oversight

Aviation Infrastructure: Challenges Related to Building Runways and Actions to Address Them

Published by the Government Accountability Office on 2003-01-30.

Below is a raw (and likely hideous) rendition of the original report. (PDF)

               United States General Accounting Office

GAO            Report to the Subcommittee on Aviation,
               House Committee on Transportation and
               Infrastructure


January 2003
               AVIATION
               INFRASTRUCTURE
               Challenges Related to
               Building Runways and
               Actions to Address
               Them




GAO-03-164
               a
                                               January 2003


                                               AVIATION INFRASTRUCTURE

                                               Challenges Related to Building Runways
Highlights of GAO-03-164, a report to the      and Actions to Address Them
Aviation Subcommittee, House Committee
on Transportation and Infrastructure




Aviation experts believe that                  The amount of time airports spend planning and building their runways can
building runways is one key way to             vary because of numerous factors. In light of this variation, for the 32
address airport capacity issues and            runway projects we analyzed, we used median rather than average time. The
prevent delays that can affect the             median time was about 10 years for runways that had been completed and
entire U.S. economy, but runway                was estimated to be about 14 years for those not completed. Most airports
projects are often controversial and
time-consuming. GAO was asked to
                                               and stakeholders we visited and surveyed said they faced a variety of
examine how much time airports                 challenges that had delayed their runway projects. While the level of
spend completing runways, what                 challenges that airports faced varied in part depending on the proximity of
challenges airports and other                  the airport to a major city and the amount of community opposition to the
stakeholders experience during                 runway, some common themes emerged, including challenges related to the
this process, and what airports and            following:
other stakeholders have done to
address challenges related to                  •   Reaching stakeholder agreement on purpose and need for the runway;
runway projects.                               •   Completing the environmental review process;
                                               •   Reaching agreement on noise mitigation and other issues; and
GAO analyzed the results of                    •   Designing and constructing the runway.
surveys from 30 airports on 32
runway projects and visited 5
airports in order to interview                 Although there may be no single solution to the challenges involved in
numerous runway project                        developing runways, the federal government and airport authorities have
stakeholders.                                  undertaken a number of initiatives in this area. Recently, the President
                                               issued an Executive Order that is directed at streamlining the environmental
The Department of Transportation               review of transportation infrastructure projects, including runways. In
agreed with GAO’s characterization             addition, two federal legislative initiatives designed to streamline the runway
of the challenges associated with              process were considered in the 107th Congress. In addition, FAA has
building runways and some of the               undertaken a number of initiatives directed at streamlining parts of the
initiatives taken to address these             process. Airports have also undertaken initiatives in this area, including
challenges. They did express some              involving stakeholders such as community groups early in the process, and
concerns related to GAO’s analysis
of the time airports spent or
                                               reaching early agreement on how best to mitigate noise and other runway
estimated spending in developing               impacts. These initiatives may be a step in the right direction, but it is too
runways, and suggested that GAO                early to assess their impact on the runway process.
acknowledge additional FAA
efforts to improve the runway                  Amount of Time Airports Spent or Estimated Spending to Complete Runways Varied
process. We believe that our
approach was a reasonable
assessment of the amount of time
taken to build runways; however,
we clarified our discussion about
the length of time. We also added
information regarding initiatives
undertaken by FAA.


www.gao.gov/cgi-bin/getrpt?GAO-03-164

To view the full report, including the scope
and methodology, click on the link above.
For more information, contact Gerald
Dillingham, Ph.D., at (202) 512-3650 or via
E-mail at dillinghamg@gao.gov.
Contents



Letter                                                                                                  1
                             Results in Brief                                                           2
                             Background                                                                 4
                             Some Airports Have Spent Many Years Building Runways and Have
                               Faced a Variety of Challenges                                           10
                             A Number of Initiatives Are Underway to Address Challenges
                               Related to Building Runways                                             16
                             Agency Comments                                                           22


Appendixes
              Appendix I:    Scope and Methodology                                                     24
             Appendix II:    Airport Site Visits                                                       26
                             General Edward Lawrence Logan International Airport – East
                                Boston, MA                                                             27
                             Current Status of the Runway Project                                      30
                             Stakeholders Cite Community Opposition as a Major Challenge and
                                Say Efforts to Address This Issue Were Unsuccessful                    30
                             Stakeholders Say Meeting Extensive Environmental Requirements
                                Has Been Challenging Because of Community Opposition                   31
                             Litigation Added Time to Process                                          34
             Appendix III:   Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport – DFW, TX                         36
                             Current Status of the Two Runway Projects                                 38
                             Airport Officials Described Extensive Environmental Review
                                Process as Challenging                                                 38
                             The Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport Used Some Unique
                                Approaches to Mitigate Runway Impacts                                  38
                             Stakeholder Experiences, from Start to Finish, Were Many and
                                Varied                                                                 39
                             Litigation Delayed Process                                                40
             Appendix IV:    Memphis International Airport                                             43
                             Status of the Runway project                                              45
                             Airport Officials Stated That They Faced Challenges Reaching
                                Consensus among Stakeholders on Project Funding Issues and
                                Decisionmaking                                                         45
                             Extensive Requirements Raised Challenges Regarding Wetlands
                                Mitigation and Land Acquisition during Construction of
                                Runway                                                                 46
                             Site-Specific Challenges Involved Relocating Other
                                Infrastructure                                                         47



                             Page i                                     GAO-03-164 Aviation Infrastructure
                          Contents




           Appendix V:    Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport                                 49
                          Current Status of the Runway Project                                       51
                          Stakeholders Agree That Comprehensive Mitigation Plans Are
                            Essential but Difficult to Develop                                       51
                          Stakeholders Believe That Mitigation Funding Should Be More
                            Flexible to Include More Communities                                     52
                          A Nationwide Low Frequency Noise Policy Is Not in Place                    52
                          Some Communities Question Justification of State Zoning Laws               53
          Appendix VI:    Seattle-Tacoma International Airport                                       56
                          Status of the Runway project                                               58
                          Simplifying Purpose and Need May Help Reduce the Circuitous
                             Nature of the Review Process                                            58
                          A Compatible Land Use Program May Help to Reduce
                             Opposition                                                              59
                          New Mitigation Approaches and Increased Community Interaction
                             Could Help Foster Community Support                                     60
                          Extensive Regulatory and Legal Requirements Posed Resource
                             Challenges                                                              62
                          Site-Specific Issues Involve Safety and Environmental
                             Challenges                                                              63
         Appendix VII:    Lester B. Pearson International Airport, Toronto, Canada                   65
                          Status of Runway Projects                                                  67
                          Airport Development Process in Canada Differs from U.S.
                            Process                                                                  67
                          Canadian Airports Face Many of the Same Challenges as U.S.
                            Airports                                                                 68
         Appendix VIII:   Survey of Airports                                                         70
          Appendix IX:    Survey of Airports with Recent or Planned Runway
                          Projects                                                                   72


Tables                    Table 1: Summary of Provisions in H.R. 4481 and S. 633, and the
                                   Challenges Each Seeks to Address                                  18
                          Table 2: Airports Selected for Site Visit and their Runway
                                   Projects                                                          27
                          Table 3: History of the Boston Logan Runway Project                        35
                          Table 4: History of Dallas–Fort Worth Runway Project                       41
                          Table 5: History of Memphis Runway Project                                 48
                          Table 6: History of Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport
                                   Runway Project                                                    54
                          Table 7: History of Sea-Tac Runway Project                                 64



                          Page ii                                     GAO-03-164 Aviation Infrastructure
          Contents




          Table 8: Airports Surveyed                                                71


Figures   Figure 1: Runway Development Process                                       8
          Figure 2: Amount of Time Airports Have Spent or Planned to Spend
                    on Runway Projects Varied                                       11
          Figure 3: Median Time Spent on Runway Projects Overall and on
                    Each Phase                                                      12
          Figure 4: Airport Diagram—Boston’s Logan International
                    Airport                                                         29
          Figure 5: Airport Diagram—Dallas-Fort Worth International
                    Airport                                                         37
          Figure 6: Airport Diagram—Memphis International Airport                   44
          Figure 7: Airport Diagram—Sea-Tac International Airport                   57
          Figure 8: Airport Diagram—Lester B. Pearson International
                    Airport                                                         66




          Page iii                                   GAO-03-164 Aviation Infrastructure
A
United States General Accounting Office
Washington, D.C. 20548



                                    January 30, 2003                                                                      Leter




                                    The Honorable John L. Mica
                                    Chairman
                                    The Honorable William O. Lipinski
                                    Ranking Democratic Member
                                    Subcommittee on Aviation
                                    Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure
                                    House of Representatives

                                    Although the events of September 11, 2001, diverted the aviation industry’s
                                    attention from airport flight capacity to security issues, aviation experts
                                    believe that addressing capacity issues must be brought back to the
                                    forefront to prevent costly flight delays and their negative effect on the U.S.
                                    economy. According to a recent report on the impact on civil aviation,1 the
                                    flight congestion and delay problems that were experienced in 2000 had a
                                    significant effect on the entire U.S. economy and were felt not only in the
                                    commercial aviation industry but also in the tourism and related supplier
                                    industries. The report found that in 2000, commercial aviation delays
                                    resulted in over $9 billion in negative economic effects on the entire U.S.
                                    economy and cost commercial airlines over $3 billion. In addition, the
                                    report stated that if there were no new investments in airport construction
                                    (including new runways) or in the air traffic system beyond 2000, delays
                                    could potentially cost the U.S. economy $13.5 billion in 2007 and $17.2
                                    billion in 2012.

                                    Building runways can involve years of planning, an extensive
                                    environmental review phase, and the design and construction of the actual
                                    runway. Airport authorities who want to build a runway must also
                                    coordinate with numerous stakeholders, including airlines, federal and
                                    state officials, and community groups. In addition, they may face legal
                                    challenges from opponents of the runway that can take years to resolve.
                                    Nonetheless, according to FAA, despite these challenges, building new
                                    runways is widely regarded as the most effective way to increase capacity




                                    1
                                     The National Economic Impact of Civil Aviation, DRI-WEFA, Inc., July 2002.




                                    Page 1                                               GAO-03-164 Aviation Infrastructure
                   in the national airspace system and is critical to the entire U.S. economy.2
                   This report provides information on the process for building runways,
                   taking into consideration the needs of the system and the concerns of the
                   various stakeholders. Specifically, as agreed with your offices, we address
                   the following questions:

                   1. How much time do airports spend building their runway projects, and
                      what challenges do airports and other stakeholders experience during
                      this process?

                   2. What have airports and other stakeholders done or proposed to do to
                      address the challenges they experienced in building runways?

                   To determine the amount of time that airports spent to complete runway
                   projects, along with challenges that airports and other stakeholders faced
                   during this process and initiatives to address these challenges, we surveyed
                   30 airports that had built or planned to build a total of 32 runways between
                   1991 and 2010. Based on survey responses, we selected 5 airports that were
                   diverse in size, location, and challenges at which we conducted in-depth
                   site visits in order to understand the perspectives of numerous
                   stakeholders. At these locations, we interviewed airport, airline, federal
                   and state, and community officials about their experiences. We also visited
                   the Lester B. Pearson International Airport in Toronto, Canada, to gain a
                   perspective on the Canadian runway development process. A more detailed
                   explanation of the scope and methodology can be found in appendix I.



Results in Brief   The amount of time that airports spend planning and building their
                   runways can vary because of a number of factors. For example, although it
                   is relatively straightforward to determine the beginning and ending of the
                   environmental and the design and construction phases of the runway
                   development process, there is no consensus among stakeholders about
                   what constitutes the beginning of the planning phase of the process.
                   Consequently, the length of time and the number of activities considered by
                   some airports to be part of the planning phase vary. In light of these
                   circumstances, we decided to use a median time rather than the average
                   time because it would minimize the impact of outlying airports that may
                   have taken a very long or very short time. For the airports we surveyed, the

                   2
                    Some in the aviation industry believe that demand management and peak pricing are also
                   feasible alternatives to reducing congestion and delays.




                   Page 2                                                GAO-03-164 Aviation Infrastructure
median time spent from planning to completion of their runway projects
was about 10 years, and the median time that airports estimated they would
spend on projects not yet completed was about 14 years. Several of the
airports with unfinished runway projects stated that significant challenges
had delayed their projects’ completion. Although the level of challenges
faced by airports varied depending on such factors as proximity of the
airport to a major city, amount of community opposition to the runway, and
specific environmental issues, some common themes emerged. For
example, several airports described challenges related to reaching
stakeholder agreement on the purpose and need for the new runway.
Another theme was the challenge of completing required environmental
reviews; specifically, airports described challenges related to complying
with extensive and duplicative federal and state requirements and
obtaining the necessary permits. Some airports also described challenges
related to reaching agreement on how to mitigate the impact of noise and
other issues. Several airports commented that they faced challenges during
the design and construction of their runways such as dealing with weather
and site preparation issues.

Although there may be no single solution that addresses all the issues
involved in planning and building runways, the federal government and
airport authorities have undertaken a number of initiatives in this area.
Most recently, the President issued an Executive Order that is directed at
streamlining the environmental review of transportation infrastructure
projects by requiring federal agencies that conduct environmental reviews
to develop procedures that will allow the reviews to be completed in a
timely and responsible manner. In addition, to address challenges
associated with the many regulatory requirements of the runway
development process, two legislative initiatives designed to streamline the
runway development process have been under consideration at the federal
level. FAA has also undertaken several initiatives directed at increasing
communication and coordination, and at streamlining the planning and
environmental review of runway projects. FAA officials expect these
initiatives to produce measurable improvements in the runway
development process. Although some airports stated that the federal
initiatives held promise for helping airports to resolve challenges more
quickly, it is too early to assess their impact on the runway development
process. Airports have also undertaken initiatives to address challenges
related to building runways, including getting local stakeholders such as
community groups involved at the very beginning of the process and
reaching early agreement on how to mitigate the impacts of the runway.
Airports described these initiatives as helpful to facilitating the completion



Page 3                                          GAO-03-164 Aviation Infrastructure
             of their runway projects, and their efforts may be useful for other airports
             involved in runway projects to consider, but the variety of situations that
             airports described and the different levels of challenges they faced make it
             difficult to generalize from one airport’s experience to another.

             We provided the Department of Transportation with a draft of this report
             for their review and comment. FAA officials agreed with our
             characterization of the challenges associated with building runways and
             our identification of some of the initiatives to address these challenges.
             However, they did express some concerns related to our analysis of the
             time that airports spent developing their runways, and suggested that GAO
             include more acknowledgment of FAA’s efforts to improve the process. In
             response to FAA’s comments, we believe our approach was a reasonable
             assessment of the amount of time it takes airports to build runways;
             however, we clarified our discussion about the length of time. We also
             added information regarding several initiatives that FAA has undertaken to
             streamline the runway development process, and we made technical
             changes where appropriate.



Background   The decision to build runways has traditionally elicited strong and often
             emotional reactions among stakeholders, both negative and positive.
             Generally, these reactions are directed at the decision to build a runway—
             usually in response to the perceived environmental or economic impacts
             that the proposed project will have on the surrounding communities. Often,
             opponents to a runway project base their opposition on the belief that the
             negative impact of the runway on their quality of life will outweigh the
             projected benefits of the project. At other times, opponents contend that
             alternatives such as high-speed rail, regional airports, or demand
             management are better alternatives to resolving delay issues than building
             new runways. In contrast, proponents of new runway projects generally
             contend that building new runways can increase the level of service and
             reduce delay at the airport, can result in a positive economic impact to the
             region served by the airport, and in some cases can reduce noise pollution
             by distributing flights over a larger geographical area.

             Airports that plan to build runways must comply with what can become a
             complex process involving three general phases that often overlap:
             planning, environmental review, and design and construction. In addition,
             airports can be involved in legal actions that can occur in any or all of the
             three phases.




             Page 4                                          GAO-03-164 Aviation Infrastructure
The first phase in the runway development process is planning. According
to FAA guidance, airports should begin planning for a new runway when
the airport has reached 60 to 75 percent of total annual flight capacity.
During the planning phase, airport authorities and local officials begin by
identifying the type of development needed at a specific airport and the
proposed project’s estimated cost and benefits, in both political and
economic terms. Some of the planning tasks include establishing the
purpose and need for the runway (for example, assessing the capability of
current facilities, reviewing and refining aviation demand forecasts, and
evaluating options to accommodate forecast demands), coordinating land
use issues with community planning boards, and preparing capacity
enhancement plans, master plans, airspace reviews, cost benefit analyses,
and airport layout plans.3 Further, most airports consider numerous
alternatives for increasing capacity or reducing delay before deciding on a
project to pursue. During this phase, airports will begin addressing how to
fund the proposed project.

The environmental review phase, which often overlaps with planning, is the
second phase in the runway development process. This phase typically
begins with a determination by FAA of the extent to which a proposed
project will affect the quality of the environment.4 To make this
determination, FAA examines the proposed project and its possible
environmental impacts on air and water quality, on noise, and on historical
lands. FAA will make one of three determinations. If the agency determines
that the scope of the project is such that it will not directly affect the
environment, it will issue a categorical exclusion.5 If FAA determines that a
project will have a measurable effect on the environment, but that its
impact will not exceed guidelines established in the agency’s
Environmental Handbook, it will issue a Finding of No Significant Impact
(FONSI). After issuance of a FONSI, runway projects can begin applying
for necessary permits, such as those that may be required under the Clean


3
 Airports and other stakeholders develop these plans to help them identify potential ways to
increase airfield capacity at major airports and to coordinate major infrastructure projects
at the airports.
4
Some states have environmental review requirements in addition to federal requirements.
5
 Under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, a categorical exclusion exempts the
project from the requirements of the federal environmental review process. However,
according to FAA, categorical exclusions are not an option for a new runway or major
runway extension. A categorical exclusion does not necessarily relieve the project from
state and local environmental review requirements.




