In November 2012 our neighborhood in SW Minneapolis and Edina discovered via a news article that the the Federal Aviation Administration was seeking local approval to implement new departure tracks out of MSP International Airport. Those tracks would focus 100-135 low-level departures a day over each of two neighborhoods that for decades had never had significant aircraft noise.
In response, local citizen leaders mobilized 4,000 signatures, and just two weeks later mobbed the airport commission meeting where the FAA sought approval for the changes.
This report grew out of data I brought to that meeting, and brings to light a new fact base on what the FAA was proposing, and the benefits they alleged from the program.
In February 2014, the power of a well-informed citizen army resulted in the FAA backing off from implementing the new departures tracks. Other communities have not been so lucky, as the FAA has obliterated decades of precedent, along with the lifestyle and property values of thousands of citizens across the country. Thus far, the Twin Cities is the only city to have staved off the FAA's new depature tracks.
The citizens who banded together to make that happen formed the MSP FairSkies Coalition, and it remains active in seeking to decrease the impact of harmful levels of aircraft noise for everyone, in the Twin Cities and beyond.