Obstruction Removal Program
Safe, Efficient Use, and Preservation of the Navigable Airspace
Easton Airport’s Runway Improvement Project will take place in phases and is expected to be complete by 2030. A number of enabling projects were completed before the new runway could be constructed. The Airport’s Obstruction Removal Program was the most visible to the surrounding community.
The purpose for Easton Airport’s Obstruction Removal Program is to remove obstructions (primarily trees) that penetrate the “approach surfaces” into the airport. This is being done to comply with Federal Regulations as defined by 14 CFR Part 77 – Safe, Efficient Use, and Preservation of the Navigable Airspace. This is a very precise determination that is airport specific. The graphic below depicts the general concept of how the FAA determines what airspace needs to be protected. It’s important to note that this does not necessarily mean that aircraft will be flying lower. This defines the lower limit of protected airspace, not the actual flight path of an aircraft.
Understanding Part 77: Civil Airport Imaginary Surfaces
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQ)
Easton Airport’s Runway Improvement Project is dynamic, complex, and will take the better part of the 2020s to complete. It’s important that the community has access to facts and accurate data when they have questions or concerns about the airport’s growth. These questions are answered by Easton Airport Manager Micah Risher and reflect the most accurate data regarding the future of Easton Airport. If you have a question or comment, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
In October 2021, Easton Airport paid appropriate fees to the Town of Easton to satisfy Forest Conservation Act (FCA) requirements. This mitigation will allow for new trees to be planted.
Obstruction Removal Phase 2 began in November 2021 and was completed in the spring of 2022. The largest work area was on current airport property on the east side of Runway 4/22. A total of 11.60 acres of tree obstructions were cleared. In addition, the following off-airport obstructions were cleared:
• Removed 1.05 acres tree obstructions on Goldsborough Neck Road, near the intersection of Airport Road
• Removed 10 tree obstructions on Hazelwood Drive
• Removed approximately 250 tree obstructions on Commerce Drive
It’s important to note that all property owners have given permission for these obstructions to be removed from their property. All questions about this project should be referred to Easton Airport at 410-770-8055.
Easton Airport’s Runway Improvement Plan has been thoroughly studied. An environmental assessment was conducted for 12 years, beginning in 2006 to finalization in 2018. The study was very involved and looked at land, air, water impacts as well as noise, climate, and socioeconomic impacts. After an exhaustive planning stage, the FAA issued “Finding of No Significant Impact” in September 2018.
In 2019, Easton Airport created nearly 11 acres of new wetlands here in Talbot County to mitigate for any wetlands that will be disturbed.
Procedures have been established by Air Traffic Control that safely move aircraft into and away from Easton Airport. They vary from time to time depending on real time air traffic conditions and the type of operation that is being conducted. Safety is the most important factor when determining flight paths. We also have a voluntary “good neighbor” Noise Abatement program that limits as much aircraft noise as possible from the Town of Easton.
Easton Airport accommodates a range of aircraft, both propeller driven and jets. There will be no change to the types of aircraft that use the airport.
The more technical answer: The Airport Reference Code for ESN is D-II for existing and future conditions. “D” represents the aircraft approach speed (141-165 knots); “II” represents wingspan (49-78 feet). The existing design/critical aircraft is the Hawker 800. For the future runway, the future critical aircraft is expected to be the Challenger 300/350 series aircraft.
The word “expansion” or even “extension” leads to negative connotations for some people. It draws a vision that our small community airport will turn into a large commercial operation with constant noise of large jets coming and going at all hours of the day and night. Let me be clear… nothing could be farther from the truth.
For a variety of reasons, that’s just not the future vision for Easton Airport. We have a successful business model in place providing services to our general aviation community. This airport is an enterprise of Talbot County and has been financially self-sustaining since 1993. This is very rare among small airports, especially in today’s economy. Not only is the airport NOT a burden on taxpayers, it generates approximately $48 million in business revenue annually for the local economy!
Easton Airport’s runways currently have a 100,000 lb. load bearing capacity. This will not change with the relocation of Runway 4/22. Additionally, there will be NO changes to airport taxiways or related infrastructure to accommodate larger aircraft. Simply put, the same aircraft that use the airport today, will continue to use the airport after the improvements. The goal is improved safety, modernization, and efficiency.
No, our improvements are safety related and will not change our business model. Our Airport doesn’t have the infrastructure needed to support airline operations. That would require a very costly investment and every time it’s been studied, the economics just don’t make sense.
Easton Airport averages 200 operations daily (an operation is an arrival or departure). The runway improvements will have no impact on the traffic forecast, which is somewhat plateaued. Easton Airport does not allow or disallow flights. Much like a highway, the runways are open for public use.
Easton Airport operates 24 hours daily, 365 days a year, although most operations occur between 9am and 7pm.
Other Resources and Info
We are pleased to make this info and documents available for the public to download and review. We understand that it contains highly technical data that is not always easy to understand. Please direct any questions to Easton Airport Manager Micah Risher at email@example.com.
Use the navigation buttons below to continue learning more about the airport’s safety improvement projects.