Page 5                                                  GAO-03-164 Aviation Infrastructure
Air Act or the Clean Water Act. Where potentially significant impacts are
obvious, FAA will proceed directly to the preparation of an environmental
impact statement (EIS) rather than start with the airport sponsors’
environmental assessment.6

If FAA determines that a proposed project will have significant
environmental effects, it will issue a notice of intent to prepare an EIS. An
EIS includes an analysis of the potential environmental effects of a
proposed project and how to mitigate significant impacts. Council on
Environmental Quality (CEQ) regulations do not require that all impacts be
mitigated; agencies are required to disclose impacts that will not be
mitigated, and the reason. After the draft EIS is completed, FAA provides it
to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which publishes a notice of
its availability in the Federal Register, where it is made available for review
and comment to federal, state, and local agencies and the public for at least
45 days. Public hearings, if necessary, usually occur during the review and
comment period. At the end of the public comment period, FAA responds
to comments received on the draft and prepares the final EIS. Once FAA
approves the final EIS, the document is printed, distributed, and once again
filed with EPA. EPA subsequently publishes notice of the availability of the
final EIS in the Federal Register. According to CEQ regulations, FAA can
not issue a Record of Decision (ROD) for at least 30 days after the
publication of the final EIS. Once the final EIS has been issued, it takes FAA
an average of about 3 months to issue a ROD. The ROD, which is the final
step of the environmental review process, summarizes the administrative
record of the agency’s proposals, alternatives, analysis, findings/
determinations, decisions, actions, and mitigation measures that were
made a condition of approval of the EIS. If, however, FAA finds that the
revised draft differs significantly from the initial draft, the agency may
issue a supplemental draft EIS and release this document for further review
and comment. In addition, other factors that may lead to a supplemental
EIS include a change in the proposed action, a change in the agency’s



6
 An EIS is a document required of federal agencies by the National Environmental Policy
Act of 1969 and its implementing regulations as formulated by the Council on
Environmental Quality for major projects or legislative proposals that significantly affect
the environment. It describes the environmental effects of the undertaking and lists
alternative actions. In principle, it is a basis for deciding whether to approve the project.
FAA is responsible for preparing an EIS for a major airport project or selecting a contractor
(that is, consultant) to assist FAA in preparing the EIS. Typically, FAA coordinates with the
airport authority when it selects an EIS consultant.




Page 6                                                   GAO-03-164 Aviation Infrastructure
decision, or new reasonable alternatives not previously evaluated. A
supplemental draft EIS can occur anywhere in the environmental process.

In addition to the requirements above, airport sponsors may be required to
obtain environmental permits/approvals from other state, local, and federal
agencies before they can begin construction of the proposed project. These
permits/approvals cover various federal and state requirements related to
wetlands, water and air quality, coastal zone management, and endangered
species, among others. These requirements arise from various regulations,
including the federal Clean Water Act and Clean Air Act. For example, the
Army Corp of Engineers requires permits when proposed projects have an
impact on wetlands under the Clean Water Act. State and local agencies
may also be responsible for requiring permits dealing with air and water
quality. Similar to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process,
the permitting process may include a public review and comment period.
Project opponents may initiate litigation once the final EIS has been
approved and the FAA has issued a favorable ROD. However, a lawsuit can
be filed at any time during the planning, environmental, and design and
construction phases.

Following the completion of the permit process, project sponsors generally
begin the final phase of the runway development process—the design and
construction phase. This phase includes a myriad of tasks, such as project
engineering, financing, contracting, land acquisition, site preparation, and
actual project construction. This phase also includes construction tasks
related to mitigating noise, wetland, and other environmental impacts.
According to FAA, it is common for airport sponsors to begin runway
design while the environmental process is underway in the interest of
saving time by undertaking these actions concurrently. Once construction
of the runway has been completed, FAA certifies the runway for operation
and commissions it for service. Figure 1 illustrates the main steps involved
in the runway development process.




Page 7                                        GAO-03-164 Aviation Infrastructure
Figure 1: Runway Development Process




                                       Page 8   GAO-03-164 Aviation Infrastructure
Note: GAO analysis of FAA and other documents.




                                                 Page 9   GAO-03-164 Aviation Infrastructure
Some Airports Have             The amount of time that airports spend planning and building their
                               runways can vary because of a number of factors. For example, although it
Spent Many Years               is relatively straightforward to determine the beginning and ending of the
Building Runways and           environmental and the design and construction phases of the process,
                               there is no consensus about what constitutes the beginning of the planning
Have Faced a Variety of        phase. Consequently, the length of time and the number of activities
Challenges                     considered by some airports to be part of the planning phase vary. Airports
                               also described a variety of challenges that they said delayed their projects.
                               Many of these challenges related to reaching stakeholder agreement,
                               completing the environmental review phase, mitigating the impact of noise,
                               or designing and constructing the actual runway.



Completed Runways Took a       As shown in figure 2, airports we surveyed reported spending a wide range
Median of 10 Years to Build,   of time in completing runway projects. In general, airports reported
                               spending less time on completed projects than they estimate they will
and Unfinished Runways
                               spend on those projects not yet completed; for example, airports reported
May Take Even Longer           that about half of the completed runways took 10 years or less but
                               estimated that almost all the projects that were not yet completed (16 out
                               of 17) would take 10 years or more. According to the airports with
                               uncompleted projects, a number of factors contributed to the time spent,
                               such as community opposition and difficulties in dealing with
                               environmental requirements.




                               Page 10                                        GAO-03-164 Aviation Infrastructure
Figure 2: Amount of Time Airports Have Spent or Planned to Spend on Runway
Projects Varied




Note: GAO analysis of airport survey data.


Figure 3 shows that the median time spent on completed runway projects
was about 10 years, while the median time airports estimated they would
spend on runway projects not yet completed was about 14 years. Similarly,
the median time spent on the planning and environmental phases for
airports that had completed these phases was significantly shorter than the
median time airports estimated would be spent on those phases for
projects that they had not yet completed. This may have been because the
three projects in the planning phase and the five projects in the
environmental phase were experiencing challenges that the airports
believed would delay the completion of the respective phases. Moreover,
the median time spent on the environmental phase of projects that had
completed their environmental requirements under a FONSI was about 2.7
years, while the median time spent on the environmental phase of projects
that had completed their environmental requirements with an EIS was
about 3.7 years. This difference is likely attributable to the greater number
of requirements that accompany an EIS as compared with a FONSI.




Page 11                                        GAO-03-164 Aviation Infrastructure
Figure 3: Median Time Spent on Runway Projects Overall and on Each Phase Varied




Note 1: GAO analysis of airport survey data.
Note 2: Airports used different milestones to indicate the start and end dates for each phase. Given
this difference, we used median time rather than average time.
Note 3: Although we received 32 responses regarding the amount of time taken or estimated to
complete the overall process, the number of responses regarding the amount of time taken or
estimated to complete each phase varied.


In May 2001, the Department of Transportation issued a report to the
Congress on an environmental review of airport improvement projects that
reported results similar to our analysis.7 As a part of its analysis, FAA
measured the average time that elapsed between the start of planning and
the start of construction for 10 airports that received approval for a new
runway between 1996 and 2000. FAA found that the average time from




7
 Report to the U. S. Congress on Environmental Review of Airport Improvement Projects,
U.S. Department of Transportation, May 2001.




Page 12                                                        GAO-03-164 Aviation Infrastructure
                            thestart of planning until the start of construction was about 10 years.8 The
                            report also stated that the average time to complete an EIS for a new
                            runway was 3.25 years from the beginning of the EIS process to the
                            issuance of the Record of Decision—or about one-third of the 10-year time.
                            According to FAA, there can be a considerable lag from the inception of the
                            runway process until the runway is completed and in operation. FAA added
                            that these delays occur as part of the process that airports sometimes go
                            through in seeking to achieve consensus and the political will to move
                            forward while contending with local public and political opposition to
                            runway development. According to FAA, numerous examples can be found
                            where runway development has been delayed 5, 10, or more years while
                            plans are revised, discarded, or shelved until political and/or economic
                            factors can be satisfied. FAA stated that these actions make it difficult to
                            determine how long it takes to build a runway.



Several Themes Emerged      Most airports that we surveyed and visited described significant factors
among the Challenges That   that delayed their runway projects. In many cases, the challenges they
                            described were interrelated. For example, several airports said they faced
Airports Described
                            significant community opposition, which affected their ability to reach
                            stakeholder agreement and to complete the environmental review phase.
                            Although many of the airports we surveyed experienced similar types of
                            challenges, some airports, such as those in Boston, Atlanta, and Seattle,
                            faced a heightened level of challenges because of their locations in urban
                            areas with a large number of residences very close by. Some of the specific
                            challenges identified by airports and other stakeholders we visited include
                            the following:

                            Reaching stakeholder agreement. Reaching consensus on the purpose
                            and need for a runway was described by several airports as being
                            particularly challenging. In order to reach this consensus, airports
                            generally must meet numerous times with stakeholders who may have
                            differing opinions about the runway project or uses of land surrounding the
                            airport. For example, airport officials in Los Angeles and Boston described
                            challenges related to working with community interest groups and local
                            metropolitan planning organizations that opposed the runway projects and
                            advocated using means other than building a new runway to address


                            8
                             FAA officials said that if they added 3 to 5 years for design and construction, then FAA’s
                            determination of average time to complete a runway would become about the same as that
                            reported by GAO for projects not yet completed.




                            Page 13                                                 GAO-03-164 Aviation Infrastructure
capacity issues, such as developing regional airports, building new airports,
or pursuing alternative transportation modes like high-speed rail.

Some airports described challenges related to reaching agreement with
stakeholders other than community groups. For example, stakeholders in
Seattle said that reaching agreement was challenging on issues such as
where the runway should be located or the coordination of sometimes
inconsistent land use plans among various planning groups. Officials at
Boston’s Logan Airport said they could not reach agreement with FAA, a
key stakeholder on all runway projects, regarding what was needed to
satisfy the environmental review process. Specifically, Logan Airport
officials disagreed with FAA’s decision to extend its environmental process
by requiring a supplemental EIS because they believed that environmental
issues had been settled during the initial analysis. They believed that FAA’s
decision to require the supplemental draft stemmed from significant public
and political pressure from those opposed to the project.

Completing the environmental review phase. Of the 30 airports we
surveyed, 13 stated that one of their most significant challenges in planning
and building their runways was complying with environmental
requirements. Under the current process, airports must comply with over
40 federal laws, executive orders, and regulations that often overlap with
the environmental requirements mandated by some states. For example,
federal law requires the governor of each state to certify that federally
funded runways conform to local air quality standards, a requirement
known as the Governor’s certification. In addition, the Clean Air Act
requires FAA to determine whether emissions from each airport project
conform to its state’s plan for implementing national air quality standards.
According to officials from the American Association of Airport Executives
and Airports Council International, many state air quality plans contain
unrealistically low airport emissions budgets, and few realistically
anticipate reasonable airport growth. They believe that coordinating
airport development activity with the state air quality plans causes a major
source of delay and risk to airport projects. The officials also noted that the
Governor’s Certificate requirement duplicates requirements found in the
Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act.

Moreover, several airports, including those in Boston, Atlanta, Houston,
and Minneapolis-St. Paul, commented that obtaining the permits necessary
to complete the environmental review was a challenge that delayed their
projects, because permitting agencies often took much longer than
expected. Boston Logan officials stated that they experienced delays



Page 14                                         GAO-03-164 Aviation Infrastructure
because the permitting agencies did not agree on the order in which the
permits should be issued. For example, the coastal zone management
agency was unwilling to issue its permit until FAA issued the ROD;
however, FAA was unwilling to issue the ROD until the coastal permit was
issued. According to FAA officials, the agency was able to obtain a
satisfactory assurance from the state permitting agency that allowed FAA
to move forward with the issuance of the ROD. As a result, according to
FAA officials, they were able to avoid a significant delay.

Mitigating the impact of noise and other issues. As we reported in
October 2000,9 mitigating the potential impact of aircraft noise on the
surrounding community continues to be a significant challenge for airports
that are building new runways. One of the reasons is that community
concerns with aircraft noise are generally already high around many
airports, and adding new runways adds to the already heightened concern.
Another reason, according to some stakeholders, why mitigating noise is
particularly challenging for several of the airports is because they do not
participate in FAA’s voluntary Part 150 Noise Compatibility Program, which
provides funding to airports to help mitigate the impact of noise on the
communities. Several other airports also told us that their noise problems
are the result of incompatible land uses (existing or planned) around the
airports.

In addition to mitigating the impact of noise on the surrounding
community, officials at Sea-Tac Airport said that they were equally
challenged to mitigate the impact of the project on wetlands, particularly
because two key stakeholders had conflicting views on how this should be
done. According to Sea-Tac officials, the state of Washington has a strong
preference that mitigation measures for wetland and stream impacts be
located in the same water basin where the impacts occur. However,
because of concerns about attracting wildlife, and the danger to aircraft of
bird strikes, FAA strongly advises that airports avoid locating wetlands
within 10,000 feet of runways.

Design and construction of the runway. Several airports commented
that they also faced some challenges during the design and construction
phase of their runways. For example, Dallas-Fort Worth officials stated that
adverse weather conditions created construction problems for them, as the


9
 U.S. General Accounting Office, Aviation Infrastructure: Challenges Associated with
Building and Maintaining Runways, GAO-01-90T (Washington, D.C., Oct. 5, 2000).




Page 15                                               GAO-03-164 Aviation Infrastructure
                               region’s high temperatures made it difficult to ensure that concrete poured
                               for the runway would cure properly. Airport officials at Sea-Tac also
                               described challenges related to the design and construction phase. For
                               example, before Sea-Tac can build its runway it has to import 17 million
                               cubic yards of dirt to the airport to extend a plateau for a foundation. Thus,
                               the airport authority has to find suitable, nonpolluted fill dirt to use for the
                               foundation. Once the dirt is located, it must be transported to the airport
                               over an indirect route using trucks that the airport is required to clean
                               before they leave the airport. Finally, the airport authority is to use
                               extensive mitigation measures to ensure that moving the dirt will not
                               adversely affect the surrounding communities and wetlands.

                               Appendixes II through VI provide a detailed description of how various
                               challenges have affected runway projects at the Boston, Dallas, Memphis,
                               Minneapolis-St. Paul, and Seattle airports, according to airport authorities
                               and other stakeholders.



A Number of Initiatives        While there may be no single solution to all the challenges associated with
                               planning and building runways, the federal government and airports have
Are Underway to                undertaken a number of initiatives to address the challenges related to
Address Challenges             such issues as duplicative environmental requirements, stakeholder
                               differences, and noise mitigation. Primarily, these initiatives focused on
Related to Building            streamlining the environmental review process and improving cooperation,
Runways                        communication, and coordination among major stakeholders.



Federal Initiatives Focus on   One initiative designed to address a significant issue identified by airports
Streamlining the               and other stakeholders—the extensive and often duplicative environmental
                               review requirements—is Executive Order 13274, entitled Environmental
Environmental Review           Stewardship and Transportation Infrastructure Project Reviews, which was
Process to Reduce              signed by the President on September 18, 2002.10 The order directs agencies
Duplication                    that conduct required environmental reviews with respect to
                               transportation infrastructure projects, including runways, to formulate and
                               implement administrative, policy, and procedural mechanisms that enable
                               the agencies to ensure completion of such reviews in a timely and



                               10
                                The order does not supersede the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act
                               or other environmental laws.




                               Page 16                                               GAO-03-164 Aviation Infrastructure
environmentally responsible manner. The order also states that the
Secretary of Transportation shall

• designate a list of high-priority transportation infrastructure projects to
  receive expedited agency reviews;11

• chair an inter-agency task force to monitor and expedite environmental
  reviews of high-priority transportation infrastructure projects, and
  identify and promote policies that can effectively streamline the
  environmental review process; and

• prepare an annual report to the President describing the results of the
  expedited reviews, and provide recommendations.

Executive departments and agencies shall take appropriate actions, to the
extent consistent with applicable law and available resources, to promote
environmental stewardship in the nation’s transportation system and to
expedite environmental reviews of high-priority transportation
infrastructure projects. The Secretary has stated that the Department of
Transportation will work with federal and state agencies to reduce
duplicative and overlapping requirements and promote effective strategies
for enhancing the timeliness of the decisionmaking process.

Proposed legislation was introduced in the 107th Congress to address
several of the concerns raised by a number of airports and other
stakeholders we surveyed and visited—H. R. 4481, the Airport Streamlining
Approval Process Act of 2002, and S. 633, the Aviation Delay Prevention
Act. H.R. 4481, the House bill, focused on capacity-enhancement projects
and was generally directed at streamlining the runway development
process, while the Senate bill was directed at reducing aviation delays.
Table 1 summarizes some of the key provisions in H.R. 4481 and S. 633 that
sought to address the challenges the airports identified.




11
  On October 31, 2002, the Secretary of Transportation selected seven high-priority
transportation projects. One airport project was selected—a runway construction project at
the Philadelphia International Airport. The Secretary is currently considering additional
transportation projects, including airport projects, to add to the initial list.




Page 17                                                GAO-03-164 Aviation Infrastructure
Table 1: Summary of Provisions in H.R. 4481 and S. 633, and the Challenges Each Seeks to Address

H.R. 4481, Airport Streamlining Approval
Process Act of 2002                                   S. 633, Aviation Delay Prevention Act                  Challenge addressed
Directs FAA to take action to encourage the           Requires DOT to designate certain airport projects Reaching stakeholder
construction of airport capacity-enhancement          as national capacity projects. The airports where    agreement.
projects at congested airports.                       these national capacity projects are designated
                                                      would be required to complete the planning and
                                                      environmental review process within 5 years, or else
                                                      lose access to certain federal funds.
Authorizes DOT to develop interagency cooperative     Requires DOT to implement an expedited                 Completing the
agreements with other federal and state               coordinated environmental review process for           environmental review
stakeholders in the environmental review process.     national capacity projects that provides for better    phase.
                                                      coordination among federal, regional, state, and
                                                      local agencies.
Allows airports to reimburse FAA for the additional   Authorizes DOT to develop a 5-year pilot program       Completing the
staff necessary to review and approve project         funded by airport sponsors to hire additional FAA      environmental review
construction requests.                                environmental specialists and attorneys.               phase.
Makes DOT the lead agency for all capacity-             Requires DOT to implement an expedited               Completing the
enhancement project environmental reviews, with         environmental review process that provides a “date environmental review
responsibility for setting time frames for all relevant certain” process deadline for environmental reviews. phase.
agency reviews. All federal agency reviews would be
required to occur concurrently.
Allows DOT to define the purpose and need for any Not addressed.                                             Reaching stakeholder
airport capacity-enhancement project for any federal                                                         agreement.
or state review that requires the establishment of a
purpose and need.
Eliminates the required Governor's certification,      Eliminates the required Governor's certification,      Completing the
which states that an airport will meet state and local which states that an airport will meet state and local environmental review
environmental standards.                               environmental standards.                               phase.
                                               Source: U.S. General Accounting Office.


