Minneapolis ARTCC
Controller Schedule
July 13th, 2024
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(1/16) DAL2904 KABQ KMSP Arriving Shortly

Welcome to Minneapolis.

Let's get started.

Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020
FlightBeam KMSP
Purchase, $19.99

ZMP highly recommends MSFS pilots to pick up a copy of FlightBeam's KMSP scenery. Featuring an exquisite and realistic depiction of the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, and including recent airport upgrades such as Runway 35 and the Terminal 2 expansion, this scenery makes sure that all who fly in/out of KMSP have en enjoyable experience.

connomar KMSP

This is a detailed and free scenery for KMSP by connomar. Recent upgrades include new renditions of the concourses at Terminal 1.

Verticalsim KOMA
Purchase, $16.49

This scenery is a high quality rendition of Omaha Eppley field for Microsoft Flight Simulator. ZMP wholeheartedly recommends this scenery.

KGRB by StarSim
Purchase, €13.99

StarSim has created an accurate rendition of KGRB for Microsoft Flight Simulator, which includes the airport and surrounding mesh.

Flight Simulator X & Prepar3D
FlightBeam KMSP
Purchase, $29.99

ZMP highly recommends FSX or P3D pilots to pick up a copy of FlightBeam's KMSP scenery. Featuring an exquisite and realistic depiction of the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, and including recent airport upgrades such as Runway 35 and the Terminal 2 expansion, this scenery makes sure that all who fly in/out of KMSP have en enjoyable experience.

KMSP by Martin Connor

This freeware scenery accurately depicts KMSP and includes runway 35 and Terminal 2. ZMP recommends this scenery for budget-minded simmers who want an accurate, although not overly detailed, version of the airport.

KMSP by Todd Fleck & Daniel Everman

This X-Plane scenery is a high-quality rendition of the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport and is recommended by ZMP for those using X-Plane 10 or 11. This scenery was also recently updated by Daniel Everman to include PBR lighting and various other fixes & improvements.

KGRB by StarSim
Purchase, $15.00

StarSim has created an accurate rendition of KGRB for X-Plane, which includes the airport and surrounding mesh.

Airport Overview

Minneapolis-Saint Paul airport is located approximately 10 miles south of both Minneapolis and Saint Paul. It has two terminal buildings and multiple facilities catering to cargo, military, and general aviation operations.

Airport Diagram

Terminal 1

Terminal 1 is home to many legacy carriers and is a hub for Delta Air Lines, the airport's largest airline. Delta and its SkyTeam partners currently occupy 6 of the 7 concourses at Terminal 1. Concourse E, known by its nickname "Everybody Else", handles United, American, Alaska, Frontier, and Spirit flights.

Terminal 1

Hover over a terminal.  

The above map and table below should help you determine an appropriate parking position at Terminal 1.

Terminal 1
Concourse A Delta Connection
Concourse B Delta Connection
Denver Air Connection
Concourse C Gates C1-C8 Delta Connection E175, CRJ7, CRJ9
Gates C9+ Delta Mainline
Gate C9 Aer Lingus
Gates C9-C11 American (Overflow)
Concourse D Delta Mainline
United (Overflow)
Concourse E Gate E1 Alaska/Horizon
Gate E3 Air Canada
Gates E5-E10 United/United Express
Gates E11-E16 American/American Eagle
Gates E2 & E4 Spirit
Concourse F All Gates Delta Mainline
Gates F10, F12, F14 Delta Mainline (Wide-Body)
Concourse G All Gates Delta Mainline
SkyTeam Partners
Gates G1-G9 Delta Mainline
SkyTeam Partners (Wide-Body)
Terminal 2

Terminal 2, built in 2002, handles mostly low-cost carrier operations. It is currently home to Sun Country, Southwest, Icelandair, and Condor.

Terminal 2

Terminal 2 Sun Country, Southwest, Icelandair, JetBlue, Condor
Terminal 2
Gates H1-H9 Sun Country
Gate H9 Frontier
Gate H10 JetBlue
Gates H10-H13 Icelandair
Gates H10-H14 Southwest
General Overview

As a general rule, all arrival procedures are filed with the route in an aircraft's flightplan. This cuts down on the number of transmissions and controller workload.

