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Integrating Planning &

Environmental Assessment
Strategies for Success

Mark Clark - Niagara Frontier

Transportation Authority
Rick Lucas - McFarland Johnson
Jeff Wood - McFarland Johnson
Sue McDonald - Federal Aviation
Planning & NEPA

The Silo Syndrome

Airport Consultants FAA

Planning NEPA
What creates the Silo Syndrome & the end
Sponsors generate a project
Engineering designs the project
Sponsors hire a consultant to Do NEPA
What happens when it gets to the FAA?

But you said here but I really

meant here,
FAA Airport The Result ?
FAA Why cant you streamline

your process?
It is taking too long!
The Solution? Topple Those Silos

How is that done?

Think about it?

Adding common sense to a

problem = common sense
The Team Approach - Hey, thats just
common sense

Ok Sponsors you go first!

Start Your Plan

How to Start That Plan?
Know Your Airport What is Really
Make Your Projects Based on this Need
- From there, Develop a Solid Purpose &
Understand Your Environmental
Plan on Letting Your FAA Know of Your
Plan on Choosing an Appropriate
Know My Airport?
Sponsors Need to:
Know Your Airport
Know Your Airports True Purpose &
Know Your Environmental Constraints
Know Your Public
Know How to Choose the Right
Know Your FAA
Knowing Your Airport

Do you understand your runways?

Do you understand your environmental conditions

like floodplains, wetlands, air quality or noise?
Knowing Your Airport

Is your hanger space large

enough or do you really need
better access to it?

e you satisfied your RSA requirements, or is it

Part 77 Study or land acquisition you need?

Can you get to and from your airport e

Knowing Your Airports Projects
& Needs

Our Sustainable Master Plan Issues:

Traffic Flow
Inbound Baggage issues
Airfield & Snow Removal Facilities
Auto Parking
Do We Know our Public?

Is public perception of the airport accurate?

How will they react to controversy?

Is there public trust in the

Know How to Choose the Right
Consultant for the Job
AC 150/1500-14d: Architectural, Engineering,
and Planning Consultant Services for Airport
Grant Projects
How the FAA requires you to evaluate & hire a
consultant for FAA-funded projects
Choosing consultants should not be an afterthought
Choosing the right consultant for the project is crucial to succe
Sponsor MUST identify early project expectations to potential c
Know Your FAA

Get to Know Your FAA

Network with them any time possible

Get to know what makes them tick
Understand their schedules
Does your ADO know your consultants
Let them get to know you
So We Now Know it All.
Planning Next
Our Step?
Projects with Purpose and

Purpose: Something set up as an object or end to be

Need: Necessary duty

Purpose & Need:

Build something that is necess
Purpose and Need
Ask Yourself the Details
Is your project(s) really needed and

If it is, can we prove it?

Once a project is deemed viable and needed, Environmental

must be considered as part of the planning as you begin to write
your Purpose and Need.

If you have not considered environmental

impacts early enough, trouble is brewing so
Heres your sign Mr. Airport, expect a bumpy ride.
How We did the Plan at BNIA

Our Language as a condition in the RFP for our Mas

It is the intent of this Master Plan Update to integrate NEPA/SEQRA considerations into its
planning process for the purpose of avoiding or minimizing environmental impacts on
selected alternatives and general capital planning.

Environmental conditions will play a key role in airport development and must be
considered during planning
and development stages of the Master Plan.

NEPA/SEQRA should not be considered the driving factor in planning direction of capital
but used more as a reference guidance aimed at producing NEPA compatible projects.
Proper integration shall assist in development of:

Projects that avoid extreme environmental conflicts

Projects that generate a strong Purpose and Need
Projects that will be compatible in streamlining the Environmental Assessment process
Projects that minimize public controversy
Plan is in Place Whats Next?