                                               In responding to our survey, seven airports stated that eliminating the
                                               governor’s certificate requirement would reduce duplicative environmental
                                               requirements. In an August 2000 report to the Congress on aviation and the
                                               environment, we suggested that Congress may wish to consider eliminating
                                               the state air quality certification requirements in airport legislation
                                               becauseit is duplicative of protections offered under the Clean Air Act.12
                                               FAA officials stated that they agreed with our suggestion and believed that
                                               a parallel situation exists with respect to state water quality certification,


                                               12
                                                  U.S. General Accounting Office, Aviation and the Environment: Airport
                                               Operations and Future Growth Present Environmental Challenges, GAO/RCED-
                                               00-153 (Washington, D.C.: Aug. 30, 2000).




                                               Page 18                                                  GAO-03-164 Aviation Infrastructure
                            which is largely duplicative of protections under the Clean Water Act. Both
                            the House and the Senate bills would have eliminated the Governor’s
                            Certificate requirement.



FAA Initiatives Focus on    FAA has identified and undertaken several initiatives directed at
Streamlining the Planning   streamlining the planning and environmental review processes and
                            improving cooperation, communication, and coordination among major
and Environmental Review
                            stakeholders. Some of the initiatives have been implemented, and others
Processes                   are currently underway. FAA officials believe that the initiatives, if
                            successful, will provide measurable improvements in the amount of time
                            and resources spent in the planning and environmental review phases of
                            the process.

                            FAA has undertaken several initiatives to improve the planning and
                            environmental processes that the agency believes will help ensure that
                            runway projects are completed in a timely manner. With respect to
                            planning, FAA prepared an internal Memorandum of Agreement in
                            September 2002 to standardize the procedures for establishing
                            multidisciplinary teams to participate in major airport planning studies.
                            The agency has plans to update its guidance on airport master plans and to
                            upgrade an airspace and ground capacity simulation model in fiscal year
                            2003, and to update its guidance on airport terminal planning and design by
                            the end of fiscal year 2004. With respect to streamlining the environmental
                            review process, FAA began implementing several initiatives in January
                            2001 that are designed to produce measurable improvements. FAA began
                            establishing multidisciplinary EIS teams for new EISs at large hub primary
                            airports, reallocating staff resources and seeking airport reimbursable
                            agreements to support environmental work, and increasing the use of
                            consultants to assist FAA with coordination and administration of EISs.

                            To increase coordination and assign accountability for runway
                            development tasks to key stakeholders, FAA began another initiative in
                            August 2001 as a part of its Operational Evolution Plan—a 10-year plan to
                            expand and modernize the nation’s airport system. FAA developed detailed
                            plans called Runway Template Action Plans to provide a standard set of
                            tasks that must be considered when developing new runways. FAA has
                            completed Runway Template Action Plans for 12 airports that are expected
                            to complete new runways by 2008. According to FAA officials, the agency
                            has met the deadlines for its commitments at all of the airports, and no
                            runway completion date has changed as a result of FAA actions since the
                            program began.



                            Page 19                                       GAO-03-164 Aviation Infrastructure
                              While the Executive Order and the proposed legislation were designed to
                              address challenges some of the airports experienced, it is too early to
                              assess their impact; the Executive Order was only recently signed, and the
                              legislation did not pass in the 107th session of Congress. Nonetheless,
                              several stakeholders, including airports we surveyed and visited, supported
                              efforts consistent with these initiatives. Further, FAA officials believe that
                              the initiatives FAA has taken and proposed will yield measurable
                              improvements in the runway development process—particularly with
                              respect to the planning and environmental review phases of the process.



Airports Have Undertaken      Airports we visited and surveyed described a number of actions they have
Some Initiatives to Address   taken to address the challenges they faced in building their runways. These
                              actions included proactive approaches to working with stakeholders to
Challenges                    plan for and mitigate various impacts of the runway projects on
                              neighboring communities. For example, the Louisville airport used an
                              unusual approach to deal with the needs of neighboring homeowners who
                              would be required to move in order to be outside the noise parameter levels
                              posed by the new runway. After reaching agreement on the market value
                              that the airport would pay for each home, the airport offered these
                              residents a choice: residents either could move to a new home of equal
                              value in a new community development being built by the airport, or they
                              could participate in the traditional relocation program, where the airport
                              purchases the home and the family relocates to a home and location of its
                              choosing. Airport officials stated that this approach worked well for both
                              the airport and the displaced residents. According to airport officials, the
                              residents benefited because those who wished to stay together as a
                              community (which was the preference of many) were able to do so, and the
                              airport saved approximately $17,000 per home on those homes built in the
                              new community development.

                              A Washington State Department of Transportation official stated that
                              minimizing controversy over the uses of land needed for expanding runway
                              capacity could be important in avoiding lengthy project delays. The
                              department developed an Airport Land Use Compatibility Program,
                              implementing a 1996 amendment of the Washington State Growth
                              Management Act—the state’s land-use planning law. The law requires cities
                              and counties to identify, site, and protect essential public facilities
                              (including airports) from incompatible land use, such as encroaching
                              development. In other words, when developing local land-use plans, cities
                              and counties must ensure that their plans do not adversely affect these
                              facilities. As part of the land-use compatibility program, certain state



                              Page 20                                         GAO-03-164 Aviation Infrastructure
transportation officials provide consultations, including mediation,
between airport sponsors and community representatives (often municipal
or county planning staff) to balance the state’s dual interest of promoting
aviation and ensuring the health, safety, and welfare of its residents. The
approach to facilitating airports’ future expansion includes several steps,
including the development of planning-based solutions and the integration
of those solutions into a legally enforceable document, such as a
comprehensive development plan—rather than the Airport Master Plan,
which is not binding on land-use authority—in order to increase the
probability that the solutions will succeed.

In Minneapolis, the airport attempted to build consensus throughout the
project by considering mitigation agreements that were more liberal than
those required by FAA. For example, the airport has been pursuing a liberal
noise-mitigation strategy in order to better address community concerns
about noise impacts. The airport chose to keep residential blocks together
for noise-mitigation measures, whether or not the entire block fell within
the same noise contour. In other words, if one residence in a block lay
within the 65-decibel Day Night Average Sound Level (DNL) noise contour,
every residence on the block received similar mediation measures.13
Another challenge for which the airport had to develop a solution was
mitigating the noise impacts on a National Wildlife Refuge located within
the flight path of the new runway. The refuge contains an educational
center and is a popular location for bird watching. The refuge contended
that the usefulness of the center and bird watching activities would be
severely impacted by noise from the runway. The airport and the refuge
were ultimately able to negotiate an agreement whereby the airport
authority would pay the organization $26 million for the right to conduct
flight operations over the refuge.

In Dallas-Fort Worth, the airport chose to implement a four-stage approach
to mitigating the noise impacts of the runway project: 1) direct land
acquisition for properties located in the runway protection zone, 2) direct
land acquisition of certain properties for noise mitigation, 3) sound
proofing structures for noise mitigation, and 4) acquisition of aviation
easements. Airport officials noted that the first three stages of the
mitigation plan are standard among most runway projects and, in the case
of acquiring properties in the runway protection zone, required of all


13
 The Day Night Average Sound Level is a measurement of the average noise impacts of the
airport on the surrounding community.




Page 21                                              GAO-03-164 Aviation Infrastructure
                  airports. However, with respect to aviation easements, the airport
                  undertook an approach that it considered to be extraordinary at the time.
                  The airport offered residents 25 percent of the fair market value of their
                  property to acquire easements for noise impacts. The easements are
                  attached to the property deed, affecting the current property owner and all
                  future owners of that property.

                  Overall, the airports that described these initiatives believed they had a
                  positive impact on their runway projects. Other airports described similar
                  initiatives that they believed were helpful in facilitating the completion of
                  the various phases of their projects. It may be helpful for other airports to
                  consider these initiatives when faced with similar challenges; however, the
                  wide variety of situations faced by airports and the differing levels of
                  community opposition or environmental issues each airport faces make it
                  difficult to determine whether an effort undertaken successfully by one
                  airport will have the same positive results at another airport.



Agency Comments   We provided the Secretary of Transportation with a copy of a draft of this
                  report. FAA officials agreed with our characterization of the challenges
                  associated with building runways and our identification of some of the
                  initiatives to address these challenges. However, they did express some
                  concerns related to our analysis of the amount of time airports spent or
                  estimated spending in developing their runways, as compared with the
                  results of FAA’s 2001 study. They also suggested that GAO include more
                  acknowledgment of their efforts in trying to improve the runway
                  development process. Regarding FAA’s concerns, we believe our approach
                  was a reasonable assessment of the amount of time it takes airports to
                  build runways. However, we clarified our discussion on the length of time
                  by focusing on the median time rather than the average time because this
                  approach minimizes the impact of outlying airports that may have taken a
                  very long or a very short time to build their runways. We also compared our
                  analysis of the time taken by airports to build runways with FAA’s study.
                  See appendix I for a more detailed discussion of the comparative analysis.
                  Finally, we included information regarding several initiatives that FAA has
                  undertaken to streamline and improve the planning and environmental
                  processes. We also made technical changes throughout the report as
                  appropriate.

                  We performed our work from April 2001 through December 2002 in
                  accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards.




                  Page 22                                        GAO-03-164 Aviation Infrastructure
As agreed with your office, unless you release its contents earlier, we plan
no further distribution of this report until 10 days after the date of its
issuance. At that time, we will send copies of this report to congressional
committees with responsibilities for the activities discussed in this report;
to the Secretary of Transportation; and to the Administrator of the Federal
Aviation Administration. We will make copies available to others upon
request. This report is also available at no charge on GAO’s Web site at
http://www.gao.gov.

If you or your staff have any questions regarding the contents of this report,
please call me or Tammy Conquest at (202) 512-2834. Other key
contributors to this report were Ruthann Balciunas, William Chatlos, David
Hooper, Gary Lawson, David Lehrer, and Alwynne Wilbur.




Gerald L. Dillingham, Ph.D
Director, Physical Infrastructure Issues




Page 23                                         GAO-03-164 Aviation Infrastructure
Appendix I

Scope and Methodology                                                                                        AA
                                                                                                              ppp
                                                                                                                ep
                                                                                                                 ned
                                                                                                                   n
                                                                                                                   x
                                                                                                                   id
                                                                                                                    e
                                                                                                                    x
                                                                                                                    Iis




             Our primary methods for addressing our two research questions—first,
             how much time do airports spend building their runway projects and what
             challenges do airports and other stakeholders experience during this
             process, and second, what have airports and other stakeholders done or
             proposed to do to address the challenges they experienced in building
             runways—-were to conduct a nationwide survey of airports that built new
             runways between 1991 and 2000 or planned to build new runways by 2010,
             and to perform site visits at five airports. The survey population included
             30 airports, 16 of which had built their airports between 1991 and 2000, and
             14 of which had planned to build new runways by 2010. The survey,
             conducted in February 2002, provided data on the amount of time that 30
             airports spent in planning and building 32 runway projects; on key factors
             that accelerated or delayed the projects; and on initiatives that airports
             have taken to address the challenges they faced during the process.14

             Based on our analysis of the survey responses, we judgmentally selected
             five airports at which to conduct site visits, to develop a more in-depth
             understanding of the experiences and challenges they faced. We
             subsequently visited Boston Logan, Dallas-Fort Worth, Memphis Shelby
             County, Minneapolis-St. Paul, and Seattle-Tacoma Airports, where we
             interviewed the airport authority, FAA, hub airlines, state agencies,
             metropolitan planning organizations, and local community and
             environmental groups about their experiences with the runway projects. In
             addition, we also interviewed officials from Lester B. Pearson International
             Airport in Toronto, Canada, and Transport Canada to gain an understanding
             of the Canadian runway development process.

             We also compared our analysis with FAA’s May 2001 report. While the
             results of the two studies are similar, there are some methodological
             differences between the two studies. First, our measurement begins at the
             start of planning and ends with the completion of the runway. In contrast,
             FAA’s measurement begins with planning but ends with the beginning of
             the design and construction phase. Second, GAO’s analysis is based on the
             median time, which minimizes the impact of runways that take a very long
             or a very short time to complete; FAA’s estimate, however, is based on the
             average time, which does not account for the impact of outliers. Based on
             our survey responses, when considering the average time, we found that
             airports that had completed their projects took 12.25 years and airports


             14
              Information on the time airports spent in various parts of the process is based, in part, on
             estimates provided by some airports that have not yet completed their projects.




             Page 24                                                  GAO-03-164 Aviation Infrastructure
Appendix I
Scope and Methodology




that had not yet completed their projects estimated that their projects
would take about 16 years. Third, our survey allowed the airports to
determine the beginning and end of each of the process phases, whereas
FAA selected specific events for analysis. For example, FAA’s analysis
based the end of the environmental review phase on the issuance of the
ROD. Certain airports responding to GAO’s survey included federal and
state permits as part of the environmental process. FAA’s May 2001 report
found that federal and state permits can take 6 to 12 months or more to
complete after the ROD. Finally, each of the two analyses examined a
different universe of airports. FAA analyzed data on 10 airports that had
projects approved between 1996 and 2000. GAO analyzed data on over 30
runway projects that were completed, or expected to be completed,
between 1991 and 2010. GAO’s analysis included 6 of the 10 airports that
FAA analyzed.

We also interviewed officials from FAA, Airports Council International, the
Airline Transport Association, and the National Association of State
Aviation Officials to obtain information on the process for building
runways and to identify what actions have been taken to address
challenges related to planning and building runways.

We conducted our work from April 2001 through December 2002 in
accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards.




Page 25                                       GAO-03-164 Aviation Infrastructure
Appendix II

Airport Site Visits                                                                                         Appendx
                                                                                                                  Ii




                To gain additional perspective on the runway development process, we
                visited five airports that had significant positive or negative experiences in
                going through the runway development process; some of the airports
                identified initiatives to overcome these challenges.15 We also included
                airports that were in various stages of completing their runway projects,
                and in various parts of the country. We asked the airports to share their
                experiences in the process of building new runways, as well as those
                events that either significantly delayed or accelerated the completion of the
                runway projects. We identified several key factors—the amount of time
                that transpired, how this time compared with the airports’ expectations of
                the process timeline, how key stakeholders’ timeliness compared with the
                airports’ expectations, and the significant events that either delayed or
                accelerated the completion of the runways. In addition, we considered the
                airports’ responses to other questions, as warranted. We also visited the
                Lester B. Pearson International Airport in Toronto, Canada, to gain an
                understanding of the Canadian runway development process and of the
                airport’s experiences in building runways. The overarching factor leading
                to selection was the airports’ experiences that appeared appropriate for
                other airports to draw upon. These experiences, both positive and negative,
                are intended to yield lessons that other airports can emulate or avoid. Table
                2 shows the airports we selected and the phase of each project as of
                December 2002.




                15
                     See appendix I for the methodology we used to select the airports we visited.




                Page 26                                                    GAO-03-164 Aviation Infrastructure
                          Appendix II
                          Airport Site Visits




                          Table 2: Airports Selected for Site Visit and their Runway Projects

                          Airport                                    Location             Size       Phasea
                          Gen. Edward Lawrence Logan                 East Boston, MA      Large      Environmental
                          International
                          Dallas-Fort Worth International            DFW, TX              Large      Completed
                          Dallas-Fort Worth International            DFW, TX              Large      Suspendedb
                          Memphis International                      Memphis, TN          Medium     Completed
                          Minneapolis-St. Paul International         Minneapolis, MN      Large      Construction
                          Seattle-Tacoma International               Seattle, WA          Large      Environmental
                          Lester B. Pearson International            Toronto, Ontario     Large      Completed
                          Lester B. Pearson International            Toronto, Ontario     Large      Completed
                          Lester B. Pearson International            Toronto, Ontario     Large      Planning
                          Source: U. S. General Accounting Office.
                          a
                           Runway development phases often overlap. The phase shown is the phase with the predominant
                          activity as of December 2002.
                          b
                           The airport suspended development of this runway to explore implications of recent economic and
                          industry events.


                          Appendixes II through VII contain a summary of the results of our visit to
                          each airport, including background information and status of the runway
                          project. The summaries also highlight significant events and experiences
                          for each specific location, based on our discussions with the airport
                          authorities and key stakeholders. While each of the airports we visited
                          experienced challenges within several broad themes noted earlier
                          (resolving stakeholder differences, completing extensive environmental
                          requirements, and addressing issues related to runway design and
                          construction), those broad themes were not necessarily the most important
                          at that specific site. Consequently, we highlight different experiences at
                          each site. For example, the Boston airport’s legal challenges were much
                          more extensive than were those at the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport. We
                          discuss Boston’s legal challenges at length, while we mention those at
                          Minneapolis-St. Paul as they applied to other experiences.



General Edward            Boston’s Logan International Airport is operated by the Massachusetts Port
                          Authority (Massport). According to FAA, airport, state, and airline officials,
Lawrence Logan            Logan plays a critical role in the New England economy, and it serves as the
International Airport –   region’s long-haul and international gateway airport. According to
                          Massport officials, in 2000, the airport handled 27.4 million passengers and
East Boston, MA

                          Page 27                                                       GAO-03-164 Aviation Infrastructure
Appendix II
Airport Site Visits




contributed about $6.6 billion to the regional economy, supporting about
100,000 jobs. It was North America’s nineteenth-busiest in terms of
passenger traffic. Logan is consistently ranked as one of the nation’s most
delayed airports. In 2000, Logan was the sixth-most delayed airport overall
and second-most delayed for arrivals. Logan is served by all the major U.S.
carriers. The top carriers are U.S. Airways, American, and Delta, with
roughly equal shares of passenger traffic. The airport is primarily an origin
and destination point, with about 90 percent of the passengers beginning or
ending their trips at Logan.

In good weather, Logan generally operates on a north-south, three-runway
configuration with a capacity of about 120 flight operations per hour.
However, during adverse weather conditions (such as northwest or
southeast winds in excess of 10 knots per hour, which occur about one-
third of the year), the airport can be reduced to as few as 60 to 90
operations per hour on an east-west, one- or two-runway operation.
Massport believes that its proposed 5,000-foot, unidirectional runway will
avoid the significant reduction in efficiency during adverse weather
conditions and help mitigate weather-related delays.16 Massport views the
runway as a capacity-neutral airfield enhancement, which means that the
proposed runway will decrease delays without increasing the airport’s top
capacity of about 120 flights per hour. The Massachusetts Executive Office
of Environmental Affairs administers the Massachusetts Environmental
Policy Act, the state’s environmental protection act. In its Final
Environmental Impact Report certificate, the Secretary, Massachusetts
Executive Office of Environmental Affairs, stated that the central
environmental question is not whether the project is accommodating or
generating demand per se, but rather whether Massport is operating the
airport in a manner that avoids, minimizes, or mitigates environmental
impacts in light of its obligations under MEPA. An official from the
environmental office stated that the project might increase airfield
capacity, but that an airport capacity determination was beyond the scope
of its review. Figure 4 shows the existing Logan runway configuration,
including the proposed runway project.




