JULY 20, 2011 – ALP / EA PROCESS CONCLUDED
UNANIMOUS VOTE TO NOT ACCEPT FEDERAL FUNDING
The Port of Camas-Washougal today announced a decision to not accept federal funding for airport improvements from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). At the July 19, 2011 commission meeting, port commissioners explained their rationale with the following statement: “After carefully considering all information available on this issue, the commission finds that it is not in the best interest… [Click here for complete News Release].
For more information on the Environmental Assessment process, please go to the Grove Field Environmental Assessment page.
On Tuesday, September 9th, the Port will host a “Kick-Off”- Public Information Meeting at the Camas High School Auditorium from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m., with information about the ALP in general, and the Environmental Assessment in particular -- the first step in implementation of the Airport Layout Plan. On hand will be WH Pacific with a PowerPoint presentation; there will also be a Q&A period. Everyone is welcome.
A formal Grant Offer from FAA was received on May 27, 2008, and on June 2, 2008, the Board formally accepted the funding. A formal NOTICE TO PROCEED was issued by the Port to Consultant.
[Note: Grove Field does not become an ‘obligated airport’ with acceptance of these grant monies, as they are designated for the Environmental Assessment study. If the Port accepts federal monies for construction, Grove Field will then become an Obligated Airport. An ‘obligated airport’ must remain open for 20 years from acceptance of federal monies.]
Consultant’s complete Scope of Work received final FAA approval on May 1, 2008, and the Port submitted its Application for Federal Assistance to the FAA.
On May 27, 2008, WSDOT Aviation notified the Port of a grant award in the total amount of $9,350 toward the Environmental Assessment and Runway Safety.
An 'independent fee estimate' -- required by the FAA -- was reviewed against Consultant’s Fee Estimate. The Consultant’s Fee Estimate was considered by the FAA to be reasonable for the scope of work, and was approved on April 18, 2008.
The initial Scope of Work was submitted for review to the Port and FAA.
The consulting firm of W&H Pacific (“Consultant”) was selected on January 29, 2008, to prepare a Scope of Work and a Fee Estimate for an Environmental Assessment and Engineering Services. Both the Scope and the Fees are required to be approved by the Port and the Federal Aviation Administration (“FAA”).
As the Port moves forward with the Airport Layout Plan, the “Request for Qualifications for Airport Environmental and Engineering Services” has been published, with responses due back by December 17, 2007. All responses will be reviewed and a recommendation made to the Port Commissioners in January 2008.
The Airport Layout Plan has been signed by the Port and approved by the FAA as of September 25, 2007. The next step in the process is to work with the FAA to write a Request for Qualifications for the environmental assessment (EA).
In conjunction with the EA, the FAA is requiring review of the detention pond created during the recent drainage improvement project at Grove Field. W&H Pacific is working with the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture on this issue. The concern is that the pond (if it retains water) may attract large birds adjacent to the airport runway. Per the USGA, it may take several months before a site visit and report can be scheduled and completed.
The Port and the FAA have reached consensus on the list of needed improvements that will be identified in the Airport Layout Plan, with the FAA’s first concern being the Runway Safety Area:
- Runway shift and rotation
- Runway Extension
- Runway Widening
- Relocation of Delp Road
- Land Acquisition association with the aforementioned improvements
The Port has requested FAA funding for the environmental assessment to define the necessary safety improvements required at Grove Field.
The FAA has completed its review of the Airport Layout Plan and submitted comments for the Port and it’s consultants to review and respond. The major issue seems to be prioritization of planned improvements. Another ongoing issue is how to pay for the noted changes. Even though the FAA pays 90% or more, FAA funding may be difficult to obtain in the future.
The Commissioners are tentatively planning on hearing from the consultants on April 16th during their regularly scheduled meeting, which begins at 4:00 p.m. Please contact the Port office if you would like a copy of the FAA’s comments.
