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Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

Chapter 473

Section 473.608

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473.608 POWERS OF CORPORATION.
    Subdivision 1. General corporate powers, where exercised. The corporation, subject to the
conditions and limitations prescribed by law, shall possess all the powers as a body corporate
necessary and convenient to accomplish the objects and perform the duties prescribed by sections
473.601 to 473.679, including but not limited to those hereinafter specified. These powers, except
as limited by section 473.622, may be exercised at any place within 35 miles of the city hall of
either Minneapolis or St. Paul, and in the metropolitan area, and in the city of Duluth for the
purpose of owning, leasing, constructing, equipping, operating, borrowing money from the state
for, or otherwise arranging for financing the facility described in section 116R.02, subdivision 5.
    Subd. 1a. Loan terms, conditions. A state loan to finance the facility described in section
116R.02, subdivision 5, must be made on terms and conditions as the commissioner of finance,
the commissioner of employment and economic development, and the commission determine to
be appropriate. The state loan is not subject to and may not be counted against any limitation on
the principal amount of revenue bonds or general obligation revenue bonds that the commission
may issue under sections 473.601 to 473.679.
    Subd. 2. Getting airport property. It may acquire by lease, purchase, gift, devise, or
condemnation proceedings all necessary right, title, and interest in and to lands and personal
property required for airports and all other real or personal property required for the purposes
contemplated by sections 473.601 to 473.679, within the metropolitan area, pay therefor out
of funds obtained as hereinafter provided, and hold and dispose of the same, subject to the
limitations and conditions herein prescribed except that the corporation may not acquire by any
means lands or personal property for a major new airport. Title to any such property acquired by
condemnation or purchase shall be in fee simple, absolute, unqualified in any way, but any such
real or personal property or interest therein otherwise acquired may be so acquired or accepted
subject to any condition which may be imposed thereon by the grantor or donor and agreed
to by the corporation, not inconsistent with the proper use of the property by the corporation
for the purposes herein provided. Any properties, real or personal, acquired, owned, leased,
controlled, used, and occupied by the corporation for any of the purposes of sections 473.601 to
473.679, are declared to be acquired, owned, leased, controlled, used, and occupied for public,
governmental, and municipal purposes, and shall be exempt from taxation by the state or any of
its political subdivisions, except to the extent that the property is subject to the sales and use tax
under chapter 297A. Nothing contained in sections 473.601 to 473.679, shall be construed as
exempting properties, real or personal, leased from the Metropolitan Airports Commission to a
tenant or lessee who is a private person, association, or corporation from assessments or taxes.
    Subd. 2a. Coldwater Springs property. (a) The Metropolitan Airports Commission may
acquire property, consisting of approximately 27 acres in and around Coldwater Springs in
Hennepin County, from the Secretary of the Interior of the United States or any other federal
official or agency authorized to transfer the property. If the commission acquires the property,
the commission may convey all of its interest in the property, other than the interest permitted
to be retained under paragraph (b), to the commissioner of natural resources for park, green
space, or similar uses.
(b) To preserve its ability to conduct current or future aviation operations at the
Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport and to protect the commission from potential liability
for those aviation operations, the commission may:
(1) retain an easement permitting overflight or another similar property interest in the
property; or
(2) impose restrictions on the transferred property's use that would be inconsistent with or
may create conflicts with aviation operations.
    Subd. 3. Eminent domain. It may exercise the power of eminent domain in the manner
provided by chapter 117 for the purpose of acquiring any property which it is herein authorized to
acquire by condemnation. The fact that the property so needed has been acquired by the owner
under power of eminent domain, or is already devoted to a public use, shall not prevent its
acquisition by such corporation by the exercise of the power of eminent domain herein conferred.
The corporation may take possession of any such property so to be acquired at any time after the
filing of the petition describing the same in condemnation proceedings. It shall not be precluded
from abandoning the condemnation of any such property in any case where possession thereof has
not been taken. When the airports owned by the affected cities are taken over by the corporation
under the provisions of Laws 1943, Chapter 500, all persons who are employees of the public
body having the management and control of such airport at the time of the taking of the same,
shall preserve their status and be entitled to all the rights and privileges under the provisions of
any civil service or pension act contained in any charter of any city under which they had been
previously employed, or any applicable law of the state of Minnesota.
    Subd. 4. Suits. It may sue and be sued.