16
 All flights using this runway would arrive from the southeast or depart from the northwest,
over Boston Harbor.




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Appendix II
Airport Site Visits




Figure 4: Airport Diagram—Boston’s Logan International Airport




We selected Logan Airport as a site-visit location, in part, because its
runway project has been in the planning phase since 1969.17 Further, a state
court injunction against building new runways at the airport has been in
place since the mid-1970s (FAA approved an EIS for a runway in the same
general location on the airfield in the late 1960s). Further, because of the
injunction, Massport decided not to actively pursue the project until the
project was reinstituted in 1995, based on an FAA Capacity Enhancement


17
  Logan Airport was not the only airport that spent a long time in the planning phase. Of the
30 airports we surveyed, two others—Phoenix and Indianapolis—also reported spending a
long time (about 20 years or more) in the planning phase.




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                        Airport Site Visits




                        Study. Logan is an example of an airport that has spent a long time in the
                        process, and it has gone through several iterations of the EIS review
                        process.

                        We interviewed officials at Massport, who were the main sponsors of the
                        new, sixth runway at Logan. We also interviewed officials at FAA’s New
                        England Region, American Eagle Airlines, Massachusetts Executive Office
                        of Environmental Affairs, and the Massachusetts High Technology Council.
                        We also gathered information from Communities Against Runway
                        Expansion, the primary community interest group.18



Current Status of the   FAA issued its ROD indicating that the project had satisfied all federal
                        environmental requirements on August 2, 2002. However, the airport can
Runway Project          not yet begin constructing the runway because of an existing state court
                        injunction. Moreover, opposition groups appealed the ROD in August 2002
                        in the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C., arguing, among other
                        things, that FAA did not adequately analyze the noise and air quality
                        impacts on neighboring communities.



Stakeholders Cite       Massport and other stakeholders we interviewed (American Eagle Airlines,
                        Massachusetts Executive Office of Environmental Affairs, FAA, and the
Community Opposition    High Technology Council) said that the lack of agreement among
as a Major Challenge    stakeholders—particularly with regard to responding to the strong ongoing
                        community opposition to the runway project—has presented a major
and Say Efforts to      challenge. Communities Against Runway Expansion and other local
Address This Issue      community groups surrounding the airport opposed the project because of
Were Unsuccessful       a number of issues, including the impact of the runway on noise, emissions,
                        economic growth, and endangered species. Opponents to the project also
                        question the intended use of the runway (for example, delay reduction
                        versus capacity enhancement). According to FAA, Massachusetts
                        Executive Office of Environmental Affairs, American Eagle Airlines, the
                        High Technology Council, and Massport officials themselves, the public
                        appears to distrust Massport. These stakeholders added that much of the
                        opposition stems from the fact that the airport is located in downtown
                        Boston rather than from plans for a new runway, and that community


                        18
                         The Communities Against Runway Expansion Vice President is also the Chair of the
                        Community Advisory Council, a group representing various communities around Logan.




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                       Airport Site Visits




                       groups opposed to the project are not likely to change their position.
                       According to an American Eagle Airlines official, FAA should help
                       community groups understand the economic benefits of the project on
                       their communities.

                       Massport said it has attempted to address this challenge through extensive
                       public participation and review efforts, but that these have not been
                       successful. FAA, Massachusetts Executive Office of Environmental Affairs,
                       and the airlines have agreed that Massport involved the public throughout
                       most of the lengthy process, and that the public was able to express its
                       concerns to Massport through the public meetings and the required public
                       comment periods on FAA’s decisions. According to Massport, in response
                       to public pressure, FAA created a special review panel and required
                       Massport to undertake a supplemental Draft EIS as a means to further
                       expand public participation. As part of the public outreach process,
                       Massport provided $350,000 for technical assistance to the Community
                       Advisory Council. Communities Against Runway Expansion, on the other
                       hand, stated that Massport’s efforts toward communication were for
                       appearance only—that the airport authority spoke to them but did not
                       listen to their concerns. All agreed that extensive communication did not
                       lead to cooperation and consensus.



Stakeholders Say       Massport and FAA prepared a joint Draft Environmental Impact Report and
                       Draft EIS to meet state and federal requirements. According to Massport,
Meeting Extensive      this joint effort is a common approach for streamlining the environmental
Environmental          review process. The joint state and federal permit process lasted over 7
                       years. Stakeholders said this is partly attributable to community opposition
Requirements Has       and to the effect of this opposition on the process.
Been Challenging
Because of Community   In 1995, in what it described as an effort to conduct the environmental
                       analysis with input from all concerned parties, Massport established the
Opposition             Airside Review Committee, which included representatives from the 24
                       communities surrounding the airport and from 11 business and industry
                       organizations. However, according to both FAA and Massport, this effort
                       was suspended for about 18 months between 1996 and 1998, when the
                       entire runway project stalled because of a change in Massport leadership
                       and priorities. In 1998, according to Massport officials, the airport
                       attempted to pick up the environmental review process where it had been
                       suspended. Community groups complained that they had not been part of
                       the recent process and appealed to FAA that the Draft EIS was no longer




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Airport Site Visits




accurate, complete, or up-to-date. Massport believes it did try numerous
times to meet with the Airside Review Committee, but to no avail.

The state approved the Draft Environmental Impact Review in May 1999
and the final Environmental Impact Review in June 2001. However, FAA
requested a Supplemental Draft EIS rather than approving the Draft EIS.
FAA officials stated that the agency did so because it needed to address
several issues, including changing technology and the high level of
concerns expressed by project opponents in public comments to the Draft
EIS. Massport, the Massachusetts High Technology Council, and American
Eagle Airlines all believe that FAA’s decision was unreasonable. Massport
officials contended that the project had already undergone 5 years of public
process, that continuation was unlikely to help achieve local consensus,
and that they believed it had not. FAA officials, however, believe that it did
result in a better, more informative EIS document.

Individuals, communities, action groups, and business groups submitted
comments during public information meetings and hearings and in
response to the Draft EIS and Final EIR documents that were extensive.
For example, about 800 people attended the two April 2001 public hearings
for the Supplemental Draft EIS document and about 850 comment letters
were received during the 75-day comment period.

The Supplemental Draft EIS took about 1 year to complete, and it delayed
the filing of the Final EIS by about 1.5 years, according to Massport. During
this time, in another attempt to develop agreement among stakeholders,
FAA chaired a city and commonwealth Task Force to request further
comments to the Draft EIS for incorporation into the Supplemental Draft
EIS. Although this group met, analyzed, and discussed many runway issues,
not all stakeholders were pleased with its outcome. For example,
Communities Against Runway Expansion stated that the products of the
panel’s work, the Supplemental Draft EIS and the Final Environmental
Impact Review, were inaccurate and inconclusive, and they justified the
runway without proposing a viable alternative.

In late June 2002, FAA issued the Final EIS for public comment, as required
by the NEPA process. FAA received approximately 100 comment letters
raising 42 main issues, ranging from general opposition to a concern about
the adequacy of technical analyses. FAA said that it responded to the
comments as required and issued its final approval, the ROD, in August
2002. In both the Final EIS and the ROD, FAA included a restriction (which
Massport officials said was unprecedented) that the proposed runway be



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Airport Site Visits




used only when winds create conditions in which the usefulness of other
current runways is limited.19 FAA considers this wind restriction a
mitigation measure, as it would ensure that the runway was not used to
increase capacity during good weather. Many stakeholders—including
proponents and opponents—view this restriction as a compromise
designed to achieve consensus, but others, such as community groups,
maintain that the wind restriction does not go far enough to mitigate the
environmental effects of this project. Communities Against Runway
Expansion continued to contest FAA’s approval in the press and in federal
court and, through an urgent message on its Web page, urged others to
respond to the Final EIS. Moreover, Massport and Massachusetts Executive
Office of Environmental Affairs officials said that, by issuing the ROD with
wind restrictions, FAA could reactivate the state environmental review
process because the approved project differs significantly from what
Massachusetts Executive Office of Environmental Affairs approved in
2001. Subsequently, the Executive Office of Environmental Affairs chose
not to reexamine the environmental document because it did not believe
that the wind restriction significantly changed the environmental impacts
of the runway.

FAA, Massport, and American Eagle Airlines said that, during the length of
time spent attempting to get all of the environmental approvals needed,
some assumptions made early on in the process have been called into
question. For example, concerns have been raised that traffic forecasts
may not materialize, that the increasing use of Regional Jets may change
the equipment mix more than planned, and that the 5,000 foot runway may
not be long enough to be as useful as hoped. They believe that these issues
played a part in triggering FAA’s Supplemental Draft EIS process. However,
a Massachusetts Executive Office of Environmental Affairs official stated
that it is not possible to “freeze” the process to figure out all the answers
before making a decision. According to many stakeholders, the
environmental review process is a continuous cycle in which comments
require additional study, which leads to revisions, which lead to more
comments, which lead to additional study. They contend that the circuitous
nature of the process is the primary source of delay. The Massachusetts
environmental permit process has important time triggers that allow for the

19
 The ROD limits the use of the proposed 14/32 runway to those times when wind conditions
equal or exceed 10 knots, either northwest or southeast. FAA Air Traffic Control is
responsible for runway assignments and will base its use of 14/32 on forecasted wind
conditions. The Record of Decision also includes a 2-hour window to adjust to changing
conditions.




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                        Airport Site Visits




                        process to come to an end. Massport believes that if similar triggers were in
                        place at the federal level, many of the delays encountered during the EIS
                        process could have been avoided.



Litigation Added Time   Massport first suggested, and actually began construction on, a new 3,830
                        foot runway in the same general location on the airfield almost 30 years ago
to Process              (May 1974). Massport took the position that the 1974 runway project did
                        not require a state environmental review because 1) both the Massport
                        Board and the Commonwealth Office of Transportation and Construction
                        determined it had no environmental impact and 2) the project commenced
                        before July 1, 1973, the effective date of the Massachusetts Environmental
                        Policy Act. The City of Boston and the Massachusetts Secretary of
                        Environmental Affairs both disagreed and sued Massport. The Suffolk
                        Superior Court enjoined Massport from proceeding with the 1974 Runways
                        Project, pending the preparation, filing, and review of a final EIR as
                        directed by the Secretary of Environmental Affairs.

                        On June 15, 2001, the Secretary of Environmental Affairs determined that
                        Massport’s Final EIR submitted in March 2001 adequately and properly
                        complied with the Massachusetts Executive Office of Environmental
                        Affairs. Massport went to court to get the injunction lifted. The court began
                        considering this injunction in late January 2003. Groups opposing the
                        project declared victory because the motion to lift the injunction went to
                        trial. A second lawsuit, regarding runway development in Plymouth County,
                        located southeast of the airport, resulted in a summary judgment in favor of
                        Massport. This matter is now under appeal. Plymouth County includes the
                        cities of Hull, Hingham, and Cohasset, all in the flight path of the over-the-
                        water operations. These local municipalities alleged that the state
                        environmental permit was invalid because Massport misled the
                        Massachusetts Executive Office of Environmental Affairs about the
                        project’s impact by providing incomplete and inaccurate technical data.
                        Table 3 summarizes the history of the Boston Logan runway project.




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Airport Site Visits




Table 3: History of the Boston Logan Runway Project

Date                    Event
Late 1960s              FAA approves new runway.
August 1974             State court injunction against building new runways at airport.
June 1976               State court injunction against building new runways at airport
                        amended.
November 1995           Massachusetts Secretary of Environmental Affairs defines Draft
                        EIR scope.
November 1995           Massport establishes Airside Review Committee.
January 1996            FAA defines Draft EIS scope.
February 1999           Massport files Draft EIS/Draft EIR with state and FAA.
April 1999              FAA and Massport hold public meetings on Draft EIS/Draft EIR.
May 1999                State approves Draft EIR.
January 2000            FAA orders supplemental Draft EIS.
March 2001              Massport submits supplemental Draft EIS/Final EIR to state and
                        FAA.
April 2001              FAA and Massport hold public hearings on supplemental Draft
                        EIS/Final EIR.
June 2001               State approves Final EIR.
June 2002               FAA publishes Final EIS for public comment.
August 2002             FAA issues ROD.
August 2002             FAA approves Airport Layout Plan.
August 2002             Community groups appeal ROD in U.S. Court of Appeals.
September 2002          Massachusetts MEPA decides not to reopen state process.
October 2002            Community challenge of state environmental approval trial
                        dismissed.
January 2003            Massport challenge of injunction trial date (Suffolk Superior
                        Court).
Spring 2006             Projected completion date.
Source: U.S. General Accounting Office.




Page 35                                                  GAO-03-164 Aviation Infrastructure
Appendix III

Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport –
DFW, TX                                                                                          Appendx
                                                                                                       iI




               In 2001, the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport was the fourth-busiest
               North American airport in terms of passengers. Both American Airlines and
               Delta Airlines run hub operations at the airport, with about 70 percent and
               19 percent of the airport’s annual operations, respectively. According to the
               airport’s Chief Executive Officer, the airport provides $12 billion in annual
               economic activity for North Texas.

               The Dallas-Fort Worth Airport Board (the Board) governs the airport. The
               Board is composed of 12 members, 11 of whom are appointed by the
               councils of the airport’s owner cities in accordance with each city’s
               ownership interest in the airport; 7 represent the city of Dallas, and 4
               represent the city of Fort Worth. The 12th member is a nonvoting member
               representing the neighboring host cities of Coppell, Euless, Grapevine, and
               Irving on a rotating annual basis (the member is from a particular city every
               fourth year). The Board may enter into contracts without approval of the
               City Councils, but its annual operating budget requires City Council
               approval of the owner cities.

               The airport lies within the city limits of the four host cities. It obtained the
               freedom to pursue independent development through state legislation
               known as the Texas Municipal Airports Act. It covers over 29 square miles,
               and its real property consists of over 18,000 acres. The current
               configuration is seven runways—five north-south parallel, two diagonal.
               Four of these runways are over 11,000 feet in length. This configuration
               allows the airport to land four planes simultaneously. In good weather, the
               airport generally operates with a capacity of about 260 to 270 operations
               per hour. Airport revenue is shared with the surrounding cities based upon
               the location of the enterprise. For example, the rental car franchises are
               located in Euless, so that city receives a portion of the car rental tax
               revenues.

               The seventh runway was designed to reduce delays as well as to increase
               overall aircraft operations capacity. Airport officials developed the 1991
               DFW Airport Development Plan, which included two new runways in
               response to market demand, to maintain the highest level of service for
               their customers. Figure 5 shows the existing Dallas-Fort Worth
               International Airport configuration, including the proposed eighth runway
               and several proposed extensions.




               Page 36                                          GAO-03-164 Aviation Infrastructure
Appendix III
Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport –
DFW, TX




Figure 5: Airport Diagram—Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport




We selected the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport for a site visit
because the airport, which was completed in February 1974, is one of the
most recently constructed airports in the United States (only Denver is a
more recently constructed large hub airport). The airport completed its
seventh runway in 1996, and had planned to complete an additional eighth
runway before more sophisticated demand-delay studies were completed.
Furthermore, the airport reported in our survey that many elements of the
runway development process took less time than expected.

We interviewed officials at the following: Dallas-Fort Worth International
Airport, the sponsor of the new runway projects; the four host cities
surrounding the airport—Coppell, Euless, Grapevine, and Irving; FAA
Southwest Regional Office and Airports District Office; North Central
Texas Council of Governments; and the Texas Commission on
Environmental Quality. We attempted to contact American Airlines, but
airline officials said that too much time had passed since the early phases
of the project for its response to be meaningful.




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                         Appendix III
                         Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport –
                         DFW, TX




Current Status of the    The seventh runway was commissioned in October 1996. All activities for
                         the proposed eighth runway have been temporarily suspended while
Two Runway Projects      airport officials explore the implications that recent economic and industry
                         events will have for runway need.



Airport Officials        According to the airport Chief Executive Officer, the environmental review
                         process for the seventh runway required the airport to coordinate the
Described Extensive      activities of 19 federal agencies and 15 state agencies, and this process was
Environmental Review     further complicated by the lack of prime contacts and personnel changes at
                         reviewing agencies. Public controversy and public demands for
Process as Challenging   information exceeded the airport’s expectations and necessitated a highly
                         detailed environmental review. According to airport officials, this review
                         included an analysis of 12 project alternatives, although many were not
                         equally viable or would not survive the review process. According to these
                         officials, the airport will probably include two alternatives in future
                         reviews—build/no build—and then add specific alternatives for study if
                         reviewers request that additional alternatives be examined. Officials felt
                         that preparing an analysis of alternatives in this way will likely be less
                         costly and time-consuming than would preparing alternatives that, in their
                         opinion, clearly have no relevance.



The Dallas-Fort Worth    The Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport chose to implement a four-
                         stage approach to mitigating the off-airport noise impacts of the runway
International Airport    project: 1) direct land acquisition for properties located in the runway
Used Some Unique         safety area; 2) direct land acquisition of certain properties for noise
                         mitigation; 3) sound-proofing structures for noise mitigation; and 4)
Approaches to Mitigate   acquisition of aviation easements.20 The airport offered 25 percent of the
Runway Impacts           fair market value of the property to acquire aviation easements. According
                         to airport officials, the easements were written so that residents who
                         accepted them still have legal standing to take the airport to court over
                         noise impacts. Airport officials estimated that final mitigation costs would
                         be about $176 million. The last of the real estate settlements were paid out
                         in 2002. The final cost of the mitigation program exceeded the runway cost
                         by a wide margin.

                         20
                          Aviation Easements (also referred to as Avigation Easements) are rights given to the
                         airport to fly aircraft over property; they indicate that property owners acknowledge and
                         accept the noise impacts of the aircraft.




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                        Appendix III
                        Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport –
                        DFW, TX




                        The airport created an independent agency, the Action Desk, before
                        beginning the mitigation plan implementation. The Action Desk was the
                        main point of contact for property owners to provide and obtain
                        information and to file concerns and complaints. This office developed a
                        database of property-owner information and disseminated a newsletter.
                        According to airport officials, this approach was highly effective in
                        providing property-specific information to property owners that countered
                        misinformation about the project and allayed fears. The airport also hired a
                        consultant to manage the mitigation process, and it established an appeals
                        process by which property owners could contest the acquisition process.
                        The appeals council was composed of airline employees, local residents, a
                        local clergy member, and airport board members. The airport Chief
                        Executive Officer had final approval of any appeals.