The Airport Layout Plan has been reviewed by the State of Washington Aviation Division, and has been forwarded to the Federal Aviation Agency for final review. It is hoped that the FAA will review and approve the ALP by year end. The plan is also being reviewed by Airside, an aviation consultant hired by the Port to review Grove Field improvements, and by the Camas/Washougal Aviation Association. One issue is to look at the recommendations offered, and whether it is likely funds will be available to construct those improvements. The study is on file at the Port Office for on-site review.
State Aviation plans to complete review of the Airport Layout Plan by May 26th and then it will go to the FAA for their review and approval.
DECEMBER 14th, 2005
On December 12th, in open session, the Port Commission approved completing the Grove Field Airport Layout Plan (currently 65% complete), and also agreed to consider seeking FAA funding upon the Plan's completion (expected by the Spring of 2006).
The proposed Plan calls for rotating, extending, and widening the runway; construction of a south taxiway; and possible acquisition of the mobile home park on the east. The timing of these projects would be dependent on Port request and subsequent FAA approval and funding. The plan has a 20-year vision.
If the Commissioners do seek federal funding, several opportunities for public input will occur during the Environmental Assessment process. Please follow the progress of this issue in our local papers or on our website.
DECEMBER 2, 2005
Please be advised that the Commissioners of the Port of Camas/Washougal at 5pm during their regularly scheduled monthly meeting on December 12th, will discuss whether to complete the Grove Field Airport Layout Plan (ALP) as currently presented. If the decision is to complete the ALP, they will discuss whether to seek FAA funding for suggested safety improvements to the facility.
Although this meeting will be conducted in the public, no public input will be taken. The Commissioners will discuss this issue amongst themselves, and a decision on the future of the airport is expected. It should be reiterated that any further process to implement the ALP will allow for future public hearings and comment.
Comments regarding the ALP at this time should be addressed in writing to the commissioners at the above address.
OCTOBER 14th, 2005
The Port of Camas Washougal has scheduled a meeting with Mary Vargas and Carol Key at the FAA office in Renton for November 3rd. Tentatively scheduled to attend are Port Commissioner Jim Carroll, Port ED Sheldon Tyler, GFAAC Chair Paul Cannon, GFAAC member Steve Carroll, W and H Pacific engineer Rainse Anderson and WSDOT Aviation Division representative Stan Allison.
Although the exact agenda has not been confirmed, the intent is to learn first-hand the FAA's interests and concerns for the airport, and how we might be able to blend the Port's concerns with the FAA's.
Information from the meeting will be posted soon after Nov 3rd.
OCTOBER 7th, 2005
The Grove Field Airport Advisory Committee met last night to discuss several items regarding the FAA funded study of the facility. After receiving input from various sources, the committee chair passed out a survey asking attendees to rank their interest in whether compromising or wanting to continue on as the study now depicts. Results of that survey are not known at this time.
In other news, W and H Pacific is planning on surveying the facility next week to set formal approach paths and note any obstacles, and the Commissioners are working on setting up a meeting with the FAA to discuss their position and concerns with the facility. At this point, FAA's main concerns are safety on the field, to include runway to taxiway separation, runway length and width, and runway safety areas and approach surfaces. No further meetings of the Grove Field Airport Advisory Committee are planned at this time.
The Port Commissioners are meeting here at the Port offices at 4pm on October 24th, their second regularly scheduled meeting for the month. Airport issues may be discussed at that time.
Please contact us if you have any questions.
Grove Field Airport Layout Plan Public Meeting SEPTEMBER 2005
What follows are summary notes from the Port of Camas/Washougal public meeting regarding the Grove Field Airport Layout Plan. Approximately 160 members of the public were in the audience.
Stan Allison Washington State Department of Transportation Aviation Operations gave a presentation with general background information on the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and Grove Field. He included an overview of the State of Washington Aviation Operation 's policy that refers all airport funding requests to first be sent to the FAA to receive funding before state aviation funds can be released. In order for Grove Field to receive funding from the FAA or the state, it must complete an Airport Layout Plan. Rainse Anderson of W & H Pacific Consultants gave a presentation on the existing conditions and future plans for Grove Field. A copy of the PowerPoint presentation accompanying his presentation is attached.