    Subd. 5. Contracts. It may contract and be contracted within any matter connected with
any purpose or activity within the powers of the corporation as specified in sections 473.601
to 473.679.
    Subd. 6. New airports; exception. It may construct and equip new airports, with all powers
of acquisition set out in subdivision 2, pay therefor out of the funds obtained as hereinafter
provided, and hold, maintain, operate, regulate, police, and dispose of them or any of them as
hereinafter provided. It may not construct, equip, or acquire land for a major new airport to
replace the existing Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, but it may conduct activities
necessary to do long-range planning to make recommendations to the legislature on the need for
new airport facilities.
    Subd. 7. Existing airports. In addition to the municipal airports taken over by the
corporation under the provisions of Laws 1943, Chapter 500, the corporation may acquire by
lease, purchase, gift, devise, or condemnation proceedings any existing airports, equip the same
and make additions thereto or improvements thereon, pay therefor out of the funds obtained as
hereinafter provided, and hold, maintain, operate, regulate, police, and dispose of them or any of
them as hereinafter provided; provided, that said corporation shall have no authority to dispose
of nor lease municipally owned airports taken over under the provisions of sections 473.601 to
473.679; and provided further, that the corporation shall not acquire a municipally owned airport
without the consent of such municipality.
    Subd. 8. Private airports. It may contract with the owners of existing privately owned
airports for the use, equipment, improvement, maintenance, management, and operation by it
of such airports, and thereafter use, equip, improve, maintain, manage, operate, regulate, and
police them.
    Subd. 9. Air rights. It may acquire such air rights over private property as are necessary to
insure safe approaches to the landing areas of all airports controlled by it, in the manner provided
in subdivision 2 for the acquisition of airport property.
    Subd. 10. Easements, rights for lights, markings. It may acquire rights or easements
for terms of years, or perpetually, to place, operate, and maintain suitable markings and lights
for daytime or nighttime marking of buildings or other structures or obstructions, for the safe
operation of aircraft utilizing airports to be acquired or maintained under the provisions of sections
473.601 to 473.679, in the manner provided in subdivision 2 for the acquisition of airport property.
    Subd. 11. Supplies and materials. It may purchase all supplies and materials necessary in
carrying out the purposes of sections 473.601 to 473.679.
    Subd. 12. Bonds, other debt. It may borrow money and issue bonds for the purposes of
acquiring property, the acquisition of which is herein authorized, constructing and equipping
new airports, acquiring existing airports, equipping them and making additions thereto or
improvements thereon, and making capital improvements to any airport constructed or acquired
by the corporation, or for the purpose of making payments on principal or interest of bonds
heretofore issued by either of the cities or any board of park commissioners of either thereof to
secure funds for the acquisition, establishment, construction, enlargement or improvement of any
airport taken over by the corporation pursuant to the provisions of section 473.621, payment of
which has been assumed by the corporation, in the manner and within the limitations herein
specified, and pledge any and all property and income of the corporation acquired or received as
herein provided to secure the payment of such bonds, subject to the conditions and limitations
herein prescribed, and redeem any such bonds if so provided therein or in the mortgage or deed
of trust accompanying them, and may assume the payment of existing bonded indebtedness as
specifically provided in sections 473.601 to 473.679.
    Subd. 12a. Revenue bonds. (a) The commission may issue general airport revenue bonds,
special facilities bonds, and passenger facility charge bonds to fund:
(1) airports and air navigation facilities;
(2) other capital improvements at airports managed by the commission;
(3) noise abatement and natural resource protection measures, regardless of location and
ownership;
(4) transportation and parking improvements related to airports managed by the commission,
regardless of location; and
(5) the refund of any outstanding obligations of the commission.
The commission may secure the bonds with available revenue in accordance with generally
accepted public financial practices under a resolution of the commission or trust indenture for
the bonds. The bonds may not be secured by the full faith and credit of the commission or a
pledge of the taxing authority of the commission or of any city in or for which the commission
has been created.
(b) The commission shall notify the commissioner of finance, the chair of the Taxes
Committee of the house of representatives, and the chair of the Taxes and Tax Laws Committee of
the senate of any proposal to issue bonds under this subdivision and provide them an opportunity
to review the proposal.
(c) The commission may obligate itself to establish, revise, and collect rates, fees, charges,
and rentals for all airport and air navigation facilities used by or made available to any person,
firm, association, or corporation to produce revenues sufficient:
(1) to pay principal and interest on all obligations of the commission;
(2) to fund reserves for the bonds;
(3) to pay other commission expenses in accordance with law.
