New voices at MSP remind you of the rules  

Mar 6, 2022

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Some airports enlist local dignitaries or celebrities to voice the safety and welcome messages passengers hear inside the terminals.

Popular local musicians can be heard at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) reminding travelers not to smoke.

Denver International Airport (DEN) periodically invites the public to vote on which local celebrities will voice the “Train Call” messages passengers here on the train that runs between the concourses and the terminal.

And in the past, passengers traveling on the moving walkways at what is now Harry Reid International Airport (LAS) in Las Vegas would hear the voices of headline entertainers such as Phyllis Diller, Dick Clark and Rodney Dangerfield wittily warning them that the moving walkway was ending.

Today, the voices you hear on the overhead operational messages at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP) belong to people who spend their work hours at the airport.

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(Photo courtesy of MSP Airport)

For many years MSP had professional announcers record the in-terminal messages. But in 2021 the airport switched to a program that celebrates and taps in-house airport talent. To choose the voices, MSP  now hosts the annual Voices of MSP Program, which solicits sample recordings from airport workers. The pool of potential contestants is quite large: MSP is one of the country’s busiest airports and supports more than 86,000 jobs.

To choose the 2022-2023 winners, the Voices of MSP Program opened casting calls in November 2021. A local panel of judges then selected the final 10 winners based on sample recordings. The announcements have already started running and will be heard for the next year.

This year’s winners represent five companies and organizations at the airport: Delta Air Lines, SkyWest Airlines, Marsden Building Maintenance (whose employees are responsible for cleaning more than 3.2 million square feet of MSP), Airport Foundation MSP and the Metropolitan Airport Commission, which operates MSP. And the contest winners have jobs that range from being a chief pilot and a sergeant with the airport police, to customer service agents, a purchasing agent and an arts program coordinator.

(Photo courtesy of MSP Airport)

The full list of airport employees chosen as the 2022-2023 winners will officially be announced on Monday. But TPG learned that Noah Keesecker and Lykoung Wong are two of the winners whose voices you’ll soon hear in MSP’s terminal lobbies and concourses, at automated exits, inside airport trams, at baggage carousels, along moving walkways and elsewhere.

“I thought it would be exciting to give back and find another way to be part of the airport,” Noah Keesecker, the arts program coordinator for the Airport Foundation MSP said in a statement. “It’s fantastic that I get to vocally welcome people to Terminal 2.” Keesecker’s previous experience includes a small voice acting part in a musical he scored.

Lykoung Wong, a Delta Air Lines service center lead at MSP, had never done any voice work before she auditioned with a co-worker who suggested they both give it a shot.

“I hope my voice brings comfort,” said Wong, whose announcement offers a reminder about liquids, gels and aerosols near the TSA checkpoints. “I want it to be informational, but show that we are here to help get you to your destination safely, while making it an enjoyable experience.”

Featured photo courtesy of MSP Airport.

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