Airfield Modernization Program
Program News and Updates
Airport Modernization - Environmental Assessments
In 2006, Easton Airport started conducting an Environmental Assessment (EA) 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 by clicking here.
While we are pleased to make this document 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 .
Use the navigation buttons below to continue learning more about the airport’s Airfield Modernization Programs and safety projects.
Runway Safety Area
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.
SAFETY AREA SOLUTION
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.
SAFETY AREA SOLUTION CONTINUED
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.
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
- Hazardous Materials, Solid Waste, and Pollution Prevention
- Historical, Architectural, Archaeological, and Cultural Resources
- Socioeconomics, Environmental Justice, and Children’s Environmental Health and Safety Risks
- Water Resources
- 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.
Airfield Modernization Program Update – 11/15/23
During the November 15, 2023, Easton Airport Advisory Board meeting, Easton Airport Manager Micah Risher provided the public a detailed update on the Easton Airport Airfield Modernization Program. The presentation was recorded to preserve that portion of the meeting for further public review.
Mr. Risher explains the program’s primary goals, the scheduling process, operational impacts, funding, public awareness, and environmental benefits.
The video is approximately 32 minutes long. Please note that during the 15:00-19:00 section of the meeting video, there were intermittent connectivity issues, and the call drops out for just a few moments. A PDF copy of the PowerPoint presentation can be found here.
Airfield Modernization Program Update – Easton Airport Manager, Mr. Micah Risher
PROJECT DESIGN PHASE
Design Updates, Details, and Overview
Easton Airport has now moved into the project design phase of the Airfield Modernization Program. During the January 19, 2023 Easton Airport Advisory Board meeting, AECOM Project Manager Derek Hollinger provided the public a detailed overview.
The presentation was recorded to preserve that portion of the meeting for further public review. The video (approx. 40 minute) is a rundown of the Airfield Modernization Program as it stands at 45% completed design. Mr. Hollinger explains the construction that will take place in phases over the next 6-8 years. Questions with answers were compiled and is available below.
We will make every attempt to preserve public updates like this one. The best way to stay informed is to attend the Easton Airport Advisory Board meeting. Meeting info and dates are found by clicking here.
Airfield Modernization Program – 45% Completed Project Design Presentation – 1/19/2023
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQ)
Easton Airport’s Runway Improvement Project is dynamic, complex, and will take the better part of 10 years 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 .
The Talbot County Business Center sits on property southwest of Runway 4/22. That area will become part of the Runway Protection Zone (RPZ). It is a trapezoidal area “off the end of the runway end that serves to enhance the protection of people and property on the ground” in the event an aircraft lands or crashes beyond the runway end. Runway Protection Zones underlie a portion of the approach closest to the airport.
Once the building is demolished and the project is complete, that property will become mostly “green space”, with some airfield lighting enclosed by security fencing.
The construction project will take place on existing airport owned property. The threshold of Runway 4/22 will shift 1,900 southwest of current position and sit inside of where the current airfield fence line is located.
No. The Airfield Modernization Program is a multiyear project focused on improving safety on the airfield at Easton Airport. Talbot County is designing a plan to address the condition of Airport Road, but that is not a part of this project.
Full closures to Runway 4/22 will vary throughout the project. We will work with the contractors to develop a schedule that fits their needs while limiting the operational impact for our customers to the extent possible.
The secondary Runway 15/33 will be operational most of the time. There will be a short period (in 2025 or 2026) when we will need to close both runways to complete the mid-field work, but everyone will receive plenty of notice before that happens.
We are experiencing historic fuel sales, up approximately 50% since 2020. We certainly expect there will be some impact to the fuel sales, but don’t anticipate any major changes. We anticipate fuel sales will still track higher than pre-pandemic norms, even with periods of runway closures.
In addition to the standard emails and Notice to Air Missions (NOTAMS) notifications, the Airport is planning to implement text notifications before the beginning of the project. Members of the airport community, and beyond, will be able to enroll their cellphone numbers and receive real time updates throughout the project. We will also post info to our website and public spaces.
AECOM Technical Services, Inc. (AECOM) is providing Professional Engineering and Construction Phase Services, including Project Management.
Atlantic Contracting & Material Co, Inc. is the prime construction contractor.
Our education campaign has already begun. Our website will serve as the primary source for information pertaining to the project. We plan to issue press releases, use social media, and work with local media outlets to keep the community informed.
Easton Airport does not meet the FAA design criteria for a high-speed turnoff.
There will be minimal impact to the Instrument Landing System (ILS) during construction. During periods of runway closure, it will be unavailable, but once the runway is returned to service, the ILS will be available as well. A new ILS system with natural gas fed generator backup power will be installed during the project.
No. Easton Airport has a 100,000 lb. load bearing capacity and that will not change.
No portion of the construction project will affect the operation of Trooper 6, or any other helicopters that need to operate. We may have to move operations onto ramp areas to accommodate, but we have several options.
Runway 15/33 will certainly see more air traffic during the construction project. The majority of the time, air traffic will operate to the north of the airport, turning onto final east of the airport between Chapel road or Matthewstown road.
The Air Traffic Control tower will assign pattern instructions based on real time air traffic conditions. During busy periods, air traffic control may deviate from using preferred patterns to ensure the highest level of flight safety.