CHICAGO -- Northwest Airlines and Minnesota officials announced a tentative agreement yesterday on a $699 million bond-financed deal to expand the airline's operations in the state.

The complex deal, put together after an initial financing proposal was scuttled by Northwest last month, still needs the approval of two independent state-created boards that have been asked to paticipate in the financing -- the Iron Range Resource and Rehabilitation Board and the Metropolitan Airports Commission. The state Legislature's Commission on Planning and Fiscal Policy must also approve the deal.

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