Friday, September 25, 2015

F-22 Raptor runway use; EIS public scoping meeting

Release Number: 020915

9/25/2015 - JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska  -- The United States Air Force has issued a notice of intent to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and to hold a public scoping meeting on the Proposal to Improve F-22 Operational Efficiency at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson (JBER), Alaska

The Air Force needs to evaluate the distribution of F-22 Raptor fighter aircraft take-offs and landings on JBER's runways to: 1) improve efficiencies in F-22 flight operations; 2) respond to FAA 2014 guidance on the use of one runway for opposite direction flight operations; 3) address public/agency concerns regarding safety in the airspace around Anchorage; and 4) address constraints on operations resulting from the 2011 F-22 Plus-Up environmental analysis; and 5) address off-base noise south of JBER. There is no proposed change in aircraft numbers or to training in existing Alaskan airspace. Changes to F-22 runway operations could potentially affect on-base infrastructure, airfield snow removal, on-base terrain, altitudes overflown of on-base areas, and off-base noise. The Air Force is preparing the EIS in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act to analyze potential environmental consequences associated with the proposal to improve F-22 operations efficiency at JBER.

Alternatives currently identified to be addressed in the EIS include six variations of F-22 runway use, modifications to infrastructure, and changes in airfield snow removal. The required No Action Alternative includes operational constraints associated with the 2011 F-22 Plus-Up Environmental Assessment and its Finding of No Significant Impact.

During the public scoping meeting, the Air Force will solicit comments from the public and from local, state and federal agencies to effectively define the full range of alternatives and issues to be evaluated in the EIS.  Public input supports the Air Force in making informed decisions.

All members of the public are invited to the scoping meeting where the Air Force will describe the NEPA process and outline opportunities for public involvement. The scoping meeting will include an approximately 25-minute Air Force presentation and approximately two hours of an open house.  The presentation will provide information on the purpose and need for F-22 runway use changes.   During the open house, Air Force representatives will be available for one-on-one conversations with community residents about the alternative runway uses and the EIS process.  The meeting format will not have an open microphone session. Community members will be encouraged to provide written comments on the alternatives and the analysis proces

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