RNAV Optimized Profile Descent Procedures

As of AIRAC 1503, RNAV Optimzed Profile Descent profiles are the preferred arrival routes into MSP for turbojet aircraft only. These arrival routes are the MUSCL, KKILR, BAINY, TORGY, NITZR, and BLUEM. These types of arrival routes are designed to minimize or eliminate steps during descent, saving fuel and time. Please file these arrivals, if able, into MSP.

Depending on the direction of arrival, Minneapolis Center will instruct aircraft on these arrivals to "descend at pilot's discretion, maintain FL240" or "descend via". In both instances, pilots should plan a continuous descent path to meet the "hard" altitude fixes on the arrival. Pilots should not descend to meet the minimum altitude possible for an "at-or-above" fix.

Per the chart instructions for these procedures, pilots should descend via their cruise Mach number until reaching 280 knots, then descend at 280 knots until further slowed by the restrictions by the STAR.

Please keep in mind:

  • You are not cleared to descend via the arrival until ATC issues a "descend via" clearance.
  • You are not authorized to climb to a higher altitude when issued a "descend via" clearance.
  • Speed restrictions are mandatory unless specifically authorized by ATC. This usually takes the form of "delete speeds until [waypoint]."
  • If vectored off the arrival, a hard altitude will be issued. Once re-joining the arrival, you are authorized only to follow the lateral portion of the arrival; to descend via the vertical profile, a new "descend via" clearance must be obtained from ATC.
Conventional Arrival Procedures

Pilots operating non-jet aircraft into MSP and all types of aircraft into MSP Satellite Airports (ANE, STP, FCM, etc.) should file and expect to fly "conventional" or "legacy" arrival procedures. These aircraft are typically issued "descend at pilot's discretion, maintain FL240". It is imperative that pilots do not descend immediately when issued this instruction, but rather descend at the computed top of descent in order to meet hard altitude restrictions.

Once reaching the low Minneapolis Center sector, aircraft will be issued a crossing restriction in line with the altitude restrictions published on the chart. If a speed restriction is assigned, aircraft are expected to meet the assigned speed by the crossing restriction.

If arriving into Minneapolis, be careful to fly the appropriate assigned headings on the chart. For example, the SKETR arrival specifies a heading of 120° after MONKY when landing 30L/R, and a heading of 170° after CHYMP when landing runway 35.

Please keep in mind:

  • Do not reduce to 250kts or less until advised by ATC or as required by the 250kt speed restriction under 10,000 ft.
  • Turbojet aircraft capable of flying an RNAV Optimized Profile Descent arrival should file one instead of a conventional arrival.
  • Speed restrictions are mandatory unless specifically authorized by ATC.
  • Advise ATC when vacating a previously assigned altitude for a newly assigned altitude.
  • Comply with published headings appropriate for your assigned landing runway at MSP.
Initial Contact

When checking on with Minneapolis Approach, advise the controller of the current ATIS code at your destination airfield. The controller will usually respond with a runway assignment and any relevant information or control instructions. From entering M98's airspace to gate arrival, please give the controller your full attention, as frequencies will be busy and instructions will be issued in rapid succesion to multiple aircraft. Use of ACARS or TeamSpeak/Discord chat functions should be kept at a minimum once in the terminal environment.

By this point, you should have familiarized yourself with the arrival procedure and runway transition. Note the instructions on each of the arrivals, particularly on arrivals with a downwind portion (BLUEM landing 12R, e.g.) Note that these arrivals typically assign a heading to fly after the last fix (heading 300 after GREAK, e.g.), and pilots are expected to comply. Once on one of these assigned headings, pilots should expect vectors to the airport. At no point should a pilot execute a base turn or execute an RNAV approach unless cleared to do so.

Final Approach

Depending on the traffic levels, you may be issued another frequency change to the Final Approach controller. If you are landing at an M98 satellite airport, you will be handed off to the satellite controller (MSP_E_APP) who will sequence you onto your requested approach at your destination airport. When instructed, please check on with the controller as soon as possible. Not doing so will lead to delays.