Continue Team Coordination

Time to get our Consultant on board with our

Planner Perspective Why NEPA
Planning & Engineering:
- Client Service
- Project Implementation Timeline
- Internal Project Efficiencies

Planning & Environmental:

- Client Service
- Project Implementation Timeline
- Internal Project Efficiencies
- FAA Service Better
Better Projects!
- Public Service
NEPA Integration vs. Separate
Process Have We Identified Environmental Features?
What are Major Environmental Constraints?
Political Considerations?

Inventory What are Underlying Assumptions of the Forecasts?

Future Fleet Mix?
Facility Requirements What is the justification?
Project Timing?
Were Environmental Constraints and Regulations Considered?
Recommended Plan Cost and Time Associated with Regulatory Compliance?
Community Impacts?
Airport Layout Plan
Does Preferred Alterative have the Least Impact? If Not, Why Not?
Economic Benefits?
Land Use Considerations
Construction Impacts

Can we get permits?

What is the NEPA process? How long and when?
Buffalo Niagara International (BNIA)
Project Approach
Project Team
- Multi-Discipline
Sustainable Foundation
- Sponsor Established Goals and Objectives
- Share Vision with Stakeholders
- Obtaining Buy-In
Alternatives Analysis
- Incorporating NEPA into Evaluation Criteria
BNIA Stakeholder
Make the Meeting Environment Green
- Sustainable Incorporation Recap with Every
Stakeholder Meeting
- Revisit Goals and Objectives
Gathering Data from Stakeholders
- Sustainability Charrette
- Think Green when Determining Facility
Going Outside the Box
- Student/University Involvement
- Bring Ideas Back to Stakeholders for Input
External Opportunities:
Educational Outreach
BNIA Sustainable Master Plan
- Erie Community College Collaboration
Defining Sustainability
Airport Tour
Sustainability Charrette / Project Visioning

FAA Design Competition

- Binghamton Geothermal Apron
Concept to Concrete
BNIA Alternatives Analysis
Initial Screening
- Major Impacts or Disruptions
Standard Evaluation Criteria
- Safety, Standards, Facility Requirements Still Top
NEPA Impacts and Action Evaluation
- Identify Logical Groupings of Projects
- Determine Associated NEPA Actions (Cat-Ex, EA,
Adding Sustainable Elements
- Icing on the Cake
BNIA Alternatives Analysis

Environmental Evaluation of Landside

Access Alternatives
Minimal Natural
Resource Concerns
Potential Air Quality
Adding Sustainable Elements

Standard ARFF Station More Daylight

Bays Rotated from Prevailing Winds
Snow Fence to Help Reduce Plowing
in Front of Bays
Quicker Terminal Access
Airport Planning for NEPA
Know the Basics and Key Issues
- Critical Safety Infrastructure
- Capacity vs. Delay
- Economic Benefits
Get the User Perspective
(Pilots, Operators, etc.)
- Deicing Operations
- Air Traffic Operations
Achieve Concurrence on Goals &
Objectives in Facility Requirements
- Shared Vision in Final Outcome
NEPA for Airport Planners
Know the Basics
- Purpose and Need (Build It and They Will
- Regulatory
- Schedule and Budget Impacts
Identify Key Environmental Features
Consider Environmental Constraints in
Development of Alternatives
Public Opinion Matters
Capitalize on PR Opportunities
Bundle Logically-Connected Projects
Establish Baseline Conditions
Understand the
Natural Resources
- Comprehensive
- Consider all Impact
- Geo-Referenced
Establish Baseline Conditions
Understand the
Social and Economic
- Role of Airport in
Regional Economy
- Regional Economic
- Population Trends
- Off-Airport
Identify Key Issues
Critical Environmental, Economic,
Social Impacts?
Schedule and Budget Drivers
- NEPA Timeline
- Permits
- Mitigation
Technical Challenges
Regulatory and Political Perspectives
Alternatives Analysis
Evaluate Alternatives in Light of
Known Environmental Constraints
Can Alternatives be Modified to Avoid
or Minimize Impacts?
Will Mitigation be Required?
- How/Where?
- $$$$
Public Opposition
Case Study - ELM
Elmira Corning Regional Airport (ELM)
MPU Identified Need for 400 Added Takeoff Distance for
RW 6-24
No Opportunity to Extend RW 6
- Presence of I-86
- Airspace Constraints
MPU Identified 2 Build Alternatives for RW 24
- Extend 400 w/ Standard RSA
- Extend 400 w/ EMAS
MPU SOW and Funding Did Not Provide for
Detailed Analysis of Environmental Constraints
Case Study - ELM
Case Study - ELM