Stakeholder             The Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport still maintains its Capacity
                        Enhancement Team, first established in the 1970s, composed of officials
Experiences, from       from FAA, the airport, and the airlines. The airport refers to the team as a
Start to Finish, Were   “three-legged stool.” Each of the groups is equally important to supporting
                        this stool. If one of the “legs” doesn’t provide support, the stool falls over.
Many and Varied         Airport officials, FAA, and even local governments made reference to this
                        team during our visit. The team’s responsibility is to recommend how the
                        airport should address increases in airfield efficiency, safety, and capacity.

                        According to airport officials, one of the biggest factors contributing to the
                        successful completion of the seventh runway project was the staff
                        dedicated to the project from FAA, the Department of Justice, and various
                        consultant teams. These stakeholders were assigned to the project. The
                        dedicated team provided the airport with single points of contact and
                        reduced the potential for misinterpretation or ambiguity, as well as
                        continually reeducated the participants. This experience was in contrast to
                        the difficulties the airport experienced in coordinating the input from over
                        30 agencies in the environmental review process. Airport officials wished
                        that they had kept the Environmental Protection Agency involved
                        throughout the process, rather than only at the beginning and at the end.
                        They also suggested that FAA limit the time frame for agency comments,
                        and thereby eliminate lengthy comment periods. The Environmental
                        Protection Agency took 260 days to review the EIS, which is considerably
                        longer than the 60 to 90 days that the airport expected.

                        FAA officials thought that holding many more public information meetings
                        than required also contributed to the success of the project, especially



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                     Appendix III
                     Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport –
                     DFW, TX




                     during the environmental review process. This way, FAA and others
                     answered questions or comments and addressed concerns before the
                     official comment period began. FAA also repeated the airport’s suggestion
                     that FAA should adhere to the comment deadlines.

                     The four communities surrounding the airport had both positive and
                     negative experiences while working with the airport. Three cities
                     challenged the ROD on the basis that its noise analysis and mitigation plan
                     were insufficient. (The ROD was upheld 23 months later.) Grapevine felt
                     that the airport broke long-standing promises. According to Grapevine
                     representatives, the plan that the airport originally presented would have
                     placed the area subsequently developed by Grapevine outside projected
                     flight patterns. Currently, if the airport continues with its plan for the eighth
                     runway, flights will go directly over the city of Grapevine. Irving realized
                     that asking for no airport expansion was probably unreasonable, and “you
                     really have to cut the best deal you can.” The best possible runway
                     development process should make the city whole. Euless will be more
                     affected by the eighth runway. While Euless initially joined forces with two
                     cities to contest the ROD, it withdrew its challenge. The Euless City
                     Manager stated that he appreciated the positive economic impact of the
                     airport on the North Central Texas economy and believed the airport needs
                     additional capacity to support that economic impact. If the eighth runway
                     does become a reality, the City Manager expects the same mitigation plan
                     that Irving received for the seventh runway, which he considered fair. The
                     fourth community, Coppell, did not challenge the ROD. According to the
                     Coppell City Manager, Coppell realized that it had to do its part to approve
                     the runway somehow, because the airport is seen as vital to the economies
                     of Coppell as well as to the region. The manager felt that airport staff were
                     professional, knowledgeable, and helpful and never held things out to be
                     different from reality. For example, the airport put together a task force to
                     work with the communities affected by overflights.



Litigation Delayed   The surrounding communities of Irving, Grapevine, Euless, and Coppell
                     challenged the airport, asserting that the cities had the rights to control
Process              zoning on the airport property that fell within their municipal boundaries.
                     The municipalities wanted to zone the land for “government use.” Such
                     zoning would require that the airport obtain the approval of the city boards
                     prior to doing any construction on airport property. The airport objected,
                     and took the cities to court. The cities won the case, and also won the
                     subsequent appeal. The Texas State Legislature ultimately passed the Texas
                     Municipal Airports Act, which stated that the airport sponsors and not the



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Appendix III
Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport –
DFW, TX




municipalities control zoning on airport property. According to the Chief
Executive Officer, while the act can apply to any Texas municipal airport,
the wording of the act leaves little doubt that it applies specifically to the
Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport. The Chief Executive Officer also
felt that the support of the local business community was crucial in the
development and implementation of the project. For example, the business
community provided support to the airport in the state legislature. This
case resulted in nearly 7 years of litigation in state courts and ended when
the Texas Supreme Court denied hearing the complaint.

In addition to the zoning suit, the surrounding municipalities filed suit
contending that the FAA ROD was based on an inadequate environmental
impact study. According to the airport’s General Counsel, the cities
surrounding the airport alleged that FAA and airport officials did not
properly follow the environmental review process, primarily because the
airport did not use a proper methodology in determining single-event noise
impacts. The U.S. Court of Appeals of the District of Columbia upheld the
ROD after 23 months of argument, and the U.S. Supreme Court denied
hearing the case. The runway construction was delayed 23 months pending
the resolution of the case.




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Appendix III
Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport –
DFW, TX




Table 4: History of Dallas–Fort Worth Runway Project

Date                  Event
February 1974         Airport opens.
September 1986        FAA Task Force forms to explore means of expanding air space
                      capacity.
January 1987          FAA Task Force initiates Metroplex Air Traffic System Plan Studies.
September 1987        DFW begins runway planning.
February 1989         DFW begins EIS Scoping.
April 1990            Neighboring cities challenge DFW on zoning issues.
August 1990           FAA releases Draft EIS.
March 1991            DFW completes runway planning, publishes Airport Development
                      Plan.
December 1991         FAA issues Final EIS.
April 1992            FAA issues ROD.
April 1992            Three cities challenge ROD.
1993                  DFW seeks legislative solution to zoning issues from the 73rd Texas
                      Legislature.
May 1993              Texas Municipal Airports Act, reaffirming DFW as exempt from local
                      zoning ordinances, takes effect.
March 1994            U.S. Court of Appeals for D.C. Circuit upholds ROD.
April 1996            Texas Supreme Court denies hearing appeal on zoning case from
                      Fort Worth Court of Appeals.
October 1996          DFW completes construction of 7th runway.
February 1998         Texas Supreme Court denies appeal on zoning case from Dallas
                      Court of Appeals.
May 1998              DFW publishes 1997 Airport Development Plan Update.
October 2001          DFW suspends activities for 8th runway, while DFW Capacity Design
                      Team explores implications of recent economic and industry events
                      for runway need.
Spring 2002           DFW pays final real estate settlements.
Source: U.S. General Accounting Office.




Page 42                                                 GAO-03-164 Aviation Infrastructure
Appendix IV

Memphis International Airport                                                                Appendx
                                                                                                   iIV




              The Memphis International Airport is a medium-size hub airport that has
              significant levels of both commercial passenger traffic and cargo traffic.
              According to FAA data, this airport was among the 31 busiest U.S. airports
              in 2001. Memphis is one of three major hubs operated by Northwest
              Airlines. Federal Express is based in Memphis, and along with other cargo
              airlines operating there, Memphis has served as the busiest cargo airport in
              the world for the past several years. Additionally, Memphis has claimed the
              distinction of being the number one hub airport in the United States for on-
              time flights. The Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority operates the
              Memphis and two general aviation airports. The authority is managed by a
              seven-member county board composed of commissioners who must be
              qualified community leaders in the fields of aviation, engineering, or
              finance. Of the airlines operating at Memphis, three account for about 60
              percent of the operations. Northwest and Federal Express each accounts
              for slightly more than 20 percent of the operations, while Northwest
              Airlink—a commuter airline—accounts for slightly less than 20 percent.

              Memphis currently has four runways, three of which are parallel and run
              north and south, including the new runway on the east side of the airport,
              developed between 1984 and 1997, which was the focus of our study. The
              fourth runway runs east and west and is located north of the other
              runways. The addition in 1997 of the new 9,000 foot runway (18L/36R)
              raised the airport’s maximum capacity in good weather from 131 to 145
              operations per hour (about 11 percent) and in bad weather from 84 to 99
              operations per hour (about 18 percent). However, the runway was
              constructed mainly to counteract the capacity reduction incurred by the
              reconstruction and extension of an existing runway, and to help the
              combination of commercial and cargo air service work at the airport.
              Figure 6 shows the existing Memphis airport configuration.




              Page 43                                       GAO-03-164 Aviation Infrastructure
Appendix IV
Memphis International Airport




Figure 6: Airport Diagram — Memphis International Airport




Note: According to Memphis airport officials, the center runway has been completed, and changes to
the remaining runways are no longer planned.




Page 44                                                     GAO-03-164 Aviation Infrastructure
                           Appendix IV
                           Memphis International Airport




                           We selected the Memphis Airport for study because it had quite recently
                           experienced all phases of the runway development process—planning,
                           environmental, and design and construction. In addition, unlike most other
                           airports in our study, it had a significant proportion of its operations
                           devoted to cargo, and it was the only medium-size hub airport we visited.

                           We interviewed airport officials from the Memphis-Shelby County Airport
                           Authority who were the sponsors of the runway project. We also
                           interviewed officials at FAA Memphis Airport District Office; Federal
                           Express Airlines, which accounted for about 20 percent of the airport’s
                           operation but about 50 percent of its landed weight; Northwest Airlines,
                           Memphis’s leading commercial airline; neighboring business community
                           and residential representatives; Tennessee Department of Transportation,
                           Aeronautics Division and Highway Division; and Tennessee Department of
                           Environment and Conservation.



Status of the Runway       FAA commissioned the runway in 1997.

Project


Airport Officials Stated   A Memphis Shelby County Airport Authority official stated that the airport
                           faced challenges reaching agreement among airlines regarding project
That They Faced            funding during the development of their runway project. Specifically,
Challenges Reaching        during the planning phase, a funding disagreement arose between the two
                           airlines that were the biggest airport users—one a passenger airline and
Consensus among            one a cargo airline. The passenger airline objected to the airport’s initial
Stakeholders on            proposal to fund a major portion of the project using passenger facility
Project Funding Issues     charges, which are collected only by commercial passenger airlines and not
                           by cargo airlines, as it believed that this approach would disproportionately
and Decisionmaking         benefit the cargo airlines. Ultimately, the airport authority was able to
                           negotiate an agreement with the airlines in which project funding was
                           based on landing fees, which are proportionate to the gross landed weight
                           at the airport and therefore apply to both passenger and cargo aircraft.

                           The disagreement among airlines regarding project funding highlighted a
                           broader issue regarding the establishment of the overall decisionmaking
                           process at the airport, according to an airport official. The Memphis airport
                           uses a Majority-in-Interest Agreement that stipulates how the airlines (and
                           other airport tenants) are involved in the airport’s decisionmaking process.



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                         Memphis International Airport




                         As some airline fees are based on landed weight, some airports’ agreements
                         base each airline’s vote on its proportion of landed weight, giving more
                         power to those airlines with the greatest landed weight and highest fees.
                         However, the Memphis airport chose to structure its voting process to
                         prevent any one airline from dominating the decisionmaking process.
                         According to its Majority-in-Interest Agreement, a vote to approve or reject
                         a proposal, such as any that addressed the runway completed in 1997, must
                         have represented more than 51 percent of signatory airlines’ landed weight
                         and more than 51 percent of the number of signatory airlines serving the
                         airport. This approach allowed all airlines to participate in runway project
                         decisions affecting them. Additionally, after 1996, the airport started using
                         an “inverted” Majority-in-Interest Agreement, whereby the airport may
                         proceed with projects unless an airline requests a formal vote and the
                         majority of airlines vote to disapprove the project. This approach—
                         supported by the two hub airlines at the airport—gives the airport more
                         flexibility in project development than would an approach requiring
                         airlines to affirmatively approve every significant project step.



Extensive                Airport officials said that extensive environmental and land acquisition
                         requirements presented challenges during the construction of the runway
Requirements Raised      project. The airport was required to mitigate a wetland area called
Challenges Regarding     Hurricane Creek and a series of small, adjacent marshy areas on its
                         property that needed to be relocated because of impacts associated with
Wetlands Mitigation      the construction of the runway and adjacent developable land.21 Airport
and Land Acquisition     officials said wetlands attract birds that must be “harvested” through
during Construction of   periodic hunting because of the danger that birds represent to jet airplanes,
                         and that airport workers do not like being exposed to the poisonous snakes
Runway                   in the creek as they work to maintain the relocated wetlands. According to
                         airport officials, it was necessary to relocate a portion of the existing creek
                         to construct the new runway, and to straighten the remainder of the creek
                         to maximize the use of remaining developable airport property. The airport
                         proposed a concrete-lined channel for the relocated creek based on a City
                         of Memphis standard. However, state governmental authorities required
                         the airport to obtain an aquatic alteration permit from the state and
                         requested that it relocate the creek in its natural state so that animals such
                         as frogs and poisonous snakes in the creek bed would still have their


                         21
                            According to FAA officials, the EIS addressed all major development in the Memphis
                         Airport Master Plan, including the new runway. FAA officials contend that if the EIS had
                         included only the new runway, no appreciable wetland impacts would have occurred.




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                      Memphis International Airport




                      habitat. According to an official from the Tennessee Department of
                      Environment and Conservation, this type of requirement is fairly typical for
                      airports that are expanding into areas containing water. Another state
                      environmental official said that the airport’s concrete lined-channel
                      approach had no habitat for living species and would be a direct conduit
                      for pollutants. Ultimately, large wire baskets filled with medium-sized
                      rocks were used along the new stream alignment, and four artificially
                      constructed habitat structures were added in the channel bottom to
                      support fish that had been in the stream before it was altered.

                      Airport officials stated that acquiring land for the runway project took
                      longer than they expected because of litigation and requirements
                      associated with acquiring the land. According to airport officials, for the
                      new runway, the airport acquired a road and adjacent property next to the
                      airport that previously contained gas stations and industrial property. Some
                      of the acquired properties contained underground tanks that had
                      previously leaked chemicals into the ground. The state environmental
                      agency required the airport to clean up the polluted properties prior to
                      constructing the project, although the airport did not cause the residue
                      problems.



Site-Specific         During the construction phase, the Memphis airport faced a challenge in
                      attempting to relocate a road that lay adjacent to the airport and in the path
Challenges Involved   of the new runway. According to airport officials, the City of Memphis
Relocating Other      preferred that the airport be responsible for relocating the road to ensure
                      that the work was done in a timely manner. After the new runway project
Infrastructure        was completed in 1997, the airport had a subsequent project to reconstruct
                      and extend an existing runway by 2,700 feet to permit use by larger planes
                      used for international flights. An airport boundary road had to be lowered
                      to allow for the proper clearance of the flight path for the extended runway
                      over the boundary road. According to airport officials, the City of Memphis
                      owned the road and had widened it about 15 years earlier; the road could
                      have been lowered for an additional $250,000. However, the city refused to
                      fund the additional project cost at that time. When the airport asked for
                      funding from the Federal Highway Administration to assist in lowering the
                      highway, the agency determined that no funds were available to meet the
                      airport’s required time schedule, and it could not fulfill the request.
                      Ultimately, the airport accomplished the project with FAA and bond funds.

                      On another roadway project through the center of the airfield, the airport
                      worked with the Tennessee Department of Transportation to widen and



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lower a portion of an existing road passing under an existing taxiway, the
original center runway, and two additional taxiways. The state
transportation agency chose to be responsible for the design and
construction of a new roadway to match the city’s current road plan. The
airport notified the city that the taxiway and runway would be closed to air
traffic because of airport reconstruction, and it offered the opportunity to
accomplish the needed street improvements at the least cost. The airport
funded and constructed two taxiway crossings over the existing road in the
same general time period, and it contributed funds toward the cost of a
replacement tunnel and a portion of the lowered and widened roadway
needed to accommodate the eastern taxiway. According to airport officials,
the airport was responsible for these improvements at a cost of $17 million.
They said that the airport complied with state requests at a cost and time
greater than was planned for by the airport because of the state
transportation agency’s jurisdiction and power over factors that can slow
down or stop an airport’s project.



Table 5: History of Memphis Runway Project

Date                   Event
June 1984              Airport initiates Master Plan for new runway.
March 1987             Airport initiated Environmental Assessment and noise study.
June 1989              Airport’s noise study report issued. Litigation began.
June 1991              First Majority in Interest Agreement between airport and airlines to
                       build a new runway is reached.
December 1991          Airport completes Environmental Assessment.
December 1991          FAA begins EIS process.
April 1992             Airport initiates first of eight runway design projects.
May 1992               FAA publishes Draft EIS.
November 1992          FAA issues Supplemental Draft EIS to address EPA noise
                       comments.
April 1993             FAA issues Final EIS.
May 1993               FAA issues ROD.
July 1996              Airlines’ disagreement about prorated funding for runway project
                       resolved.
September 1997         Airport opens runway.
October 2000           Litigation ended.
Source: U.S. General Accounting Office.




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Appendix V

Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport                                                      Append
                                                                                                     x
                                                                                                     i
                                                                                                     V




               The Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (Minneapolis-St. Paul)
               ranked as North America’s tenth-busiest airport in terms of passenger
               traffic during 2001. The Metropolitan Airports Commission (Commission)
               broke ground in May 1999 for the new north-south runway. This runway,
               the airport’s fourth, is expected to add about 25 percent additional capacity.
               According to the Commission Chairman at the groundbreaking, the new
               runway is vital to the economic growth of Minnesota and the region.

               The Commission owns and operates the Minneapolis-St. Paul International
               Airport and six reliever airports. The Commission reports directly to the
               Minnesota legislature and governor. Northwest Airlines, the major hub
               carrier serving Minneapolis, accounts for nearly 80 percent of annual
               operations. Several other airlines account for the remaining traffic.
               Northwest is headquartered in the neighboring community of Eagan, Minn.

               The configuration is two parallel northwest-southeast runways, one
               crosswind runway, and the new north-south runway. In good weather, the
               airport operates with a capacity of 115 to 120 operations per hour. The
               runway was originally scheduled for completion in December 2003, but the
               terrorist events of September 11, 2001, forced the airport to delay
               completion until November 2004—an 11 month delay. Airport officials cited
               reduced cash flow as the primary reason for this delay. They also said that
               the new runway would accommodate future demand, increase runway
               capacity, relieve congestion, and reduce delays. Figure 7 shows the existing
               airport configuration, including the new runway.




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Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport




Figure 7: Airport Diagram—Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport




We selected Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport as a site-visit
location because it is one of the nation’s busiest airports with an active
runway project; its project was in the construction phase; it had detailed
and comprehensive planning and environmental phases; and its Executive
Director has been a prominent speaker regarding airport issues.