(d)(1) Any pledge of revenues under this section is subordinate to the pledge of current
revenues to cancel taxes levied for general obligation revenue bonds issued under section 473.665.
(2) Subject to clause (1), if the bonds meet the conditions of section 473.667, subdivision
7
, the commission may pledge revenues to the revenue bonds issued under this subdivision on
a parity with the pledge of revenues to general obligation revenue bonds issued under section
473.667. The pledge of revenues to revenue bonds issued under this subdivision may be prior
to the obligation under section 473.667, subdivision 6, to repay any deficiency taxes levied for
general obligation revenue bonds.
(3) The commission may pledge revenues of any discrete facility or portions of the airport
and air navigation facilities of the commission to the bonds. The commission may establish
reserves from any available funds or the proceeds of the bonds and may make other covenants as
it deems necessary to protect the holders of the bonds. Passenger facility charge bonds may pledge
receipts from passenger facility charges separately or together with a pledge of other revenues.
(e) The commission may use any powers under chapter 475, except the power to issue
general obligation bonds.
    Subd. 13. Use of money. It may use for the following purposes any available moneys
received by it from any source as herein provided, in excess of those appropriated, donated,
loaned, or otherwise paid over to the corporation for specific purposes, or received from the sale
of bonds, and those required for the payment of any bonds issued by the corporation and interest
thereon, according to the terms of such bonds or of any mortgage or trust deed accompanying
the same: (a) To pay the necessary incidental expenses of carrying on the business and activities
of the corporation as herein authorized; (b) to pay the cost of operating, maintaining, repairing,
extending, and improving the properties under the control of the corporation; (c) to pay interest
and principal of any bonds heretofore issued by either of the cities or any board of park
commissioners of either thereof to secure funds for the acquisition, establishment, construction or
enlargement of any airport referred to in section 473.621, subdivision 2, payment of which has
been assumed by it, or by the state of Minnesota; (d) if any further such excess moneys remain,
to purchase upon the open market at or above or below the face or par value thereof any bonds
issued by the corporation as herein authorized; any bonds so purchased to thereupon be canceled.
    Subd. 14. State, federal aid, contracts. It may accept from the United States or the state
of Minnesota, or any of their agencies, moneys or other assistance, whether by gift, loan, or
otherwise, for the purpose of carrying out the purposes of sections 473.601 to 473.679, and
developing airports and other aeronautic facilities, and may enter into such contracts with the
United States or the state of Minnesota, or any of their agencies as it may deem proper and
consistent with the purposes of sections 473.601 to 473.679.
    Subd. 15. Contracts to further aeronautics, for passengers. Without limitation upon any
other powers in sections 473.601 to 473.679, it may contract with any person for the use by
the person of any property and facilities under its control, for such purposes, and to an extent
as will, in the opinion of the commissioners, further the interests of aeronautics in this state
and particularly within the metropolitan area, including, but not limited to, the right to lease
property or facilities, or any part thereof, for a term not to exceed 99 years, to any person, the
national government, or any foreign government, or any department of either, or to the state
or any municipality. The corporation shall not have the authority to lease, in its entirety, any
municipal airport taken over by it under the provisions of sections 473.601 to 473.679. The
commission may contract with any person for the use or lease in accordance with this subdivision
of any property and facilities under its control for motel, hotel and garage purposes, and for other
purposes as, in the opinion of the commissioners, are desirable to furnish goods, wares, services
and accommodations to or for the passengers and other users of airports under the control of the
corporation. Nothing in this subdivision shall be interpreted to permit the sale of intoxicating
liquor upon the property or facilities except as authorized in chapter 340.
    Subd. 16. Incident powers. It may generally carry on the business of acquiring, establishing,
developing, extending, maintaining, operating, and managing airports, with all powers incident
thereto except it is expressly prohibited from exercising these powers for the purpose of future
construction of a major new airport.
    Subd. 17. Ordinances. (1) It may adopt and enforce rules, regulations, and ordinances it
deems necessary for the purposes of sections 473.601 to 473.679, including those relating to the
internal operation of the corporation and to the management and operation of airports owned or
operated by it, subject to sections 473.601 to 473.679. Any person violating any rule, regulation
or ordinance is guilty of a misdemeanor.
