NEPA is a federal statute that requires federal agencies to evaluate the potential environmental effects of a proposed project, and inform and involve the public before making decisions. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is the lead federal agency preparing an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for a Proposed Project at Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT).
An EIS is a detailed written statement that defines the purpose and need for a project, considers a range of reasonable alternatives, analyzes the potential impacts of, and identifies measures that may mitigate the effects of a proposed project. An EIS also considers a "no action" alternative. The FAA published in the Federal Register on March 22, 2018, a Notice of Intent (NOI) to prepare an EIS, open a comment period, and hold agency and public scoping meetings.
The Project Sponsor, the City of Charlotte, has plans to implement airport improvements at CLT. The Proposed Project is made up of four primary Project Elements proposed for construction by 2028:
CLT is the sixth busiest airport in the United States. The FAA forecasts that the number of flights at CLT will grow at an average rate of almost 1.85 percent annually, from more than 545,000 flights in 2016 to 745,000 flights in 2033 and from 21.7 million enplanements to 31.5 million enplanements during the same timeframe. Current airfield, terminal, aircraft gate area, and vehicle parking facilities at CLT have limitations that makes it challenging for the airport which serves as a major airline hub. These limitations result in excessive congestion and delays. Improvement of these areas is proposed to address increasing congestion and delays.
The FAA is the lead federal agency for the EIS. The FAA is responsible for complying with NEPA and other environmental laws, regulations, and orders. As part of the process for preparing an EIS, the FAA must consider and disclose the potential impacts of a proposed action and its alternatives on the quality of the human environment.
The City of Charlotte is the Project Sponsor. The Federal Aviation Act of 1958 requires the Project Sponsor to obtain FAA approval to construct the Proposed Project at the Airport.
The FAA published in the Federal Register on March 22, 2018, a Notice of Intent (NOI) to prepare an EIS, open a comment period, and hold agency and public scoping meetings. Publication of the NOI began the NEPA process. The EIS follows a process prescribed by the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) regulations. Key steps in the process are outlined here .
The EIS will evaluate the potential direct, indirect, and cumulative environmental impacts that may result from the Proposed Project. The EIS will consider impacts to the resources listed here .
Scoping is one of the first steps in the NEPA process. It allows the public and government agencies the opportunity to learn about the Proposed Project and help define the scope of the EIS and by raising concerns and issues.
The FAA will review all comments and input provided by agencies and the public during the scoping process. The FAA will then begin the technical studies to develop the Draft EIS. The FAA will hold public hearings on the Draft EIS and again consider public comments before issuing the Final EIS and Record of Decision (ROD). Key steps in the process are outlined here .
The major milestones and anticipated time frames for the Proposed Project are as follows:
March 2018 - Publish a Notice of Intent to Prepare an EIS
April 2018 - Hold Agency and Public Scoping Meetings
Late 2019 - Publish the Draft EIS, Hold Public Review Period and Public Meetings
Mid 2020 - Publish the Final EIS, FAA Issues Record of Decision
2021 - Start of Construction
2028 - Project Completion
Tommy L. Dupree, Assistant Manager
FAA, Memphis Airports District Office
2600 Thousand Oaks Blvd., STE 2250
Memphis, TN 38118-2462
Email - 9-ASO-CLTEIS@faa.gov
In person at the public meetings