We interviewed Commission officials who were the main sponsors of a new
fourth runway at the airport. We also interviewed officials at FAA’s
Minneapolis Airport District Office; Northwest Airlines, which had a
majority of the air operations at the airport; Minnesota Department of
Transportation Office of Aeronautics, which is responsible for promoting
safety zones around the airport; and the Metropolitan Council, which had a



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                          Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport




                          key role in the planning process. Additionally, we interviewed
                          representatives of the cities of Eagan, Richfield, and Bloomington, which
                          surround the airport and are impacted by the runway project.



Current Status of the     The Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport is in the construction phase
                          for its fourth runway (Runway 17/35).
Runway Project

Stakeholders Agree        According to both FAA District Office and airport officials, the Commission
                          worked hard at building consensus throughout the project and entered into
That Comprehensive        numerous mitigation agreements to resolve issues. The prevailing
Mitigation Plans Are      philosophy was to do whatever was necessary to make the project
                          successful. Commission officials, communities, airlines, and other
Essential but Difficult   stakeholders worked together to achieve this. For example, when
to Develop                developing noise contour maps, the Commission chose to include an entire
                          city block if the noise contour intersected any part of the block. If one
                          residence received sound insulation measures because it lay within the Day
                          Night Noise Level (DNL) 65 contour, every house on the block received
                          identical remediation measures. According to Minneapolis–St. Paul airport
                          officials, the effort represented good comprehensive community
                          involvement. The Commission spent considerable resources trying to keep
                          all stakeholders satisfied. According to airport officials, the Commission
                          and FAA also tried to avoid having the project go into litigation, viewed as
                          an unproductive use of time and resources and the worst scenario in the
                          process. In the long run, the FAA District Office, the state Department of
                          Transportation, and Commission officials agreed that consensus building,
                          while taking longer than expected in the project’s early stages, saved time
                          in the long run.

                          However, often what was good for one community was bad for another
                          community. At least one community accused the Commission of buying
                          communities off, neighborhood by neighborhood. For example,
                          Minneapolis was “made happy” by eliminating the north parallel runway
                          from consideration. A National Wildlife Refuge located near the airport was
                          “made whole” through the payment of over $26 million;22 however, the


                          22
                           According to an airport official, the amount was determined by an independent
                          professional appraiser and includes costs to relocate significant educational activities.




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                         Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport




                         noise will continue over the refuge. According to FAA officials, this cost
                         was required to mitigate the impact on refuge property protected under 49
                         U.S.C. 303(c), formerly known as section 4(F) of the DOT Act. The
                         opposition viewed the process as achieving “traveling” consensus—just
                         moving the problem around. Opposition groups described the process as
                         one seeking cooperation for appearances only—a “divide and conquer”
                         approach.



Stakeholders Believe     Stakeholders impacted by the runway said that they would be more
                         supportive of the project if the airport authority would increase the level of
That Mitigation          noise mitigation on the surrounding community. The FAA concluded, as
Funding Should Be        indicated in its Minneapolis-St. Paul ROD, that federal-funds eligibility for
                         future residential sound insulation measures is generally limited to the DNL
More Flexible to         65+ contour. However, it said that FAA might extend federal-funds
Include More             eligibility for the residential insulation program to include the area out to
Communities              the DNL 60 contour if there are applicable local standards. For the
                         Minneapolis airport, FAA plans to evaluate this extension through a future
                         Commission-initiated Federal Aviation Regulations Part 150 Noise
                         Compatibility Plan. The Commission submitted an updated noise
                         compatibility plan to FAA in November 2001 and withdrew it in May 2002,
                         prior to an FAA decision. Mitigation efforts continue in the DNL 65+
                         contour area; time frames released to the public called for the extended
                         (DNL 60-64) program to be completed in phases between 2005 and 2012. A
                         major factor in Northwest Airlines’ objection to paying for the additional
                         mitigation measures was that the future had changed significantly enough
                         since September 11, 2001, to reevaluate these additional measures.23



A Nationwide Low         The impact of low frequency noise on the surrounding community is an
                         issue for the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport, which is close to neighborhoods,
Frequency Noise          according to the Federal Interagency Committee on Aviation Noise
Policy Is Not in Place


                         23
                           MAC intends to update the noise contours to reflect a 2002 base year and the 2007 forecast,
                         incorporating the 2007 fleet mix plans. As a result, noise contours could shrink because of
                         quieter aircraft. MAC adopted a noise-mitigation plan for single-family homes in the DNL
                         60–64 contours in April 2002. Implementation of this plan is contingent upon resubmission
                         of the Part 150 Update and its FAA approval.




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                         Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport




                         (FICAN).24 According to the City of Richfield official, the Commission
                         received $10 million in FAA Airport Improvement Program funds for noise
                         mitigation activities for the west side of the new runway (the City of
                         Richfield lies west of the new runway), pending FAA’s review of the noise
                         impacts of the project. The $10 million was earmarked in the 2001
                         Department of Transportation Appropriations Act conference report.25

                         In December 1998, the City of Richfield and the Commission agreed to
                         undertake a detailed study of existing and potential impacts of low
                         frequency aircraft noise in communities around the airport. In order to
                         develop a consistent low frequency noise policy, FAA turned to FICAN for
                         input on the review of this study and technical aspects of the issue—
                         particularly for an assessment of the problem and metrics to evaluate it.
                         Low frequency noise was discussed at the committee meeting held in June
                         2001. Commission and Richfield experts attended. The Committee released
                         its findings in August 2002 and basically said that additional data are
                         needed to determine whether any relationship exists between low
                         frequency noise and human annoyance.26 According to FAA officials, FAA is
                         reluctant to fund low frequency noise mitigation until the alleged adverse
                         impacts are conclusively validated and national standards established.



Some Communities         According to the Minnesota Department of Transportation, FAA, the
                         Commission, and community officials, Minnesota has state safety zones
Question Justification   that go beyond the federal Runway Protection Zone limits.27 Within these
of State Zoning Laws     safety zones, certain types of development are prohibited. The
                         establishment of safety zones involves issues of safety, land use, and
                         encroachment that can impact not only the development of an airport


                         24
                          Low frequency noise is aircraft-generated noise that is likely to induce audible rattles in
                         residences, most likely below 100 hertz.
                         25
                              House Conference Report 106-940, October 5, 2000.
                         26
                          Federal Interagency Committee on Aviation Noise on the Findings of the Minneapolis-St.
                         Paul International Airport Low Frequency Expert Panel, August 2002.
                         27
                           FAA requirements cover both the primary runway surface and runway protection zone
                         limits. The length and width of the zones depend upon the aircraft operating on the
                         particular runway and the visibility minimums. Minnesota state requirements include 1)
                         Zone A—begins 200 feet from the runway end and extends for a distance two-thirds the
                         runway length; 2) Zone B—begins at the end of Zone A and extends for a distance of one-
                         third the runway length; and 3) Zone C—the required horizontal clearance.




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Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport




runway but also the development of land surrounding the airport. Some
communities around the airport question whether the safety zones are
beneficial for them. Although not all stakeholders oppose Minnesota’s
strict zoning, The Commission authorized and funded a consultant study to
research the need for the state safety zones as well as the approaches that
the other 49 states have taken. The consultant’s April 2002 report, sent to
the Joint Zoning Board, found no justification for the strict zoning.

The application of a grandfather clause in the use of state-created safety
zones presents an additional challenge to the communities surrounding the
airport. Under the terms of the grandfather clause, if a residential area
existed in the state zones in 1978 or earlier, it was allowed to remain in
place and not be removed by the airport. However, business expansion in
the general area around the airport is subjected to state safety zone
restrictions. Communities are unhappy because it makes no sense to the
community leaders to leave residences closer to the runway itself but not
permit businesses to expand in an area further away from the airport.
Businesses feel that, although their property was not acquired, the impact
is the same, since expansion is forbidden.



Table 6: History of Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport Runway Project

Date                 Event
October 1988         Metropolitan Airports Commission (Commission) and Metropolitan
                     Council issue Airport Adequacy Study.
May 1989             Minnesota legislature establishes Dual Track Airport Planning
                     Process.
April 1992           Scoping meetings held. FAA, in cooperation with Commission,
                     publishes Notice of Intent to prepare EIS. FAA and Commission
                     issue First Phase Scoping Report.
March 1993           FAA and MAC publish responses to First Phase Scoping Report.
December 1993        Airport Capacity Team completes Capacity Enhancement Plan.
December 1994        State Department of Transportation completes Terminal Airspace
                     Study for relocated airport.
May 1995             FAA issues Second Phase Scoping report, holds public meetings.
July 1995            FAA issues EIS Scoping Decision.
December 1995        FAA and Commission publish Draft EIS.
March 1996           Commission and Metropolitan Council issue Dual Track Planning
                     Study.
April 1996           Minnesota legislature decides to expand existing airport.
August 1996          FAA issues Airport Capacity Enhancement Terminal Airspace Study.



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Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport




(Continued From Previous Page)
Date                   Event
May 1998               FAA issues Final EIS.
September 1998         FAA issues ROD.
December 1998          Richfield individual files suit against Commission and state
                       Environmental Quality Board.
May 1999               Commission commences runway construction.
June 2000              State Court of Appeals upholds Summary judgment regarding
                       Richfield individual’s lawsuit.
October 2000           $10 million earmarked for noise mitigation activities for the west side
                       of the new runway.
June 2001              Federal Interagency Committee on Aviation Noise begins discussing
                       low frequency noise standards.
November 2001          Commission submits Part 150 Noise Compatibility Plan.
March 2002             FAA clarifies airport zoning standards.
April 2002             Study authorized by Commission results in consultant report that
                       finds no need for state safety zones.
May 2002               Commission withdraws Part 150 Noise Compatibility Plan.
November 2004          Planned runway completion.
Source: U.S. General Accounting Office.




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Appendix VI

Seattle-Tacoma International Airport                                                          Appendx
                                                                                                    iVI




               The Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (Sea-Tac) is the primary air
               transportation hub of Washington State and the northwestern United
               States. It is the 17th-busiest passenger airport, the 20th-busiest cargo
               airport, and among the 31 busiest hub airports in the United States. Located
               12 miles south of downtown Seattle and 20 miles north of Tacoma, it is the
               primary provider of international and domestic air carrier service in the
               region surrounding the Seattle/Tacoma area. Its primary service market is
               the Puget Sound region, composed of four counties and approximately 3.5
               million people. About three-fourths of the air travelers using Sea-Tac
               Airport are origin and destination passengers who begin or end their trip at
               the airport. The remaining flights are connecting flights. The airport is a
               significant employer in the region, with 20,000 airport employees.

               Sea-Tac currently has two parallel runways. Our primary focus was on a
               runway development project for a new third parallel runway first
               considered in Sea-Tac’s plans in 1989, and which the Port of Seattle
               approved in 1992. The project has proceeded through several steps of the
               environmental review process, and it is currently scheduled for completion
               in 2006. Sea-Tac’s sole purpose for adding this 8,500 foot parallel runway,
               which would be separated by 2,500 feet from the furthest parallel runway,
               is to address constraints attributable to Seattle’s poor weather, and
               although the new runway would increase capacity, airport officials do not
               consider the runway project to be a capacity-enhancing project. During
               periods of reduced weather conditions, which occur about 44 percent of
               the time, Sea-Tac can use only one of the two existing runways for arrivals
               because of the narrow spacing between them, thereby causing delays. The
               number of flights that can be accommodated drops from about 60 arrivals
               per hour in good weather to 48 or fewer in poor weather. The new runway,
               which is planned to have much greater separation from other runways,
               would allow independent landings on two runways at the same time, which
               reduces delays. Figure 8 shows the existing Sea-Tac airport configuration,
               including the proposed runway.




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Seattle-Tacoma International Airport




Figure 7: Airport Diagram—Sea-Tac International Airport




We selected Sea-Tac Airport for study because it was an airport with a
significant amount of both passenger and cargo operations and it had



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                        Seattle-Tacoma International Airport




                        experienced significant planning and environmental issues during the
                        development of its runway project. Additionally, in constructing the
                        planned runway, Sea-Tac is expanding the plateau where the airport is
                        located—undertaking one of the most significant landfill and embankment
                        projects in the United States (about 17 million cubic yards). According to
                        Sea-Tac officials, this earth-moving project is producing several
                        accompanying environmental considerations.

                        We interviewed officials from Sea-Tac, who were the sponsors of the
                        runway project. We also interviewed officials at the FAA Seattle Airports
                        District Office; Alaska Airlines; Puget Sound Regional Council; Airport
                        Community Coalition; Regional Commission on Airport Affairs;
                        Washington State Department of Transportation Aviation Division;
                        Washington State Department of Ecology; the U.S. Army Corps of
                        Engineers; and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.



Status of the Runway    As indicated above, the runway project for the new third parallel runway at
                        Sea-Tac has completed environmental review and has received state and
Project                 Corps wetland fill permits. However, according to Sea-Tac officials, both
                        permits are currently in litigation and under appeal. Sea-Tac has begun
                        constructing the foundation that will be required to support the third
                        runway.



Simplifying Purpose     Sea-Tac officials stated that continual review of the purpose of and need for
                        their runway project, as well as alternatives to it, presented a significant
and Need May Help       challenge to moving forward in the process. They stated that reducing the
Reduce the Circuitous   number of reviews could reduce the amount of potential delay in the
                        process. The purpose and need was established and reviewed by the
Nature of the Review    airport, FAA, consultants, and the local Metropolitan Planning Organization
Process                 during the planning and environmental process; it was then re-reviewed by
                        the Corps of Engineers (Corps) during the permitting process under
                        Section 404 of the Clean Water Act.28 FAA officials questioned the
                        usefulness of the Corps’ review of the project’s purpose and need, stating
                        that the extra review created frustrations for other stakeholders and added
                        time to the process when the purpose and need had already been


                        28
                         According to Sea-Tac and FAA, the Corps was involved as a cooperating agency during
                        Master Plan updates and participated in an early EIS draft.




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                        Seattle-Tacoma International Airport




                        established. Additionally, FAA officials said that aviation expertise is
                        needed to analyze the alternatives, and the Corps has no such expertise.
                        According to Corps officials, the Corps is required to ensure that
                        alternatives have been adequately considered.29 Corps officials said that
                        their review of the alternatives was justified because it had been a
                        considerable time since the EIS had been developed, and it wanted to
                        determine if the events of September 11, 2001, had changed the relative
                        benefits of the alternatives. Officials from the Puget Sound Regional
                        Council, the metropolitan planning organization in the Seattle area,
                        suggested that the Corps could have been included more in the early
                        consideration of alternatives, but acknowledged that the Corps’ limited
                        resources made early participation difficult. FAA officials, however, believe
                        that the Corps did participate in the development of alternatives in its role
                        as a cooperating agency during the development of the EIS.

                        Sea-Tac Airport, while not specifically citing purpose and need, said that a
                        clear federal policy of encouraging runway development and moving
                        projects through the regulatory process would help ensure that adequate
                        airport capacity is in place to reduce growing air traffic delays. It suggested
                        that such a commitment could be similar to the one the federal government
                        took in developing the interstate highway system and national railroads. A
                        task force could be created to identify runway projects that are critical to
                        the national air transportation system. Such an approach could help
                        expedite implementation of decisions already made at the local level.
                        Additionally, they suggested that Congress could adopt a policy of directing
                        all organizations to achieve a balance between environmental, economic,
                        and social goals, coupled with statutory deadlines for decisionmaking.
                        They contend that such an approach, now used by other countries, would
                        help agencies make difficult decisions and get needed runways built.



A Compatible Land Use   A Washington State Department of Transportation official stated that
                        minimizing controversy over the uses of land needed for expanding runway
Program May Help to     capacity could be important in avoiding lengthy project delays. The
Reduce Opposition       department developed an Airport Land Use Compatibility Program,
                        implementing a 1996 amendment of the Washington State Growth
                        Management Act—the state’s land use planning law. The law requires cities
                        and counties to identify, site, and protect essential public facilities


                        29
                             33 CFR part 323.




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                         Seattle-Tacoma International Airport




                         (including airports) from incompatible land use, such as encroaching
                         development. In other words, when developing local land use plans, cities
                         and counties must ensure that their plans do not adversely affect these
                         facilities.

                         As part of the land use compatibility program, certain state transportation
                         officials provide consultations, including mediation, between airport
                         sponsors and community representatives (often municipal or county
                         planning staff) to balance the state’s dual interest of promoting aviation and
                         ensuring the health, safety, and welfare of its residents. The approach to
                         facilitating airports’ future expansion includes several steps, including the
                         development of planning-based solutions and the integration of those
                         solutions into a legally enforceable document such as a comprehensive
                         development plan (rather than the Airport Master Plan, which is not
                         binding on a land use authority).



New Mitigation           In Seattle, the Airport Communities Coalition, representing several
                         communities near Sea-Tac Airport but not the city of SeaTac, said that
Approaches and           expanding the scope of mitigation beyond direct environmental
Increased Community      applications would go far in building community support for runway
                         projects. They said that the airport’s use of heavy trucks over local roads to
Interaction Could Help   haul dirt for its landfill project for the runway caused significant
Foster Community         deterioration of the community’s roads, for which it has not been
Support                  reimbursed.30 Similarly, when the airport acquires residence and business
                         locations in order to mitigate noise or wetland impacts, these buyouts
                         deplete the tax base in the community where the properties are based,
                         resulting in negative economic impacts for which the community is not
                         reimbursed. Therefore, the community has no reason to support the
                         runway project. However, they said that the community would have
                         reasons to support the project if some funding were provided to mitigate
                         the economic damage to the community. An organization official said that
                         the Department of Defense reimburses communities for economic loss
                         when it acquires property within the community to build military bases.
                         Officials at the Regional Commission on Airport Affairs, a citizens’ group in
                         the greater Seattle metropolitan area, stated that that the airport could do
                         more to mitigate economic impacts. However, they also said that


                         30
                          An airport official stated that most of the impacts have been to roads in the city of SeaTac,
                         and that mitigation costs pertaining to the impacts have been addressed.




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Seattle-Tacoma International Airport




expanding the scope of mitigation would not diminish their opposition to
the runway project.

According to the Airport Communities Coalition, communities seek to
contribute meaningful input into the airport expansion process; however,
when they are not allowed to do so, they are forced to file lawsuits against
airports and other stakeholders over decisions that have been made.
Officials at both the Coalition and the Regional Commission believed that
the planning process used by the airport and the Puget Sound Regional
Council needed to include meaningful input from the communities near the
airport. An official at the Regional Commission stated that there should be
a citizen’s advisory committee with genuine input into the airport’s
expansion projects early in the planning process. The official suggested
that the federal government should provide the incentive for the
establishment of such a committee by providing federal funds only when
such a committee was established. In the official’s view, the success of such
an approach would be contingent on the airport’s taking the committee’s
views into account and substantively addressing them. These community
organizations have filed several lawsuits against the airport, the Puget
Sound Regional Council, and FAA, based on objections to their approach
for addressing environmental issues. An Airport Communities Coalition
official said that the community filed lawsuits in part, to get the airport to
listen to the needs of the community and to negotiate solutions. The official
noted that communities near other airports had successfully used such an
approach. Sea-Tac and FAA officials stated that there was extensive
community involvement beyond that required by law.

