The Friedman Memorial Airport Authority (FMAA) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announce that a draft Environmental Assessment (EA) has been prepared in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969 and the Council of Environmental Quality (CEQ) guidelines to analyze the potential environmental impacts of proposed improvements to the Friedman Memorial Airport (SUN). The federal regulatory agency with jurisdiction over civil aviation is the FAA, which must review and approve all proposed facilities and development on airport property to ensure compatibility with safe airport operations.
FMAA proposes to undertake airport improvements at SUN that include:
- Acquire 64.6 acres of property at the southern end of Runway 31 to gain full control of the land encompassing the Runway Safety Area (RSA), full length of the Runway Object Free Area (ROFA), and most of the Runway Protection Zone (RPZ), as well as maintain the areas where obstructions (trees located along the Cove Canal and near the farmstead) are located within the Part 77 Approach Surface and AC 5300-13A Departure Surface.
- Remove all trees (including obstruction lights currently placed in the trees) on the south end of the runway that penetrate, or could penetrate in the future, the Airport’s approach/departure surfaces. Up to 200 trees may be removed. Once the obstructions have been removed, FAA would amend the departure procedure for Runway 13 to remove the takeoff notes related to those obstructions.
- Extend the Airport perimeter fence to provide fencing for the full length of the ROFA, which extends 1,000 feet beyond the Runway 31 end. The perimeter fence will be extended approximately 400 feet south of its current location to encompass 6.5 additional acres and contain the full RSA and full length of the ROFA.
These improvements are shown on Figure 1-7 of the Draft EA.
A Section 4(f) Evaluation has also been prepared in accordance with Section 4(f) of the U.S. DOT Act of 1966 (now codified at 49 U.S.C. § 303), which protects significant publicly owned parks, recreational areas, wildlife and waterfowl refuges, and public and private historic sites. The Proposed Action includes the acquisition of property and removal of obstructions (trees) within the Eccles Flying Hat Ranch, which is a historic property eligible to the National Register of Historic Places. This evaluation explains the purpose and need for the project, discussion of alternatives, and determines that there no feasible and prudent alternative that would avoid the use of the Section 4(f) property.