(2) The prosecution may be before the district court having jurisdiction over the place
where the violation occurs. Every sheriff, police officer, and other peace officer shall arrest
offenders. The fines collected shall be paid into the treasury of the corporation. The portion of
the fines necessary to cover all costs and disbursements incurred in processing and prosecuting
the violations in the court shall be transferred to the court administrator. All persons committed
shall be received into any penal institution in the county in which the offense was committed. All
persons shall take notice of the rules, regulations, and ordinances without pleading or proof.
(3) A public hearing need not be held on rules, regulations and ordinances relating to the
internal operation of the commission or to the management or operation of airports owned or
operated by it unless the rule, regulation or ordinance affects substantial rights.
(4) When necessary, the corporation may adopt and enforce without a public hearing all
other rules, regulations or ordinances, but it shall hold a public hearing within 30 days after their
adoption. Prior to the hearing, the corporation shall give at least 15 days' notice by publication
in appropriate legal newspapers of general circulation in the metropolitan area and mail a copy
of them to all interested parties who have registered their names with the corporation for
that purpose. If the rules, regulations, or ordinances are not deemed immediately necessary,
the corporation shall hold a public hearing on them after giving the required notice. The rules,
regulations, or ordinances shall not be adopted and enforced until after the hearing.
(5) Notice of the adoption of rules, regulations and ordinances shall, as soon as possible after
adoption, be published in appropriate legal newspapers of general circulation in the metropolitan
area. Proof of publication and a copy of the rule, regulation, or ordinance shall be filed with the
secretary of state. They shall then be in full force and effect.
(6) Any person substantially interested or affected in rights as to person or property by
a rule, regulation or ordinance adopted by the corporation, may petition the corporation for
reconsideration, amendment, modification, or waiver of it. The petition shall set forth a clear
statement of the facts and grounds upon which it is based. The corporation shall grant the
petitioner a public hearing within 30 days after the filing of the petition.
    Subd. 18. Hearings and the like. It shall have the power to conduct investigations, inquiries
and hearings concerning matters covered by the provisions of sections 473.601 to 473.679 and
orders, rules and regulations of the commission; and shall hold hearings as required by said
sections 473.601 to 473.679. Notice of hearings to all interested parties shall be given as specified
in said sections 473.601 to 473.679, in the instances specified, and otherwise in accordance
with such rules as the commission may adopt. All hearings shall be open to the public, and
shall be conducted by the commission itself or a committee or member thereof designated by
the commission for such purposes. Where a hearing is conducted by a committee or a member
of the commission, such committee or member shall make a full and complete report thereof,
together with a transcript of all testimony and evidence taken at the hearing, to the commission
and the commission shall proceed to a determination of the subject matter of said hearing and
make its findings and conclusions and order with respect thereto. Any member of the commission
conducting or participating in the conduct of any hearing shall have the power to administer oaths
and affirmations, to issue subpoenas, and compel the attendance and testimony of witnesses, and
the production of papers, books and documents. The commission, or its director, shall upon
request of any party to a hearing issue subpoenas to compel the attendance and testimony of
witnesses, and the production of papers, books and documents. In case of failure of any witness to
comply with any served subpoena, the commission may invoke the aid of any court of this state of
general jurisdiction. The court may order the witness to comply with the subpoena and any failure
so to do may be punished by the court as a contempt thereof. The testimony and other evidence at
any and all hearings shall be taken by a reporter employed by the commission, and any party in
interest upon payment to said reporter of the going rates therefor shall be entitled to a transcript
thereof. Witnesses shall receive the same fees and mileage as in court actions, and a witness before
being required to respond to a subpoena shall be given fees and mileage for one day's attendance.
    Subd. 19. Acoustical barriers. The corporation shall construct an acoustical barrier in or
along the perimeter of maintenance areas of the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. It
also shall construct acoustical barriers along the perimeter of runways of such airport where it is
reasonably necessary, practical and safe to do so according to the standards of the Federal Aviation
Administration. All barriers shall conform to specifications approved by the Pollution Control
Agency. For purposes of this subdivision, an acoustical barrier is a wall, fence, natural barrier
such as an earthen barrier or trees designed to abate noise. The corporation shall also confer and
cooperate with any entity which it creates for the purpose of studying and implementing sound
abatement programs and with representatives of persons residing in the vicinity of any airport
who desire to explore means for relieving the area of the detrimental effects of aircraft noise.
