vos was named to the group, and will serve as Council Member Bennett’s primary backup to the group.

In January 2015, Council Member Ann Swenson was appointed to the "at-large city group" of the NOC. Contact Swenson at 952-484-4894 or swensonann1@gmail.com.

What’s the City’s position on RNAV?
The City of Edina submits the following public comment regarding the FAA’s proposed plans to implement Section 213(c)(2) of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 and the development of the Net Noise Reduction method.

The City of Edina has expressed concern regarding the language included in Section 213 (c) (2) in the form of letters to the FAA and during previous public comment periods. The City reiterates its concern about the ambiguous language included in Section 213, particularly our belief that noise impact cannot be meaningfully or accurately measured on a per flight basis. The City is also concerned that because the proposed Net Noise Reduction Method is based on legislative language, which the City believes should be amended or removed from law, it should not be implemented. 

As we have stated in previous comments and communications, the City supports thorough review of impacts for a Performance Based Navigation (PBN) procedure implementation. We believe that because of the substantial magnitude of the potentially negative environmental consequences which may result from proposed changes in PBN procedures, namely the increase of frequency and concentration of flight patterns and emissions, the current process for reaching any regulatory CATEX is insufficient to accurately measure the true noise and environmental impact. We support robust community education and engagement throughout PBN implementation at all OEP and non-OEP airports in the United States.

Commonly Used Acronyms

FAA: Federal Aviation Administration
MSP: Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport
MAC: Metropolitan Airport Commission
PBN: Performance Based Navigation
RNAV: Area Navigation
NOC: Noise Oversight Committee

View a listing of upcoming MAC and NOC meetings

Upcoming Meetings

The City Council heard a presentation from an aviation attorney at a special meeting June 25, 2013. 

View the presentation