Field View Planning View

Case Study - ELM
NEPA Process
Extensive Public Involvement
- Advisory Committee
- Public Meetings
- Private Meetings w/ Neighbors

Focus on Selling It
Strong Political, Regulatory
and Public Opposition to MPU
Preferred Alternative
Results in New Preferred
- Opposition Dissolved
- Airport Needs Met
- NEPA Conclusion Delayed
Look for Win-Win
Partner with Non-Profits
Consider Alternative
Delivery Methods
Involve Stakeholders Early
Public Education
Dont Shortchange the
Capitalize on PR Benefit
Airports are Uniquely
On-Site Options Limited /
Not Desirable
Here for the Long Haul
Land Use Control
FAA Involvement a Two-
Edged Sword
Regulatory Agencies
Agencies are Stakeholders
- Integrate into Planning Process
Build Support through Early
Understand Implementing Regulations
- Dos and Donts
- Timeframes
- Unwritten Policies
Swamp and Pavement Tours
- Builds Understanding of Airport Operations
- Relationships
Public Involvement
Stakeholders Meetings
- Regulatory Agencies
- Interest Groups
- Concerned Citizens
Public Meetings
- What is the Message?
Key Issues
- Clear and Concise Presentation of Data and
- Appropriate Expertise
- The Airport Was Here First!!
Best Practices
Multi-Disciplinary Team Approach
Consider Environmental Issues Early
and Often
Focus on Key Issues
Identify Mitigation Opportunities Early
Partner with Environmental
Consider Regulatory Agencies as
Now the Final FrontierThe FAAs

FAA Planning & NEPA
National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) was Passed in
Requires Federal Agencies to Evaluate the Environmental
Impacts of their Actions
CEQ Developed Implementing Regulations
FAA Developed Orders Agency Compliance
- Order 1050.1E, Change 1 Applies to all Lines of Business
- Order 5050.4B & Desk Reference Airports
Integrate Planning and NEPA at the Earliest Possible

How Planning & NEPA

Master Plan Environmental Document

Project Definition and Purpose and Need Statement

Justification Baseline for comparison
Inventory Forecast and Fleet Mix Evaluated
Forecast Developed
Alternatives - On-Airport Reasonable range of Alternatives

A strong purpose and need

A clear justification

Reasonable alternatives considered

In order to move into the environmental phase!

Project Coordination
Coordination with key state and federal resource agencies
during the Master Plan can help pave the way for a cleaner EA.

Provide these agencies with the opportunity to comment on a

Master Plan when resources within their jurisdiction are
identified for possible impacts.

Form a strong team: Sponsor, Consultant, ADO Planner, ADO

Environmental Specialist, ADO Project Manager.

If you wait for the EA, then some of the work

and expectations coming out of the
Master Plan, will likely need to be redone.

Avoiding Pitfalls

Unexpected Projects / Quick Turnaround

Insufficient Justification for Projects Not
Listed as CatExs
Insufficient Information About the Project and/or its
Lack of Input from Jurisdictional Agency

Avoid potential headaches in the future by

completing a thorough review now!

Wheres My Approval ???

NEPA Documents = FAA Documents, Not the Sponsors

Documents Must be Clear, Concise, Supported,

Defensible, and Fully Coordinated

Things To Remember
Communicate with your Local ADO
Coordinate with Agencies
Know your Consultant
NEPA Documents are Decision-Making, Disclosure
Provide Training within your Organization to Ensure
that Management, Engineers, Maintenance Folks,
Property Management, etc. Know about NEPA - Why
We Do It, and When


This is How the Process Came Full Circle

and the Airports get What They Need