An official at the Airport Communities Coalition said that the public
hearing process on environmental matters gives stakeholders the ability to
voice concerns but, because of the limited time allocated to each person,
does not give those convening the hearing an ability to understand the
concerns or allow citizens to have an impact on the project. The thrust of
FAA’s 2001 best practices guide seems to agree with the coalition official;
the guide states that periodic informal workshops during the planning and
environmental processes tend to provide better forums for community
consultation than do formal public hearings. Understandable information
on the project and its environmental impacts should be made available at
the workshop, and knowledgeable stakeholders such as the airport, FAA,
and EIS consultants should be present to answer questions. In the guide,
FAA notes that strong local opposition tends to slow down the
environmental process and that a citizens’ advisory committee in some
locations has been useful in improving working relationships and



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                       Seattle-Tacoma International Airport




                       communication between the airport and the community. FAA said that such
                       a committee may be established on either a permanent basis or for the
                       duration of a specific project’s planning and environmental review. FAA
                       added that factors that help build local consensus and address opposition
                       include, among others: 1) open and frank dialogue on the aviation need and
                       the airport proprietor’s initial planning, including possible alternatives; 2)
                       an effective forum for constructive exchanges on expected benefits,
                       impacts, alternatives, and mitigation prospects; and 3) serious
                       consideration of community concerns and views, including project
                       adjustments that have merit and are possible, as well as responses to
                       community proposals that cannot be accommodated, and the reasons why.
                       A SeaTac official emphasized that the airport did include public outreach
                       beyond that required by environmental regulations. For example, such
                       efforts included public information sessions and community open houses,
                       among others.



Extensive Regulatory   Stakeholders may have limited staff and resources to address the extensive
                       regulatory and legal requirements of the process, leading to delays. For
and Legal              example, officials from FAA’s Seattle office said that when an endangered
Requirements Posed     species of fish was identified at Sea-Tac Airport, 20 months elapsed before
                       officials from the federal Fish and Wildlife Service and the state
Resource Challenges    Department of Marine Fisheries approved actions to address the conditions
                       of endangered species. Both agencies had limited staff to review and
                       analyze the discovery and the approach for addressing it. FAA officials said
                       that they understood that the Corps had only six staff members to review
                       about 1,000 water quality permits, and according to state aviation
                       department officials, the Corps had a significant backlog in processing
                       permit applications.

                       Additionally, an official from the state Department of Ecology said that the
                       Sea-Tac runway project had been a significant drain on resources at the
                       agency. The agency has had difficulty finding sufficient resources to
                       complete environmental reviews and must redirect personnel from other
                       functions. The official said that, because of the shortage of state funds,
                       applicants wanting reviews to proceed quickly will have to bear the burden
                       of funding water quality reviews. Sea-Tac officials noted that additional
                       staff resources are needed in regulatory agencies in order to process
                       environmental permits in a timely manner and, aside from adding federal
                       funding, funding could be provided by project proponents. The airport
                       acknowledged that agencies were reluctant to accept funding because of a
                       concern with potential conflicts of interest. The airport suggested that



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                       Seattle-Tacoma International Airport




                       Congress could make guidelines under which the agencies could remain
                       impartial. The purpose of allowing such funding would not be to curry
                       favor but to work efficiently with the federal government to get runways
                       built. They asserted that these staff would work exclusively under FAA’s
                       supervision and would be under no obligation to the airport. They
                       contended that this proposal would provide a mechanism for airports to
                       bear the financial cost of accelerated project reviews.



Site-Specific Issues   A major site-specific challenge involves the construction of a large plateau
                       to enable the airport to construct the new runway. According to Sea-Tac
Involve Safety and     officials, in order to bring the new runway site up to the elevation of its
Environmental          other two runways, a 17–million cubic yard landfill and embankment is
                       being built. The embankment will require three retaining walls to reduce
Challenges             impacts on a nearby creek and wetlands and to accommodate safety areas
                       at the ends of the runway. The walls are mechanically stabilized, using
                       concrete panels and layers of galvanized reinforced strips that bind to and
                       reinforce the embankment material in a coherent way. According to the
                       Port, this type of wall is highly earthquake resistant, and it has been used
                       successfully elsewhere in the United States. In April 2002, Sea-Tac Airport
                       officials said that the communities surrounding the airport were concerned
                       that the wall will collapse or will be unable to withstand an earthquake.
                       However, according to airport officials, the airport used the services of
                       consulting engineers, geotechnical consultants, and earthquake engineers
                       from companies and the University of Washington, and sought advice from
                       a technical review board in developing the wall design to ensure that it is
                       safe. The airport has also held public hearings in an attempt to enlighten
                       the public about the durability and safety of the wall project.




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Seattle-Tacoma International Airport




Table 7: History of Sea-Tac Runway Project

Date                   Event
June 1992              Puget Sound Regional Council completes 2.5 year study of air
                       capacity needs that included possible third runway at SeaTac.
April 1993             Metropolitan Planning Organization approves Regional Airport
                       System Plan.
November 1993          Initial design contracts awarded.
October 1994           Metropolitan Planning Organization concludes no sites suitable for
                       new airport.
February 1996          Final EIS completed.
July 1996              Metropolitan Planning Organization amends metropolitan
                       transportation plan to include new runway.
August 1996            Airport authority adopts revised Master Plan that includes new
                       runway.
December 1996          Supplemental EIS begun.
May 1997               Final Supplemental EIS issued.
July 1997              ROD issued.
August 1997            ROD challenged.
December 1997          Airport submits permit applications to state and Corps of Engineers.
March 1998             Construction begins on the first phase of the landfill project.
September 1998         New wetlands discovered in project area.
January 1999           Circuit court affirms ROD.
September 1999         Airport submits revised permit applications.
November 1999          Public comment hearings held on permit applications.
September 2000         Airport withdraws permit application before expiration deadline to
                       address remaining issues and provide agency additional time to
                       process application.
October 2000           Airport resubmits permit applications.
January 2001           Public comment hearings held on permit applications.
August 2001            State issues water quality certification.
December 2001          State water quality certification suspended pending community
                       appeal to Pollution Control Hearings Board.
July 2002              FAA approves Part 150 noise study.
August 2002            Pollution Control Hearings Board upholds water quality certification,
                       subject to additional conditions.
September 2002         Airport appeals Pollution Control Hearings Board’s conditional
                       approval of water quality certification.
December 2002          Corps issues wetland permits; permits challenged.
2006                   Planned completion of runway construction.
Source: U.S. General Accounting Office.




Page 64                                                    GAO-03-164 Aviation Infrastructure
Appendix VII

Lester B. Pearson International Airport,
Toronto, Canada                                                                               Append
                                                                                                   x
                                                                                                   iVI




               The Lester B. Pearson International Airport (Pearson) is the primary
               commercial airport serving the Toronto area. The Greater Toronto Airports
               Authority manages the day-to-day operations of the Pearson airport, as well
               as managing its capital infrastructure projects. The Greater Toronto
               Airports Authority was established in March 1993 as a community
               initiative, was reconstituted in accordance with Canadian Airport Authority
               guidelines, and was recognized by the Minister of Transport in November
               1994 as the airport authority responsible for Pearson airport. The airport
               authority is a private, not-for-profit corporation. Its 15-member Board of
               Directors is composed of nominees from the City of Toronto, the Province
               of Ontario, the Government of Canada, and four regional municipalities.
               The airport authority assumed control of the management, operation, and
               maintenance of Pearson on December 2, 1996.

               Pearson Airport is the busiest airport in Canada and the 16th-busiest in
               North America, having served 28 million passengers in 2001. With regard to
               international passengers, Pearson was ranked as the 2nd-busiest in North
               America and 17th-busiest in the world in 2001. To handle the projected
               demand for air travel through the airport, the airport authority developed a
               $4.4 billion (Canadian) development plan for the improvement of the
               airport’s infrastructure—the Airport Development Program (ADP), which
               includes new runway projects, among other infrastructure projects. Figure
               9 shows the existing Pearson airport configuration.




               Page 65                                       GAO-03-164 Aviation Infrastructure
Appendix VII
Lester B. Pearson International Airport,
Toronto, Canada




Figure 8: Airport Diagram—Lester B. Pearson International Airport




We chose Pearson Airport as a site visit to learn about the runway
development process used in Canada, and because the airport had three
runway projects that met the criteria we used to select airports in the
United States—one runway completed in 1997, one completed in October
2002, and one planned for future implementation.31 The three additional
runways were approved for development as warranted by demand in 1993
by Transport Canada after a lengthy Environmental Assessment Review
process in 1990–1992.



31
 When we visited the airport, the runway project completed in October 2002 was still under
construction.




Page 66                                                GAO-03-164 Aviation Infrastructure
                      Appendix VII
                      Lester B. Pearson International Airport,
                      Toronto, Canada




Status of Runway      As noted above, Pearson Airport completed the construction of a new
                      runway in 1997, completed the construction of a second new runway in
Projects              2002, and has a third runway in the planning stages, to be constructed when
                      capacity demands warrant another runway.



Airport Development   The airport development process in Canada differs from the U.S. process in
                      several distinct ways. Pearson Airport was one of the first airports in
Process in Canada     Canada to attempt to build additional runways since the airports were first
Differs from U.S.     constructed to serve the Canadian military during World War II. As a result,
                      there was no established runway development process in place—Transport
Process               Canada officials had to learn about the process as they progressed through
                      it. In the broadest sense, there are three pieces of legislation that affect the
                      process—the Aeronautics Act, the Fisheries Act, and the Environmental
                      Act.

                      The environmental phase differs greatly from that employed in the United
                      States. Prior to the development of the EIS, the airport authority begins the
                      process with scoping. The scoping process is a public process. According
                      to airport officials, every project goes through environmental screening
                      (equivalent to an Environmental Assessment) as a part of the planning
                      process. When the Pearson project went through the screening process, the
                      airport authority was responsible for conducting environmental screening.
                      However, current legislation requires that the screening results be available
                      to the public.

                      The Minister of Transport and the Minister of the Environment
                      cooperatively choose an Environmental Review Panel consisting of
                      government officials and knowledgeable local residents (that is,
                      academics.) The panel begins by developing a list of issues that it believes
                      the EIS must identify. The issues and, therefore, the requirements of the
                      EIS will vary from airport to airport. Airport officials referred to the
                      process as “organic”—changing from airport to airport, project to project.
                      The airport authority is responsible for preparing the EIS documents, and it
                      submits them to the panel for review. The panel reviews the environmental
                      impact documents and convenes hearings to hear testimony in order to
                      formulate its opinions regarding the environmental impacts of the project
                      and accompanying mitigation measures. The hearings are judicial in nature,
                      and attendees have never resorted to shouting or histrionics. According to
                      airport officials, the hearings were well balanced between opponents and
                      proponents of the projects. With respect to the EIS, the focus of the



                      Page 67                                          GAO-03-164 Aviation Infrastructure
                        Appendix VII
                        Lester B. Pearson International Airport,
                        Toronto, Canada




                        environmental hearings was medium-term capacity enhancement
                        projects—the three runways at Pearson. The issues that the panel
                        considered depended greatly on their perception of the issues raised during
                        the hearings. The members of the panel did not work on the EIS full-time,
                        and did not have the requisite expertise to conduct their reviews—the
                        panel either hires knowledgeable consultants or develops the necessary
                        knowledge. This process takes a long time.

                        Once the EIS is completed, the panel reviews the document, develops a
                        series of recommendations, and submits them to the Minister of
                        Environment. The Minister of Environment then makes a final
                        determination and submits recommendations to the Minister of Transport.
                        The Minister of Transport has sole discretion as to whether to implement
                        the recommendations of the Minister of Environment. The Minister of
                        Transport makes the final determination, and it is incumbent upon the
                        airport authority to respond to the final recommendations.

                        The design and construction process in Canada does not differ
                        substantially from that in the United States. The airport must prepare
                        preliminary engineering and final design, and then construct the runway
                        infrastructure. Finally, in summary, airport officials believed that the
                        process went very well and did not believe that they would proceed
                        dramatically differently if they were to go through the process again.
                        However, both airport and Transport Canada officials noted that the
                        recently passed Canadian Environmental Assessment Act will result in
                        changes to the existing process.



Canadian Airports       Airports in Canada seeking to add capacity by constructing new runways
                        face many of the same challenges that airports in the United States face,
Face Many of the Same   including environmental issues, wetlands mitigation issues, and the
Challenges as U.S.      impacts of noise on the surrounding communities. These impacts generally
                        lead to some community opposition to the proposed project. Canadian
Airports                airports are also subject to site-specific constraints attributable primarily
                        to the northern climate.

                        Because of the northern climate, airport operations in Toronto require
                        extensive ice removal in the winter months, resulting in the use of a large
                        quantity of Glycol that can cause an environmental impact on surrounding
                        wetlands. The airport straddles both the Etobicoke and Mimico Creek
                        watersheds, covering 1,640 hectares of land. Most of the airport, including
                        runways, cargo areas, Terminal Three, Terminal One aprons, and infield



                        Page 68                                        GAO-03-164 Aviation Infrastructure
Appendix VII
Lester B. Pearson International Airport,
Toronto, Canada




areas, drains to Etobicoke Creek. According to the Toronto and Region
Conservation Authority, although runoff contamination from these sources
is a concern, significant progress has recently been made to mitigate the
airport's impact on water quality through the expanded use of wastewater
and storm water recovery and containment systems. Airport officials cited
their wastewater treatment facility as contributing greatly to allaying the
concerns of residents over ground and surface water contamination, and
they stated that the airport has never exceeded contaminant limits.

The Council of Concerned Residents, a coalition of three residents’
associations near the airport, opposed the expansion of the airport
fundamentally on the premise that the projects would increase the noise
impacts on their communities. In 1993, the group filed a lawsuit against the
airport claiming that the proposed project was illegal for three reasons: 1) a
1973 order precluded the Toronto airport from expanding beyond its
borders; 2) a federally approved airport master plan and the local
municipality’s land use plan stipulated that they were based on the
assumption that the airport would have no more than three runways; and 3)
the Environmental Review Panel stated that the project should not be
pursued because the adverse social impacts of the project outweighed the
capacity gains at the airport. According to Transport Canada officials,
Canada’s noise mitigation standards are very similar to FAA’s Federal
Aviation Regulations Part 150 programs in the United States. According to
airport officials, neither Transport Canada nor the airport authorities are
required to acquire noise-sensitive properties surrounding the airport.

According to airport authority officials, airports in Canada face a shortened
construction season because of the sometimes severe winter weather
associated with the northern climate. Therefore, airports seeking to
construct runways must take the climate into account when entering into
the construction phase of the runway development process. Airports must
schedule construction tasks such that weather-dependent tasks such as
concrete construction are scheduled during the warmer months, and
reserve climate-independent tasks for the winter months.




Page 69                                         GAO-03-164 Aviation Infrastructure
Appendix VIII

Survey of Airports                                                                             Appendx
                                                                                                     iI
                                                                                                     V




                The following section provides a copy of the survey that we sent to airports
                that have built a runway between 1991 and 2000 or planned to do so by
                2010. Where appropriate, we have summarized their responses to each
                question. In instances where summarized answers are not possible—such
                as dates—we have listed the number of airports that answered the
                question.

                In total, we sent 39 surveys to 34 airports—Dallas-Fort Worth, Detroit,
                Indianapolis, Louisville, and Washington Dulles received more than one
                survey, because each had more than one runway that met our criteria. We
                excluded five surveys because the airports reported that their projects did
                not meet our selection criteria. For our statistical analysis, we excluded
                responses from five airports—Kailua-Kona, Little Rock, Reno, Sacramento,
                and one of the two surveys sent to Washington Dulles—because their
                responses indicated that their projects did not meet our criteria. The
                primary reason why their responses were dropped from our statistical
                analysis was that they planned only runway extensions or no new runways
                during our time frame. We did, however, rely on their responses during the
                remainder of our review. In total, we received 32 out of a potential 34
                responses from 30 airports—a response rate of 94 percent. Table 8 lists the
                airports we surveyed.




                Page 70                                       GAO-03-164 Aviation Infrastructure
Appendix VIII
Survey of Airports




Table 8: Airports Surveyed

1. Atlanta Hartsfield
2. Baltimore
3. Boston Logan
4. Charlotte
5. Cincinnati
6. Colorado Springs
7. Dallas-Fort Worth (2)
8. Denver
9. Detroit Wayne County (2)
10. Grand Rapids
11. Houston
12. Indianapolis (2)
13. Kansas City
14. Las Vegas
15. Los Angeles
16. Louisville (2)
17. Madison
18. Memphis Shelby County
19. Miami
20. Minneapolis
21. Nashville
22. Orlando
23. Philadelphia
24. Phoenix
25. Salt Lake City
26. San Francisco
27. Seattle
28. St. Louis Lambert
29. Tampa
30. Washington-Dulles
Source: U.S. General Accounting Office.




Page 71                                   GAO-03-164 Aviation Infrastructure
Appendix IX

Survey of Airports with Recent or Planned
Runway Projects                                                                                                                 Appendx
                                                                                                                                      IiX




                                                                  United States General Accounting Office
                                                         Survey of Airports With Recent or
                                                                 Planned Runway Projects
                                                                                                      ___ ___ ___
              Introduction                                                                               Survey ID


              The U.S. General Accounting Office (GAO) is an agency of the legislative branch that reviews federal programs
              for the U.S. Congress. We have been asked by the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on
              Aviation, House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, to review what long-term improvements can
              be made to enhance capacity in the National Airport System, particularly as it relates to building runways.

              As part of our study, we are asking a select group of 34 airports for information on their experiences with
              building runways and how the process could be improved. Your airport was selected because you built a
              runway between 1991 and 2000 or plan to build a runway before 2010. If you have more than one runway that
              meets these criteria, you have received one survey for each runway. Your responses will help us better
              understand the various phases of runway construction and the challenges you had or foresee in the future. We
              will present the results of this survey in our report.

