FAA Reviewing Purpose and Need Working Paper Public Comments
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) informed Marin County on January 9, 2015 that an updated aviation forecast and a supplement to the June 2014 Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Proposed Extension of Runway 13/31, Gnoss Field Airport, Novato, Marin County, California, would be required for the proposed project to proceed.
A Gnoss Field Airport, Proposed Extension of Runway 13/31, Purpose and Need Working Paper was issued in May 2016 to provide additional information to the public and regulatory agencies regarding the proposed extension of Runway 13/31 at Gnoss Field Airport, Marin County, California. That Working Paper described a change in forecasted aviation activity at Gnoss Field Airport, including a revised purpose and need for a runway extension project resulting from a change in aviation activity, and provided supporting documentation. The Working Paper identified changes in aviation activity that reduced the total necessary runway length at Gnoss Field Airport from 4,400 feet, as identified in the June 2014 Final EIS, to 3,600 feet. As Runway 13/31 is currently 3,300 feet long, based on the analysis in the Working Paper, the current total necessary runway length of 3,600 feet could be obtained with a 300-foot runway extension, instead of the 1,100-foot runway extension identified in the June 2014 Final EIS.
The FAA accepted public comments on the Purpose and Need Working Paper between May 2, 2016 and June 17, 2016, and held a public meeting to accept comments on the Working Paper on June 2, 2016. The public comments received on the Working Paper can be viewed here.
Many of the public commenters stated that the Working Paper underestimated aviation activity at Gnoss Field Airport, and stated that a longer runway length than identified in the Working Paper is necessary at the airport. The FAA is working with Marin County to have the EIS consultant develop a Revised Purpose and Need Working Paper to evaluate all public comments received on the first Purpose and Need Working Paper. The Revised Purpose and Need Working Paper will reconsider the conclusions reached in the first Working Paper, including consideration of all public comments received, and modify those conclusions if appropriate. The schedule for development of the Revised Purpose and Need Working Paper and the public comment period on that document is currently being developed.