ABOUT THE ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT
ABOUT THE ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT
The Airport Sponsor is now preparing an Environmental Assessment (EA) to evaluate the potential impacts of Charlotte Douglas International Airport’s (CLT or Airport) proposal to construct a fourth parallel Runway 1-19 (including end-around taxiways) and expand the terminal and ramp. Similar to the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), the EA will evaluate the potential direct, indirect, and cumulative environmental impacts that may result from the Proposed Action. The Airport Sponsor expects to complete the EA in 2020.
To ensure the Airport continues to meet current and future demand, the Airport Sponsor has proposed plans to implement airport improvements at CLT, proposed for construction by 2028, as recommended in its Master Plan Update and documented on the CLT Airport Layout Plan (ALP).
The Proposed Action is made up of two primary Project Elements:
- Constructing a New Fourth Parallel Runway 1-19 (including End-Around Taxiways)
- Terminal and Ramp Expansion
The Airport Sponsor’s preferred location for the new runway would be on the west side of the airfield between existing Runway 18C-36C and Runway 18R-36L. Upon completion of the new runway, CLT would have four parallel north/south runways. Construction of the new runway along with terminal and ramp expansion projects would require the decommissioning of Runway 5-23 and relocation of West Boulevard.
In addition to the Proposed Action, the CLT Capacity EA will identify reasonable alternatives, including the No Action Alternative (i.e., if a new runway or other project elements are not built). The CLT Capacity EA will examine 14 environmental impact categories for potential impacts. These include, but are not limited to: noise and noise-compatible land use, air quality, water resources, historic resources, and socioeconomics and environmental justice. The EA will consider direct, indirect, and cumulative impacts for each environmental impact category.
This website was developed for use by the general public and other interested parties in obtaining information about the EA process and study. For more information about EA and the FAA’s process, go to: FAA Environmental
Similar to the EIS process, the public will have several opportunities to provide input and comments on the Proposed Action during the EA process. For more information on how to provide comments, see the Public Outreach page of this website.
What are the Roles of the FAA and the City of Charlotte?
The City of Charlotte is the Airport Sponsor. The Federal Aviation Act of 1958 requires the Airport Sponsor to obtain FAA approval to construct the Proposed Action at the Airport. The Airport Sponsor will be responsible for the development of the EA in accordance with NEPA, all applicable federal regulations, and FAA guidance. The Airport Sponsor has selected and contracted Landrum & Brown to work under their direction to prepare the CLT Capacity EA.
Once the EA is completed, the Airport Sponsor will forward the environmental document to the FAA. The FAA remains the responsible Federal agency for compliance with the requirements of NEPA. In this capacity, FAA will make its own independent evaluation of the environmental issues and take responsibility for the scope and content of the EA. The FAA also will make a final decision on whether it can issue a satisfactory environmental finding based upon the EA. The FAA will thereafter determine whether it may take the federal actions necessary to allow implementation of the project.
The Airport Sponsor initially presented four primary Project Elements proposed for construction by 2028, as recommended in its Master Plan Update and documented on the CLT ALP, to the FAA. The four primary Project Elements were:
(1) A Fourth 12,000-foot Parallel Runway 1-19 and End-Around Taxiways
(2) Concourse B and Ramp Expansion
(3) Concourse C and Ramp Expansion
(4) Daily North Parking Deck
During the EIS process, FAA conducted a runway length analysis for the proposed 12,000-foot runway, and the analysis determined that only a 10,000-foot runway was required to meet the purpose and need. As a result, the proposed fourth parallel runway length was reduced to 10,000 feet. Additionally, the Airport Sponsor has removed the new daily parking structure from this EA and is evaluating it in a separate NEPA document as the need for the project is prior to 2028 and is an independent project.
The project also includes relocating West Boulevard and decommissioning of crosswind Runway 5-23.
Why is the Proposed Action Needed?
Current airfield, terminal, aircraft gate area, and vehicle parking facilities at CLT have limitations that make it challenging for the Airport, which operates as a major airline hub. These limitations result in excessive congestion and delays. Improvement of these areas is proposed to address increasing congestion and delays. The existing runway layout is composed of three (3) parallel runways (Runway 18L-36R, Runway 18C-36C, and Runway 18R-36L) and one (1) crosswind runway (Runway 5-23).
The existing gates at the Airport are not sufficient to meet demand, resulting in delays due to gate availability. Additional gates are proposed to meet the demand. Also, congestion in the terminal area ramp and departure queuing area occurs during current peak demand periods.
WHERE ARE WE NOW?
The Draft Environmental Assessment (EA) is now available for public review—click here to view the document. There will be two opportunities in May to attend public workshops and hearings to discuss the Draft EA. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 public health emergency, both will be held online. Click here to learn more about the public workshops and hearings, and to learn how you can submit a comment.
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