Elmira Runway 24 Extension Environmental Assessment
Elmira Corning Regional Airport, Horseheads, NY | Chemung County
This project involves preparation of an environmental assessment (EA) for a 400 foot extension of Runway 6-24 at Elmira Corning Regional Airport. The Airport Master Plan Update identified the need for the extension to accommodate the airline industry's transition to new generation 70-90 seat regional jets flying to more distant destinations.
Runway 6-24 lies within a highly constrained area. The Runway 6 end abuts Interstate 86 while the Runway 24 end lies in close proximity to Sing Sing Creek, Chambers Road, and a small residential subdivision. Due to space constraints, project alternatives were confined to the Runway 24 end. Alternatives included culverting or realigning a portion of Sing Sing Creek and realigning Chambers Road. A third alternative involved using an Engineered Materials Arresting System (EMAS) to provide an equivalent level of safety to a standard Runway Safety Area, avoiding impacts to wetlands and streams.
MJ conducted a detailed evaluation of Sing Sing Creek, including a floodplain analysis, hydro-geomorphic evaluation, and survey of benthic macro-invertabrates. A detailed evaluation of environmental mitigation and stream stabilization requirements and their associated costs was performed. After careful consideration of the environmental consequences, public preference, and costs inclusive of environmental mitigation, the EMAS alternative was chosen.
The project included extensive coordination and outreach with various stakeholders. A project Technical Advisory Committee met periodically over the course of the project and two public information workshops were held.
The project culminated in a final EA prepared in accordance with FAA Orders 1050.1E Environmental Impact: Policies and Procedures and 5050.4B National Environmental Policy Act Implementing Instructions for Airport Projects. MJ facilitated extensive dialogue among the project stakeholders, which led to a successful compromise that met the airport's need for additional runway length, while addressing the concerns of the regulatory community and airport neighbors. A Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) was issued.