Minnesota’s Metropolitan Airports Commission (MAC) is contemplating a proposal from a subcommittee that would financially benefit the airlines that serve the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP). Nearly $41 million that would be paid by the carriers for operating at the airport would be waived in an effort to support the airlines as they struggle with drastically reduced passenger volume due to COVID19.
The full airport commission decision on the proposal is expected this fall, but it has run into opposition from the South Metro Airport Action Council (SMAAC), a local citizen’s group which wants at least some of the money to be allocated toward a study of public health and safety risks over the south Minneapolis neighborhoods directly to the north of the airport. These heavily populated areas often bear the brunt of aircraft noise from the airport. The SMACC suggested to the subcommittee that at least $! million be allotted to such a study.
MAC spokesman Patrick Hogan explained that the proposed waiver of fees would come from reduced billing to the airlines, not from the $125 million the airport received as part of the CARES Act stimulus for airports impacted by the pandemic.
How much of a fee reduction each airline might receive would be determined by how many passengers they board at MSP. With Delta Air LInes being by far the largest carrier at the airport, it would be in line to see the bulk of the waived fees. Other airlines with substantial service at MSP including Southwest, American, United and Sun Country Airlines, could also see substantial savings if the proposal is approved.