I think what everyone was trying to say (at least some of the threads) is that it is very difficult in MSP to find gate space.
It's difficult at virtually any major airport to find additional gate space. And aircraft RON is irreverent -- it's cheaper to rent remote parking space than it is to lease additional gates that you don't need (for the purpose other than to park an aircraft at it). For example, at DTW HP
operates a total of five daily departures but overnights three aircraft (and it's been that way for a few years). After CO
eliminated its agreement with HP
, the latter sought to lease a single gate. (However, the opening of the new terminal and CO
's move to it meant there was quite a bit of excess gates at DTW
... thus HP
's three gates for cheap, but that's irreverent to my point -- they only wanted one, even though three aircraft RON). CO
, any many other airlines, overnights more aircraft than it has gates at many airports throughout its system.
To answer the original poster, it's not hard to have four aircraft on the ground at the same time for an airline that serves only two destinations from MSP
-- not only RON, but it's possible for some aircraft to depart a few minutes early and others to arrive a few minutes early so that you have two departures on the ground and two arrivals on the ground at the same time.
And to answer another poster, UA
's operation at MSP
is very doable with three gates, even with the three extra IAD