SDFTue 11:00 PM EDT
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has reviewed the final Environmental Assessment for the Bowman Field Airport Area Safety Program and has issued a Finding of No Significant Impact/Record of Decision (FONSI/ROD). The Finding verifies that the safety program will have no significant or adverse effects on the environment or historic resources in the vicinity of Bowman Field.
“We are pleased the FAA agrees that the safety program, which includes significant mitigation efforts, will have no significant impacts on areas around Bowman Field,” said Jim Welch, Chair of the Airport Authority Board of Directors. “Also, it’s important to note that our planned mitigation program goes even further than the commitments enumerated in the Finding.” This final decision comes after a full examination of all alternatives and after the FAA, along with the State Historic Preservation Office and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and numerous other state and federal agencies all confirmed these findings based on the Draft Environmental Assessment of the safety program.
Due to ongoing safety concerns, in July 2016, the Airport Authority Board notified the FAA it would be localizing the program and would proceed independent of federal funding for the necessary easement acquisitions and tree mitigation. “We remain committed to ensuring the safe and efficient operation of Bowman Field and its continuing service as a critical reliever airport in the region’s air traffic system,” said Welch. As part of the program, the Airport Authority has committed to a two-for-one replacement of any tree removed with two low to mid-canopy trees as selected by the property owner from a comprehensive palette of trees compiled by a certified arborist. In addition, the homeowner will have a consultation with a certified arborist to determine if a tree should be trimmed or removed at the homeowner’s choice. Also included are yard restoration, a landscape allowance of up to $2,500 (that is over and above the cost of the replacement trees) and a consultation with a landscape architect.