When instructed to turn, it is imperative to initiate the turn upon receipt prior to or during your readback. Not doing so will lead to missed localizer captures. When cleared for the approach, the controller may assign a speed restriction to the final approach fix ("maintain 170 knots or greater until HAMML", e.g.) For sequencing purposes, do not reduce to final approach speed until inside of the final approach fix.

Please keep in mind:

  • When on an assigned vector or when following an arrival, you are not allowed to turn or join an approach until cleared to do so.
  • Do not pre-program an RNAV approach into your FMC, as this will cause the plane to turn in violation of the above rule.
Gate Assignment

Before arriving at MSP, decide where you are parking. Either on approach or after landing, you will be asked for your gate number in order to facilitate taxi. Please have an airport diagram available for reference for your assigned taxi route.

Landing & Taxi

ZMP simulates ASDE-X. Please taxi with your transponder with altitude encoding on ("Mode C") while on all taxiways and runways. If unable, advise controllers as soon as practical.

Do not cross any runway without a clearance from a controller. This rule applies to all active, inactive, and closed runways.

There is no need to advise the controller that you have arrived or parked at the gate.

If you will be departing MSP, please obtain the most recent ATIS information and contact MSP_DEL (or MSP_GND if MSP_DEL is not online) to obtain your clearance. Be prepared to copy amendments, as routes may change due to weather or traffic volume.

Please keep in mind:

  • You may not cross any runway (active, inactive, or closed) without prior authorization from ATC.
  • Taxi with altitude encoding on ("Mode C") while on all movement areas (taxiways and runways.)

Standard Instrument Departures

All Minneapolis SIDs are radar vector procedures. Departures from MSP are assigned a heading and are advised to "climb via SID". As such, on departure, pilots are required to fly the assigned heading and to comply with all altitude restrictions on the chart on the climb to their assigned top altitude.

Minneapolis has 14 published SIDs; 4 of which are RNAV. The 10 non-RNAV departures are COULT, DARWIN, KBREW, MEADOW LAKE, MINNEAPOLIS, ORSKY, ROCHESTER, SCHEP, WLSTN, and ZMBRO. The 4 RNAV departures are LEINY, HESTIN, SLAYER, and SMERF. The HESTIN, SLAYER, and MEADOW LAKE procedures are for MSP runway 17 departures only and are rarely used.

Pushback & Taxi

Pushback onto movement areas (e.g. taxiways) requires a clearance from MSP_GND. As such, a clearance to push must be obtained off of most gates at MSP, excluding those in the alley between Concourses E and F and at Concourse A.

Taxi instructions at MSP tend to be lengthy. Be sure to have an airport diagram for reference, and to copy down taxi instructions accurately. Pilots are reminded that in order to cross any runway, a clearance must be obtained.

Please keep in mind:

  • Crossing any runway requires a clearance from ATC.

Pre-Departure Clearance

MSP Clearance Delivery uses text-based Pre-Departure Clearances which simulate PDCs on ACARS-equipped aircraft. If your route of flight and other flightplan information is valid, exect to receive two private messages from the appropriate clearance delivery controller. The PDC formatting at KMSP is as follows:



Ground Metering Procedures

During the busiest periods of an event, departure slot and ground metering procedures may be utilized in order to efficiently manage departure traffic from the airport. In the event that a flight booking system is used, priority will be given to pre-booked flights. If this procedure is used, the ATIS will be updated with the relevant NOTAM. It is very important that all airline traffic contact MSP_DEL prior to pushing back during metering procedures so that a proper departure sequence can be maintained. When contacting MSP_DEL for push, check on with the current ATIS information, gate, and assigned beacon code. (e.g. "Minneapolis Ground, Delta 589, gate C4.") Clearance Delivery will advise you monitor the appropriate MSP_GND controller, who will approve your push in sequence, and assign you a departure runway.

Please keep in mind:

  • When ground metering procedures are in effect, do not begin pushback until cleared to do so, even onto a non-movement area such as a ramp.

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All information contained on this website is intended for flight simulation purposes only and should not be used for real-world navigation or flight information. vZMP is in no way affiliated with the Federal Aviation Administration, NATCA, or any other governing aviation body. Images and other media remain property of their respective copyright holders and are used with permission and credited where requested. Banner images provided by Chris Lundberg.