Notwithstanding the provisions of any other law none of the construction authorized by this
subdivision shall be subject to review or approval by the Metropolitan Council.
    Subd. 20.[Repealed, 1996 c 310 s 1]
    Subd. 21. Airport zoning boards. The corporation shall establish one joint airport zoning
board for each airport operated under its authority in accordance with section 360.063, subdivision
3
, paragraph (e). Notwithstanding the provisions of section 360.065, subdivision 1, mailed notice
to property owners is not required for hearings concerning adoption of zoning regulations by a
joint airport zoning board for Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.
    Subd. 22. TDD phones. The commission shall provide, in public areas at the international
airport, public pay telephones with telecommunications devices, commonly known as "TDD's,"
that permit a communication-impaired person to communicate with others by telephone. The
commission shall provide one such telephone on each concourse of the main terminal, one in the
main ticketing area of the main terminal, and one in the Humphrey Terminal. The commission
shall place signs at strategic locations in and about the terminals indicating where the telephones
are available.
    Subd. 23. Parking privileges. Except as otherwise provided in this subdivision, the
commission may not provide free parking at the Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport
terminal. The commission may provide free parking to employees and members of the
commission who are at the terminal on official business. The commission may provide free
parking at the Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport terminal for persons who are not
employees or members of the commission if those persons are attending a meeting of the
commission or performing volunteer work in the terminal. A card or pass issued to provide free
parking must have an expiration date of no later than one year after the card or pass is issued. The
commission shall require an expired card to be returned to the commission or shall account for
it in another manner. The commission shall maintain a record of who receives free parking at
the terminal, including the person's name, organization, date, the dollar value of the free parking
provided, and the purpose for which the free parking was provided.
    Subd. 24. Certain aircraft prohibited. After complying with the publication and public
comment requirements of United States Code, title 49, section 47524(b), and other applicable
federal requirements, the corporation shall prohibit operation at Minneapolis-St. Paul International
Airport of aircraft not complying with stage 3 noise levels after December 31, 1999.
    Subd. 25. Implementation of long-term plan. The corporation shall implement the
Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport year 2010 long-term comprehensive plan.
    Subd. 26. Final environmental impact statement. The corporation shall not be required
to provide environmental or technical analysis of the new airport alternative in the dual track
planning process final environmental impact statement.
    Subd. 27. Use of reliever airports. The corporation shall develop and implement a plan to
divert the maximum feasible number of general aviation operations from Minneapolis-St. Paul
International Airport to those airports designated by the federal aviation administration as reliever
airports for Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.
    Subd. 28. Prohibition of replacement passenger terminal. The corporation is prohibited
from constructing a replacement passenger terminal on the west side of Minneapolis-St. Paul
International Airport without legislative approval.
    Subd. 29. Construction of a third parallel runway. (a) The corporation must enter into a
contract with each affected city that provides the corporation may not construct a third parallel
runway at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport without the affected city's approval. The
corporation must enter into the contracts by January 1, 1997.
(b) If a contract with a city as required by this subdivision is not executed by January 1,
1997, as a result of the corporation failing to act in good faith, the amount the corporation must
spend for noise mitigation in the affected city is increased by 100 percent of the amount spent in
the most recent year in which an expenditure was made for noise mitigation in the affected city.
(c) A contract entered into by a city and the corporation under this subdivision creates
and the contract must provide third party beneficiary rights on behalf of the affected property
owners in the affected cities. These third party beneficiary rights apply only if a state law changes,
supersedes, or invalidates the contract or authorizes or enables the corporation to construct a third
parallel runway notwithstanding the contract.
(d) An "affected city" is any city that would experience an increase in the area located within
the 60 Ldn noise contour as a result of operations using the third parallel runway.
History: 1975 c 13 s 100; 1976 c 265 s 1; 1977 c 417 s 5-7; 1979 c 302 s 4; 1980 c 450 s
2; 1981 c 27 s 2; 1983 c 330 s 2; 1983 c 359 s 67; 1986 c 444; 1Sp1986 c 3 art 1 s 82; 1989 c
111 s 2; 1991 c 350 art 1 s 23; 1996 c 378 s 1; 1996 c 464 art 3 s 2-10; 1996 c 471 art 7 s 19;
1998 c 254 art 2 s 49; 2000 c 418 art 2 s 11; 1Sp2001 c 13 s 17; 2004 c 206 s 52; 2005 c 10
art 2 s 4; 2006 c 214 s 20