Nonprofit, nonpartisan journalism. Supported by readers.


MSP Airport ranks third for on-time departures

MSP sign photo
87.8 percent of MSP’s departures were on time in 2012.

The Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP) ranked third on a United States Department of Transportation (DOT)’s list that examined the percentage of on-time departures in 2012 at 29 major U.S. airports.

According to the DOT’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics division, 87.8 percent of MSP’s departures were on time in 2012.

Salt Lake City International Airport ranked first on the list, with 89.8 percent of departures on time, and the Portland International Airport ranked second, with 87.9 percent of its planes leaving on time.

Rounding out the 2012 list’s top five airports were the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (fourth), with 86.9 percent of departures on time, and the Charlotte Douglas International Airport (fifth), with 86.7 percent of planes departing on time.

MSP, which ranked fifth on the 2011 list, moved up two spots on the 2012 list.

The Bureau of Transportation Statistics summarizes and compares monthly on-time reports filed by 15 airlines at 29 major U.S. airports. Each of the airlines accounts for at least 1 percent of the nation’s total domestic, scheduled-service, passenger revenue. Departure flights are determined to be on time if they leave the gate less than 15 minutes after the scheduled departure time. A full explanation of the bureau’s methodology and data-collection policies can be viewed here.

Twin Cities BusinessAlthough MSP ranked third on the 2012 list, in the first two months of 2013 (January 1-February 28), it dropped to 13th on the list for on-time departures, with 83.4 percent of flights leaving on time.

The local airport has recently appeared on additional lists. Skytrax, which evaluates international travel through airline and airport reviews and advises members of the aviation industry, ranked MSP as 71st on its 2013 “World’s Top 100 Airports List.”

And in February, MSP ranked fourth on a list of the 10 best U.S. airports for business travelers, which was produced by Plymouth-based Travel Leaders Group. 

This article is reprinted in partnership with Twin Cities Business.

You can also learn about all our free newsletter options.

Comments (1)

  1. Submitted by Todd Hintz on 05/07/2013 - 04:09 pm.


    As a math geek, 87% seems kind of weak to me. I would be more impressed with on-time statistics in the upper 90s. It doesn’t help any that these figures aren’t based on when the plane leaves the ground, but rather when it leaves the gate. As everyone knows, the plane can sit on the tarmac for quite a while before those wings get a little wind under them.

Leave a Reply