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September 19, 2016 21:19EVV News, Planning & Development
Based on discussions with FAA, it was recommended that the Airport Sponsor (Evansville Regional Airport – EVV) study existing and future sound levels and potential impacts as part of a formal Reevaluation of the Environmental Assessment (EA) for the Runway 4-22 Runway Safety Area (RSA) Improvement project. This decision was based on the expectation that an update to the activity level would be necessary, an anticipated transition in fleet mix from smaller to larger aircraft, new schedule commercial service, and the relative proximity of sound impact threshold to local communities. As such, the Evansville-Vanderburgh Airport Authority District (EVAAD) conducted this update to the Airport Noise component of the 2010 Final EA Program. For the purposes of this study, the Reevaluation was performed in accordance with guidance provided in FAA Order 5050.4B, NEPA Implementing Instructions for Airport Actions.
As documented in the EA, the airport sound contours were anticipated to shift to the northeast based on completion of the RSA project. The previous sound evaluation identified that existing sound impacts were not occurring prior to the project (based on the DNL 65 dB sound contour), and that impacts were not anticipated after construction of the preferred alternative as identified in the Environmental Assessment (EA). However, the EA documented that sound levels would increase in the area to the northeast, but would not exceed federal levels of significance.
As the RSA project was completed, noise complaints have been received from locations where higher noise levels were anticipated in association with the runway shift. This indicated neighborhoods in close proximity to the runway were experiencing increased sound levels from arriving/departing aircraft as well as airfield ground operations. As such, the EVAAD conducted this update to the sound evaluation based on the current (2015) and projected (2020) activity levels and revised location of Runway 4-22. This action is consistent with the Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) issued by FAA on June 18, 2010. The FONSI includes Mitigation measure No. 7 as follows:
“The Airport Authority will work with the airport neighbors and local community to establish new noise management (remedial and preventative) measures to reduce the extent of aircraft noise”