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FAA changes environmental review of Charlotte-Douglas International Airport runway

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The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has decided to convert the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the proposed new runway and other projects at Charlotte-Douglas International Airport (CLT) to an Environmental Assessment (EA). A major change to the length of the proposed new runway and the resulting decrease in potential significant environmental impacts prompted the decision.

In October 2018, the FAA completed a Runway Length Analysis as part of the EIS process. The analysis determined that a shorter runway length of 10,000 feet is adequate to accommodate aircraft that will operate at the airport in the future. The original proposed runway length was 12,000 feet.

The EA also will cover other projects including the proposed addition of 12 gates each to Concourses B and C, expansion of the aircraft parking aprons at the concourses, and a new North Parking Garage.

CLT’s 2016 Airport Capacity Enhancement Program (ACEP), identified and recommended the projects to meet future airfield and terminal capacity demands. Operational data gathered during the EIS process confirmed the need for the new development.

The proposed shorter runway would allow West Boulevard to be relocated on existing roadways closer to the airport’s operational area, which would lessen the impact on the community.

The City of Charlotte, which operates the airport, will produce the EA in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). It can complete the EA in about one year. The public will have the opportunity to review and comment on a draft EA, and comments will be included in the final document. The FAA will issue a final environmental determination and Record of Decision on the EA.

Throughout the environmental process, the airport will keep the public fully informed of and involved in the EA as it moves forward.

The FAA posted a notice in the Federal Register today announcing the decision.