Friday, May 25, 2012

UPDATE 25 May 2012 from Leslie Grey, FAA

Good Morning,

In keeping with our recent practice, I’m sending you this monthly update for the Kodiak Airport EIS.  We skipped April because we had face-to-face meetings with some agencies.  I much prefer those in-person conversations, but since we don’t have the time and budget to meet very often I’ll get back on schedule with our regular update.

As you are aware, it is typical although not required for federal agencies to identify a preferred alternative in draft NEPA analyses, for both environmental assessments and environmental impact statements.  There are many reasons why identification of a preferred alternative can be helpful, to the agencies and public, but for projects involving complicated alternatives or sensitive environmental resources the preference isn’t always easy to determine.  That is the case for proposed runway safety area improvements at Kodiak Airport. FAA and our consulting team needed to work through many challenging issues, including constraints on aviation operations at Kodiak.  Further, we realized (with help from many of you) that the environmental analysis for some resources needed to be more rigorous.

I’m pleased to report that we are now in a position to identify what FAA intends to include in the Draft EIS as preferred alternatives for runway safety area improvements to Runways 07/25 and 18/36.  They are:

·        Runway 07/25 - Alternative 2. This alternative would improve runway safety area on the primary, east-west runway by placing fill into marine waters east of Runway end 25.  A 600-foot long RSA would be constructed that includes an EMAS (engineered materials arresting system) bed measuring 340 feet long by 170 feet.  The EMAS would provide a 70-knot stopping capability for the B737-400, design aircraft.

·        Runway 18/36 – Alternative 7.  This alternative would improve runway safety areas on both ends of the north-south Runway 18/36.  At the north, Runway end 18, no additional disturbance would occur beyond the current airport boundary but an EMAS bed measuring about 155 feet long by 170 feet wide, offering a 40-knot stopping capability for the B737-400 would be installed on the existing pavement.  At the south, Runway end 36 the runway would be shifted about 240 feet further south, and a 360-foot RSA would be constructed for a combined 600 linear feet of new fill beyond the existing runway threshold.
The preferred alternatives and other build alternatives that will be evaluated in the Draft EIS are shown in the figure Kodiak RSA Alternatives Comparison on the EIS web site at
Now that we have preferred alternatives we can move forward with some final work necessary to the environmental evaluations and compliance with other state and federal laws.  For example, we recently met with USFWS and NOAA Fisheries to re-initiate consultation required by the Endangered Species Act.  FAA will be submitting draft biological assessments to both of these agencies concurrent with publication of the Draft EIS.  Similarly, concurrent with the Draft EIS ADOT&PF will be submitting to the U.S. Coast Guard and USFWS an application for an ANILCA Title X permit.  The Draft EIS will serve as the requisite NEPA documentation supporting their application.
We still have much other work to be completed, including further consultation and coordination with many of you, but I fully expect the Draft EIS will be released to the public later this summer.  As I mentioned in the last project update, FAA will provide 60 days for everyone to review the Draft EIS and submit comments, and at least one public hearing will be held in Kodiak during the review period.
I will keep you informed as we get closer to release of the Draft EIS.  In the meantime, let me know if you have questions, comments or concerns.   My phone number is 271-5453 or you can email  

Best regards, Leslie

Leslie A. Grey
Environmental Protection Specialist
FAA - Alaskan Region, Airports Division

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