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Ward 11 - John Quincy

350 S. 5th St., Room 307
Minneapolis, MN 55415
(612) 673-2211

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Airport Glossary

DNL- Day/Night Level, measurement of total noise energy released at a certain location. It can be measured over any time period, but normally, in the context of MSP, it is assumed to be over a 24 hour period.

DNL Contours- maps drawn to show a computer representation of the DNL levels due to aircraft noise near an airport.

FAA- Federal Aviation Administration, the federal agency who’s continuing mission is to provide the safest, most efficient aerospace system in the world (

MAC- Metropolitan Airports Commission, the governing board of MSP airport as well as Holman Field in St. Paul and five other reliever airports. Commissioners are appointed by the Governor for four year terms. (

MSP- Minneapolis St. Paul International Airport

NOC- Noise Oversight Committee, community advisory group to the MAC for noise issues. It is composed of as many industry representatives as there are representatives from communities.  (

RNAV- Area Navigation (or Random Navigation), a method of instrument flight rules (IFR) navigation that allows an aircraft to choose any course within a network of navigation beacons, rather than navigating directly to and from the beacons.

Runways- Runways at major airports are named by the compass heading of the aircraft using that runway, but then subtracting the final “0” from the heading. Thus at MSP, runway 17, is for the runway that is at 170 degrees, or almost straight south. Runways 30R and 30L are parallel to each other, with the letters signifying right and left. But, keep in mind, that the name is based on the direction the plane is headed, so the same runway has a different name if it is used in the reverse direction. So, if you are landing at MSP, approaching from the south, you would land on runway 30R going from south east to north west on that runway, but if the next day the winds are reversed, and you are approaching the airport from the north, you would land on runway 12L, going from north west to south east on the exact same strip of concrete runway you had landed on the day before.

At MSP there are common, shorthand names for the runways.

Last updated Nov 19, 2013



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