EASTON AIRPORT’S RUNWAY IMPROVEMENT PROJECT

In 2006, Easton Airport started conducting an Environmental Assessment to plan for future safety improvements and to determine how the airport would conform to new FAA design standards. After an exhaustive 12 year assessment, Easton Airport’s plan was approved in 2018. The “FInal EA” can be found in it’s entirety here: ESN_Final_EA_FONSI

While we are pleased to make this document available for the public to download and review, we understand that the document contains highly technical data that is not always easy to understand. Please direct any questions about our project to Micah Risher, Airport Manager at mrisher@talbgov.org

BACKGROUND

In the early 2000s, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) updated their design standards for all the airports in the nation. The primary goals were to increase safety, decrease delays, comply with federal environmental standards and encourage innovative technologies that promote safety, capacity, and efficiency.

The largest impact to Easton Airport was the need to increase the size of the Runway Safety Area (RSA) to ensure 1,000 ft. existed at both ends of the primary runway. To accomplish this, the threshold of Runway 22 was displaced and the operational use of Runway 4 was restricted to only 4,775 ft.

This graphic depicts the Runway 22 threshold displacement.

This interim solution was enacted via waiver with the FAA in July 2008. Fortunately, Easton Airport had already started the process of conducting an environmental assessment and was in the planning stages to determine a long term solution.

Over the next few years, a few options were vetted with community involvement and periods of public comment. It was eventually decided that the best solution was to add additional length to the primary runway and then demolish the northern portion of runway.

This graphic is not to scale. It is intended to show the concept that runway length will be added to the southwest (green) and then demolished on the northeastern end (red) of the current runway. 

This plan required Easton Airport to purchase the adjacent property, formerly owned by the Black and Decker Corporation. This would allow for the “shift” of the runway to occur and provide enough space for the required 1,000 ft. Runway Safety Area. Talbot County purchased the property for this purpose in January 2017.

This graphic is not to scale. It is intended to show the concept of the new runway location with 1,000 ft. safety areas on both ends.

FINAL APPROVAL

After an exhaustive 12 year planning period, the Environmental Assessment was finalized on September 29, 2018. The EA reviewed the following areas and determined there were either no impacts, or that the impacts could be properly mitigated:

  • Air Quality
  • Biological Resources
  • Coastal Zone Management
  • Farmland
  • Hazardous Materials, Solid Waste, and Pollution Prevention
  • Historical, Architectural, Archaeological, and Cultural Resources
  • Noise
  • Socioeconomics, Environmental Justice, and Children’s Environmental Health and Safety Risks
  • Water Resources
  • Wetlands
  • Construction Impacts

It’s also important to note that this is the only FAA approved plan and all other alternatives that were explored over a decade ago have been abandoned.

Some misconceptions still exist today, but Easton Airport has NO PLANs to purchase and demolish any homes, will NOT extend the runway towards Rt.50, and will NOT extend the runway towards Goldsborough Neck Rd.