              We have made every effort to minimize the amount of information we are requesting by using other data sources
              when available. Your participation is important and will enable us to report to the Congress on what works well
              and what can be improved to expedite the building of runways. Please have appropriate staff respond to these
              questions including consultants that may have assisted in this project. Please return your completed survey,
              within the next 15 working days or by January 11, 2002, in the enclosed pre-addressed, postage-paid envelope,
              or fax your response to David Lehrer at (312) 220-7726. In the event that the envelope is misplaced, the return
              address is:
                             Mr. David Lehrer
                             U.S. General Accounting Office
                             200 W. Adams Street, Suite 700
                             Chicago, IL 60606-5219
                             EMAIL: lehrerd@gao.gov

              Your responses to this survey should pertain to the airport and runway stated below, unless the questions ask
              you to do otherwise. If you have any questions, please call either David Lehrer (312) 220-7667 or Gary Lawson
              at (202) 512-3649.

              Thank you very much for taking time to complete the survey.

              1. Airport Name: ______________________________________

              2. Runway of interest is: ____________________ ___________

              3. Name and phone number of person(s) completing this survey:

                 a. Name: ______________________________ Telephone: (_____) _____ - ____________

                 b. Name: ______________________________ Telephone: (_____) _____ - ____________

              4. Name of a person we may call if we have questions:

                 a. Name: ___________________________________ Telephone: (_____) _____ - ____________

                 b. Best times of day to call: ________________________________________________________


                                                                       1




                           Page 72                                                        GAO-03-164 Aviation Infrastructure
                Appendix IX
                Survey of Airports with Recent or Planned
                Runway Projects




    EXPERIENCES WITH PLANNING AND BUILDING RUNWAYS

5. Please provide the start and completion dates for each of the following phases of your runway project and
    describe the event or task related to each date. (Note: The time frames associated with each of the phases
    listed below can overlap.)

Phase                         Date                                 Date
                              started                              completed

a. Planning                   _ [a] ___ _______ ______             _ [a] ___ _______ ______
N=32                          (month/year)                         (month/year)

                              _Begin Master Plan______             _Complete Master Plan_ _
                              (event/task)                         (event/task)

b. Environmental process      _ [a] ___ _______ ______             _ [a] ___ _______ ______
N=31                          (month/year)                         (month/year)

                              _Begin EIS_______ ______             _Record of Decision_      ____
                              (event/task)                         (event/task)

c. Litigation                 _ [a] ___ _______ ______             _ [a] ___ _______ ______
N=16                          (month/year)                         (month/year)

                              _ First Lawsuit Begun_ __            _ Last Lawsuit Settled ____
                              (event/task)                         (event/task)

d. Design and construction    _ [a] ___ _______ ______             _ [a] ___ _______ ______
N=27                          (month/year)                         (month/year)

                              _Begin Design____ _ _____            _Commission Runway______
                              (event/task)                         (event/task)

[a] Due to the differences in reporting, summarized responses are not possible. Event/task listed is the most
common response provided for each phase.

If necessary, provide clarifying information for your response:

N=18




                                                       2




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            Survey of Airports with Recent or Planned
            Runway Projects




6. For each of the tasks listed below, please indicate to what extent it took more or less time than expected
    (i.e., as compared to your timeline and schedule at the beginning of the project). Please indicate ‘not
    applicable’ for those tasks that have not yet taken place.


                                        Much longer     Longer than   Time       Less than   Much less than   Not
A. Planning                             than expected   expected      expected   expected    expected         applicable
N=32                                    (25% longer     (up to                   (up to      (25% less
                                         or greater)    25% longer)              25% less)    or greater)
Preparing future forecast                    9%            25%          59%         0%            0%              6%
Demand/capacity analysis                     9%            16%          66%         3%            0%              6%
Alternatives analysis                       16%            16%          56%         0%            0%             13%
Justification of future development         19%            22%          50%         0%            3%              6%
Development of Airport Layout Plan           3%            19%          69%         3%            0%              6%
Confirmation of financial feasibility        6%            13%          63%         3%            0%             16%
Other (Please specify)                      22%             0%          0%          0%            0%             78%

Other (Please specify)                      9%              0%           0%         0%            0%             91%


                                        Much longer     Longer than   Time       Less than   Much less than   Not
B. Environmental process                than expected   expected      expected   expected    expected         applicable
N=32                                    (25% longer     (up to                   (up to      (25% less
                                         or greater)    25% longer)              25% less)    or greater)
National Environmental Policy Act           22%            19%          44%         0%            0%             16%
(NEPA) requirements
Environmental Assessment                    6%              0%          38%         0%            0%             56%
Finding of No Significant                   3%              0%          16%         0%            0%             81%
Impact--FONSI
Noise study                                 9%              9%          50%         0%            0%             31%
Noise compatibility program                 6%              9%          28%         0%            0%             56%
--Part 150
Noise and access restrictions               0%              0%           3%         0%            0%             97%
--Part 161
Draft Environmental Impact                  22%            19%          28%         0%            0%             31%
Statement—EIS
Public comment on draft EIS                 13%            13%          41%         0%            0%             34%
General conformity                           9%            16%          34%         0%            0%             41%
Environmental Justice                        9%             6%          19%         0%            0%             66%
Governor’s certificate issuance              6%             9%          38%         6%            0%             41%
Scope definition                             6%             9%          50%         0%            0%             34%
Final EIS                                   25%            19%          22%         0%            0%             34%
Record of decision                          16%             9%          38%         3%            0%             34%
Other federal requirements                  16%             6%          31%         0%            0%             47%
State and local requirements                19%            13%          25%         0%            0%             44%
Other (Please specify)                      19%             6%          0%          0%            0%             75%

Other (Please specify)                      3%              0%           3%         0%            0%             94%

Other (Please specify)                      3%              3%           0%         0%            0%             94%

Other (Please specify)                      3%              0%           0%         0%            0%             97%

Other (Please specify)                      0%              0%           0%         0%            0%            100%




                                                            3




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             Appendix IX
             Survey of Airports with Recent or Planned
             Runway Projects




Question 6 (con’t.)
                                     Much longer     Longer than   Time       Less than   Much less than   Not
C. Litigation                        than expected   expected      expected   expected    expected         applicable
N=32                                 (25% longer     (up to                   (up to      (25% less
                                      or greater)    25% longer)              25% less)    or greater)
Noise                                    6%              0%          3%          0%            0%            91%
NEPA litigation                          3%              0%          6%          3%            0%            88%
Air quality                              3%              0%          6%          0%            0%            91%
Land acquisition                         6%              9%          22%         0%            0%            63%
General conformity                       3%              0%          3%          0%            0%            94%
Environmental justice                    0%              0%          0%          0%            0%            100%
Wetlands                                 3%              9%          0%          0%            0%            88%
Endangered species                       0%              0%          6%          0%            0%            94%
Historical site                          0%              3%          6%          0%            0%            91%
State legislation                        6%              0%          3%          0%            0%            91%
Other (Please specify.)                  6%              3%          3%          0%            0%            88%

Other (Please specify.)                  6%              0%           0%         0%            0%             94%


                                     Much longer     Longer than   Time       Less than   Much less than   Not
D. Design and construction           than expected   expected      expected   expected    expected         applicable
N=32                                 (25% longer     (up to                   (up to      (25% less
                                      or greater)    25% longer)              25% less)    or greater)
Project engineering                      6%              6%          47%         9%            0%             31%
Contracting                              3%              6%          56%         3%            0%             31%
Mobilization (facility relocation)       0%              6%          47%         6%            0%             41%
Land acquisition                         0%             19%          47%         0%            0%             34%
Site preparation                         0%              6%          47%         9%            0%             38%
Noise mitigation construction            0%              0%          25%         0%            0%             75%
Project construction                     6%             13%          34%         6%            3%             38%
Other (Please specify)                   6%              0%          0%          0%            0%             94%

Other (Please specify)                   3%              0%           0%         0%            0%             97%


If necessary, provide clarifying information for your response:

 N=18




                                                         4




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              Appendix IX
              Survey of Airports with Recent or Planned
              Runway Projects




7. The following table lists stakeholders that may have been involved in your runway project. Please
    indicate the extent to which each stakeholder’s involvement took more or less time than you
    expected during each phase of your runway project. Please indicate ‘not applicable’ for those
    stakeholders with which you have not yet interacted.

    Using the following scale (without regard to set percentages as used in question 6), select the one that best
    describes the impact of this stakeholder in each phase of the project. Please clearly indicate plus or
    minus, as appropriate, next to the number you select.

        -2=     Much longer than expected
        -1=     Longer than expected
         0=     Took the time expected
        +1=     Less than expected
        +2=     Much less than expected
        NA=     Not Applicable

Stakeholder                                      Planning       Environmental      Litigation        Design &
                                                                   process                         construction
FAA Headquarters                                   -.012           -0.48             0.00             -0.43
FAA Region                                         -0.18           -0.52             0.29             -0.20
FAA District Office                                -0.04            0.00             0.00              0.16
FAA Air Traffic Control                            0.00            -0.14             0.00             -0.10
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency               -0.50           -0.80             -0.67            -0.45
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers                       -0.25           -0.57             0.00             -0.58
Department of Justice                              0.00            -0.17             0.00              0.00
Airlines                                           -0.38            0.05             -0.25            -0.09
State Department of Transportation                 -0.27           -0.20             0.00             -0.25
State Environmental Agency                         -0.35           -0.52             -1.00            -0.46
Local agencies                                     -0.19           -0.42             0.00             -0.32
Community Interest Groups                          -0.32           -0.50             -0.43            -0.31
Metropolitan planning                              -0.04           -0.15             0.00              0.00
Organization (MPO)
Financial institutions                             0.00             0.00             0.00             -0.11

Contractors                                        -0.22           -0.10             -0.25             0.13

Other (Please specify.)                             [a]              [a]              [a]               [a]

Other (Please specify.)                             [a]              [a]              [a]               [a]

[a] Insufficient number of similar answers to summarize.

If necessary, provide clarifying information to your responses:

 N=12




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8. Which of the following geographic characteristics surrounding your airport had/will have an impact on the
    runway project? (Check one column for each row.)

                                                                        Some       Moderate        Great
Characteristic                                                None     Impact       Impact        Impact
a. Lack of open space within airport boundary N=31            42%        19%         13%            26%
b. Community proximity N=32                                   13%        25%         19%            44%
c. Hills, mountains, or other obstructions near airport       50%        28%          6%            16%
N=32
d. Highways or railroads nearby N=32                          16%        44%          9%            31%
e. Water surrounding area N=32                                56%        25%          12%           6%
f. Wetlands considerations N=32                               25%        34%          9%            31%
g. Other (Please describe) N=6                                17%        17%          17%           50%



If necessary, provide clarifying information for your response:

Responding airports provided additional information to this question. The airports cited factors not
explicitly listed in the question, including endangered species, landfills, valleys and airspace conflicts
and/or described how the geographic characteristic affected their projects. (N=14)




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9. Please describe the most critical or significant events or factors that either delayed or accelerated the
    completion of your runway project and briefly describe why or how each one affected it.

   Events or factors that delayed the project:

   Responding airports generally stated that events or factors that delayed their projects identified
   challenges in three major areas—resolving differences among the stakeholders involved in the
   runway development process, completing extensive federal and state regulatory and legal
   environmental requirements, and handling site specific challenges related to the airport’s location.
   (N=29)




    Events or factors that accelerated the project:

   Responding airports generally stated that events or factors that accelerated their projects focused
   primarily on improving communication and coordination with major stakeholders and streamlining
   the environmental process. Some stakeholders also identified innovative construction techniques
   that they believed accelerated the completion of their projects. (N=20)




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COSTS TO BUILD THE RUNWAY

10. What were your original cost estimates and actual costs incurred during each phase of your runway
     construction project? (Please state dollars in millions.)1

       Project Phase or step                         Original estimate                           Actual costs
Planning                                                   N=32                                     N=32
Environmental                                              N=32                                     N=32
Environmental mitigation                                   N=32                                     N=32
Litigation                                                 N=32                                     N=32
Land acquisition                                           N=32                                     N=32
Design and construction                                    N=32                                     N=32
Total                                                      N=32                                     N=32

11. What percentage of the funding for your runway project came from or will come from the following
     sources?

Sources                                                                  Percent                     Not applicable
Airport Improvement Program—entitlement                                   19%                             N=4
Airport Improvement Program—discretionary                                 25%                             N=7
Passenger Facility Charges                                                18%                            N=12
Airport bonds                                                             22%                             N=9
State grants                                                               2%                            N=25
Landing fee revenue                                                        1%                            N=28
Other airport revenue                                                      0%                            N=27
Other: (Please specify)                                                    0%                            N=32
[a] Figures represent the average of the responses given, and therefore, do not total 100 percent.

12. For each of the funding sources listed below, please indicate the extent to which your project was delayed
     because of delays in receiving the funds.

Source                                                           Delayed         Delayed              No        Not
                                                                 greatly        somewhat             delay   applicable
Airport Improvement Program—entitlement                            6%              9%                59%        25%
N=32
Airport Improvement Program—discretionary                         12%             12%                47%        28%
N=32
Passenger Facility Charges N=32                                    0%              0%                50%        50%
Airport bonds N=32                                                 0%              3%                69%        28%
State grants N=32                                                  0%              3%                28%        69%
Airport revenue N=32                                               0%              3%                41%        57%
Other: (Please specify)                                            [a]             [a]                [a]        [a]
[a] Insufficient number of similar answers to summarize.

13. Did you consider constructing this runway project without the use of federal AIP funds?

      Yes [ 9% ]        NA=6%
      No [ 84% ]        N=32

      Please explain.




1
    Due to the various methods used to account for project costs, summarization is not possible.
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Responding airports generally stated that they were either required to use AIP funds, that non-use
would present significant financial burden upon the airport, or that federal funds were necessary to
establish the financial feasibility of the project. (N=17)




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IMPACT OF RUNWAY PROJECT

14.What impact do/did you expect this runway to have on the maximum number of operations per hour at
   your airport?

                                 Maximum number of hourly                  Estimated maximum number of
Type of weather                  operations before runway                  hourly operations after runway
                                 completion                                completion
a. VFR conditions                         Range: 75 - 270                          Range: 90 - 278

b. IFR conditions                            Range: 50 - 185                         Range: 59 - 216


15. How did you estimate the maximum number of additional operations per hour that could be
     accommodated from building your new runway? (Please include such information as the model used,
     which contractor was used to prepare the estimates, based on what study.)

Responding airports briefly described the models used to construct the estimates: 25 used SIMMOD
primarily or exclusively, and 7 did not expect capacity to change as a result of the project or did not
specify the model used. Other models cited included TAAM, DELAYSIM, and ADSIM/RDSIM. (N=30)




16. In 2000, what percentage of annual operations was attributed to the three largest carriers (passenger or
     cargo) at your airport?

Name of carrier                                              Percentage of total annual
                                                             operations
a. N=32                                                             Range: 8% - 78%

b. N=32                                                              Range: 4% - 32%

c. N=32                                                              Range: 3% - 22%



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IMPROVING THE RUNWAY PROCESS

17. What changes, if any, would you recommend to expedite the overall process (from planning through
     construction) for building runways and which federal, state or local entity would be the most appropriate
     one to address each of the changes?

   Responding airports provided a number of potential initiatives directed at expediting the overall
   process for building runways directed primarily at improving communication and coordination
   between stakeholders and streamlining the environmental process. (N=31)




18.Other than building new runways, what can be done to increase the capacity of the National Airport System?

   Responding airports provided a number of potential initiatives directed at increasing the capacity
   of the National Airport System including changes to airspace utilization, technology improvements
   and ATC modernization and the continuing construction of new infrastructure. (N=29)




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             Runway Projects




RUNWAY EXTENSION PROJECTS

Answer questions 19 – 21 in this section only if your airport completed one or more runway extensions from
1991 through 2000 or has one or more runway extensions planned from 2001 through 2010. (If you have
received more than one survey, please respond to questions 19 - 21 once.)

19. Describe the runway extensions you have completed or planned to complete by 2010.

Runway number          Year extension      Extension completion        Length of original           Length of
                         completed          time--years/months             runway                   extension
       N=16             Range: 1991 -        Range: 00/04 – 05/00             Range:                  Range:
                           2010                                         3,000 ft. - 12,636 ft.    489 ft. - 5,500 ft.
       N=6              Range: 1992 -        Range: 00/07 – 05/09             Range:                  Range:
                           2004                                         8,900 ft. - 11,388 ft.   1,000 ft. - 2,012 ft.
       N=3              Range: 1998 -        Range: 02/00 – 06/07             Range:                  Range:
                           2005                                         5,001 ft. - 11,388 ft.   2,000 ft. - 4,769 ft.
       N=0               Range: N/A               Range: N/A                Range: N/A              Range: N/A


20. What were you seeking to accomplish by building this extension (e.g., changed runway from commuter
     runway to one for only large airplanes)? What impact did/will the extension(s) have on the capacity of this
     airport?

Responding airports provided information regarding the purpose of their runway extensions. The
primary purpose for the extensions was to accommodate longer-range aircraft, heavier aircraft (i.e.,
cargo), increase safety, and/or reduce noise impacts. (N=19)




21. How is the process for planning and building an extended runway different from building a new runway at
     your airport? (Please explain.)

Responding airports stated that the process for building an extended runway is virtually the same as
that for building a new runway, with minor exceptions. Exceptions included such things as, reduced
environmental impacts, less controversy, fewer legal challenges, and shorter construction time. (N=19)




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           IMPACT OF THE SEPTEMBER 11, 2001, ATTACKS ON THE NATIONAL AIRPORT SYSTEM

           22. How important is it to add capacity to a) your specific airport, and b) the National Airport System after the
                terrorist attacks on America on September 11, 2001? Have your airport’s priorities changed as a result of the
                terrorist attacks? If yes, please explain.

              Responding airports stated that their short-term focus would shift to safety and security, however,
              long-term plans remained largely unchanged. They also noted that capacity remains important to
              the nation’s airport system. (N=32)




           23. What impact, if any, have or will the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, have on the completion of any
                runway or runway extension planned at your airport?

              Baltimore Washington International, Charlotte, Dallas, Minneapolis, and Phoenix experienced
              delays or deferred airside projects. Several airports noted that their projects were demand driven
              and that the extent to which demand returns to the airport would determine when the project would
              be started. (N=29)




           24. Given the current financial condition of the major airlines at your airport, what is the likelihood that these
                airlines will be able to contribute financially to funding your runway project or repayment of existing debt?

              Responding airports stated that in the short-term, airlines may have some difficulty in providing
              financial contributions to the airport. The airports anticipate that the long-term financial
              commitment of the airlines will not be impacted. (N=32)




                    Please feel free to include any additional documentation that you believe will help us
                            better understand your runway project and your experiences with it.

                             Thank you for taking the time to complete this survey.


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(390007)               Page 84                                                              GAO-03-164 Aviation Infrastructure
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