At the state Capitol today, hearings continue on Delta Air Lines' acquisition of Eagan-based Northwest Airlines.
Officials with the Metropolitan Airports Commission will be at today's hearing to explain their perspective on Delta's plan to put the combined airline's headquarters in Atlanta.
As part of loan and lease agreements with the airports commission, Northwest had agreed to keep its headquarters in Minnesota. Commission spokesman Patrick Hogan says Northwest can try to buy its way out of that obligation.
But the commission expects Delta to somehow make good on Northwest's headquarters promise.
"From our standpoint, Northwest made an agreement with the airports commission and we expect them to live up to that agreement. And if they don't live up to that agreement, we would certainly hope they provide something in return to Minnesota in terms of jobs and air service," said Hogan.
If the combined airline's headquarters goes to Atlanta, the airports commission could force Northwest to repay some $245 million in bonds. The bonds are related to a loan the commission granted Northwest.
Sending the airline's headquarters south would also cost the airline about $215 million in lease rate reductions and revenue sharing at the airport.
Delta has signaled it wants to negotiate a new commitment to Minnesota concerning its operations here.