As MSP preps for millions more travelers, changes needed to avoid drop-off misery


Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport is projected to see millions of more passengers in the next 20 years, which would further strain airport facilities.

MSP is forecasting 54 million passengers in 2035 – that's a 68.75 percent increase from the 32 million passengers that passed through the airport in 2014, according to the Metropolitan Airport Commission (MAC).

However, the number of aircraft taking off and landing at the airport is only expected to increase by 24 percent, from the 412,000 aircraft in 2014 to 511,000 in 2035 – which is less than the airport's historical peak of takeoffs and landings (roughly 540,000 in 2004), MAC notes.

While the airport's runway configuration is expected to meet future needs, the increase in passengers is expected to burden airport facilities that are already struggling to meet the needs of travelers, the organization says.

For example, the airport will have to account for the additional vehicles that come with increased travelers – that includes parking at the airport and increased traffic to drop off and pick up travelers.

"The parking facilities and curb fronts as they are today (particularly at Terminal 1) are inadequate to meet the projected demand for 2035," MAC says.

Projected passenger and aircraft figures like these are used to understand the deficiencies the airport may see in the future – including the configuration of airport gates and baggage handling facilities, among others – and how the airport can adjust to serve the travelers.

These ideas will be addressed in the MAC's 2035 Long Term Comprehensive Plan, which is published every five years as a way to look to the future of the airport and see what improvements it may need.

Some of the MAC's findings will be discussed at a pre-publication meeting Thursday night, where the public can learn about the MAC's plans for publishing the plan.

A draft is expected to be published in September. After that, there will be a 45-day public comment period, before the plan is approved by the MAC board.

However, approval doesn't mean the airport will move forward with any of the proposed remedies – it's an infrastructure planning tool, the MAC explains.

Next Up

Pexels - beer outside patio brewery

Brewery, taproom moving into former Twin Cities newspaper space

Loons Landing officially signed the lease this week.

Vic Richfield auto theft PD - rectangle crop

Police: Car with dog inside stolen from outside Twin Cities liquor store

They're asking people to be on the lookout for the vehicle.

John Hofer - Chisago County Sheriff's Office

Murder charge filed over inmate's death at Chisago Co. Jail

The man suddenly became unresponsive and died while in a holding cell.

reproductive rights caucus

Minnesota DFL lawmakers form Reproductive Freedom Caucus

The move comes as some Republicans explore proposals to limit abortion access.

Flickr - child wearing mask close up - Nenad Stojkovic

Counties without K-12 mask mandate see sharper rise in child COVID cases

That's according to a new study released Friday by the CDC.

Police lights

Bloomington woman dies in crash on southwest Twin Cities highway

The collision happened just south of the Minnesota Renaissance Festival grounds.

Wikimedia Commons - COVID vaccine, pfizer, shot - Martin G

Pfizer booster shots immediately available for select Minnesotans

118 fully vaccinated Minnesotans have died from COVID-19.

Gisela Medina Sherburne County Jail - 2021.09.23 - crop 2

19-year-old charged alongside Anton Lazzaro pleads not guilty

She's accused of helping the GOP operative traffic underage girls.

Dalvin Cook

Dalvin Cook misses Vikings practice on Friday

Cook suffered an ankle injury during the Cardinals game.

GetMedia (1)

Gallery: Historic church renovated into home is yours for $248,000

The church-turned-home offers an open floor plan in the heart of Howard Lake.

Rep. Glenn Gruenhagen  - YouTube screengrab

MN GOP Rep. spreads voted fraud disinformation, draws rebuke from SoS

The lawmaker cited a video claiming there are more than 1.2 million "missing" votes.


Study: Int'l travel increases 6% at MSP Airport

International air traffic to and from the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport climbed from nearly 1.7 million passengers to roughly 1.8 million between 2003 and 2011, according to a new study by the Brookings Institution.

Passengers at MSP airport not lovin' fast-food changes

McDonald's french fries or Big Macs are no longer an option at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International airport, at least for now. The Star Tribune reports the fast-food chain was forced out of its location in Concourse G once Delta Air Lines decided it wanted to give travelers some new options. The Golden Arches can relocate within the Humphrey terminal, but has yet to do so.

Fewer travelers take off from MSP

Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport numbers in May showed fewer people flying, the Star Tribune reports, and the newspaper suggests that firms and tourists remain cautious amid higher fuel costs and fares.