Minneapolis sues airport authorities

The MAC and FAA went back on their word and are underfunding noise control.

The city of Minneapolis has decided to sue the Metropolitan Airports Commission and the Federal Aviation Administration for downscaling funding for a sound-insulation program.

The program initially estimated to fund $330 million for noise control in areas surrounding the airport; now, the commission passed a plan Monday that offers a maximum of only $30 million. It intends to help surrounding residents battle the noise of jets that use the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.

The sound-insulation program was created to help far more people than it will now be able to fund. Thus, the city is suing the commission because of the want of funding for even quieter zones.

This is simply arrogant on the part of the commission. The money that would have been used to help surrounding homes, schools and businesses to install new air-conditioning, doors and windows, will probably meander its way back into the hands of Northwest Airlines, and it is money that is almost solely from passenger fees and tickets.

Initially, the plan would have funded air conditioning, new windows and doors, wall insulation, furnaces, roof vents and duct work, but now, it will only offer air conditioning to a few homes that fall into the 60-64 decibel area on a map that shows noise contours.

The new plan will only help approximately 165 houses in the area. Another 3,594 will be eligible to receive the scaled-back air-conditioning package.

This all sounds great, but they are also requiring these homeowners to pay 10 percent to 50 percent of the cost of the work done through the program. They will also require them to sign up for the program now or be unable to receive future funding. These homeowners will end up paying for the initial funding of the program, as well as to participate in the program.

Especially given that the homes affected have lost drastic property values because of the noise created by the nearby airport, the new plan is unjust and unfortunate.