PORT OF CAMAS-WASHOUGAL RESPONSES TO CITIZEN QUESTIONS
Changes in Aircraft Types:
Several citizens asked whether the airport would be accommodating new types of aircraft. The proposed improvements to Grove Field will not change the type of aircraft that currently use the airport. A1 and B1 planes currently fly in and out of Grove Field. The only difference between these two categories is the approach speed, as the wingspan and weight ranges are the same. A1 aircraft have an approach speed of less than 91 knots and B1 aircraft have an approach speed of less than 121 knots. The Design Category, i.e. pavement widths/strengths and separation standards, are the same for the A1 and B1 aircraft. By relocating the Runway 25 threshold and extending the runway 350 feet the airport will be safer for the A1 and B1 aircraft. These improvements meet the FAA standards for proper Runway Safety Areas and Object Free Areas off of each runway end.
Compensation for Property Owners Adjacent to the Airport:
Some attendees expressed concern regarding compensation for their property. The Port of Camas-Washougal will compensate landowners that own property needed to complete airport improvements. If the Port approves the Airport Layout Plan and decides to become an obligated airport by receiving Federal funding, the Port will purchase the land according to the FAA-approved Airport Layout Plan when funding is available. Owners of properties that would need to be acquired would be per the requirements of the "Uniform Relocation Assistance and Real Property Acquisition for Federal and Federally Assisted Programs" and would be compensated at a minimum the fair market value. Mobile home owners would also be awarded relocation expenses as provided by law the uniform act.
Citizens asked if FAA reports on safety information/crashes could be provided for Grove field and other similar airports. FAA Safety reports are public information, the FAA and AOPA (Aircraft Owner and Pilot assoc.) web sites have this data available.
Several citizens expressed concern about the cost of the proposed improvements and asked how much local citizens would fund the improvements. Several citizens also asked about appreciation in costs over the proposed 20 years of improvements, asking whether the costs provided were adjusted and accurate. The consultants hired by the state to conduct the study and estimate capital improvement costs are asked to prioritize projects and identify funding needs. The summary is included in the W & H Pacific presentation included on this web page. No increase in taxes is being considered. All development costs would come from the FAA, State Aviation, and Port operating and tax revenues. The funding from the FAA comes from user fees generated from aviation fuel and ticket taxes. State funding comes from aviation fuel and pilot licensing fees. No Federal or State money comes from individual's income or property taxes. Port financial statements for 2004 and 2003 are available, and are posted on the Web site . It should be noted that general and administrative expenses that are currently allocated to the airfield would be reduced very little if the airfield were closed, as they include costs that would survive closure. They include, among other things, salaries, commissioner compensation, election expense, costs to operate and maintain the Port office building, mobile equipment, insurance for these items and others.
Some citizens asked if the airport would change surrounding zoning. All Port properties surrounding the airport have been rezoned to Airport, with the exception of the two former Gallas properties in the southeast corner of the airfield. The Clark County commissioners have been asked to reconsider the rezone request of last year on these two parcels. This request is independent of this FAA study
Noise and Flight Impacts:
Several citizens asked if the airport would restrict operations to reduce noise. Measuring noise includes a number of variables such as weather conditions, time of day, propeller pitch, duration and other elements. The FAA's computer noise model utilizes a Day-Night Level (DNL) of noise that is base on the number of operations of the current and forecasted aircraft. This information is then depicted by a DNL noise contour that generally ranges from 75 DNL on the Runway area to 50/55 DNL in the Runway approach areas. The DNL is an average and can't be compared to a single noise event (one passing plane) measured in decibels. Lengthening the runway and adding hangars may increase the number of operations at the airport. However, with advanced technologies, newer aircraft are becoming quieter.
Other Regional Airport Studies:
There was a question regarding whether other Regional Studies have or will be conducted. The State Aviation department will be conducting a State wide capacity study starting the end on the year. The study will look at the need for another airport in Clark County.