Community Engagement — Minneapolis-St. Paul

Minneapolis VOR Update (January 2023 - Current )

The FAA is modernizing the national airspace system nationwide by discontinuing outdated ground-based navigational equipment and by implementing GPS-Based procedures to enhance safety and efficiency of airport operations. At Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport (MSP), these actions will help reduce delays while increasing safety due to more efficient communications between pilots and air traffic control.

The MSP Very High-Frequency Omnidirectional Range (VOR) is one of approximately 300 ground-based navigational aids that will no longer be necessary due to the development and implementation of GPS navigation. It is scheduled for decommissioning in mid-to-late 2025.

The decommissioning of the MSP VOR, coupled with updated FAA safety regulations will require the amendment or cancellation of current departure procedures (implemented in 2015) and the development of new Area Navigation (RNAV) departure procedures. 

  • What is RNAV?
  • The current procedures need to be modified to be compliant with current criteria and maintain safety and efficiency at the airport.  These current procedures would need to be updated, regardless of the VOR decommissioning.

The FAA is working with aviation stakeholders to safely and efficiently replace the VOR’s function for MSP, enabling departing aircraft to fly routes that enhance safety and efficiency and with a focus on reducing aviation noise impacts. 

  • The upgraded RNAV departure flight procedures must be in place by summer 2025 when the MSP VOR is decommissioned.
  • These upgraded RNAV departure are designed to initially use multiple headings on departure, as is done today, to disperse traffic above the airport’s surrounding communities.

The FAA is discussing these changes with members of the Metropolitan Airports Commission and the Noise Oversight Committee. Community input will be considered throughout the project. 

The FAA will update this web page as details of the project are developed, including opportunities for community input.

Additional Background 

The FAA is decommissioning approximately one-third of the nation’s VOR network. The remaining 600 VORs will remain in place in strategic locations throughout the nation to serve in the event of a satellite outage. You can learn more about the VOR Minimal Operational Network (MON) watching this video or reading this webpage..

Supplemental Information

Noise Oversight Committee (NOC) Correspondence Addressed to the FAA

FAA Correspondence Addressed to the Noise Oversight Committee (NOC)

Resource Archive: RNAV STAR Amendment/Optimization Project 
(Completed 2016)

Last updated: Thursday, April 18, 2024