Proposed Runway 11L-29R Runway Safety Area Enhancement EA/Initial Study
An Environmental Assessment (EA) and Initial Study are underway for the proposed improvements to Fresno Yosemite International Airport (FYI) that fully meet Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) runway safety area (RSA) design standards. The EA will be prepared pursuant to the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969 and will conform to the requirements and standards set forth by the FAA as contained principally in FAA Order 1050.1E, Environmental Impacts: Policies and Procedures, and FAA Order 5050.4B, National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Implementing Instructions for Airport Actions. The FAA will serve as the Lead Agency in the NEPA process.
The Initial Study will be prepared pursuant to the requirements of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), as contained within California Public Resources Code, Division 13, Sections 21000-21177. The format and subject matter included within the Initial Study will conform to the guidelines set forth by the State of California within the California Code of Regulations, Title 14, Division 6, Chapter 3, Sections 15000-15387 and Appendices A-K.
Following completion of the FYI Runway 11L Runway Safety Area Study, November 2, 2006 (Safety Area Study), it was determined by the City of Fresno and the FAA that additional consideration should be given to achieving RSA standards at each end of Runway 11L-29R.
A Runway Safety Area Re-Evaluation for Runway 11L-29R was completed in March 2011 with the purpose of examining the feasibility of meeting the RSA standard by shifting the runway northwest to preclude the loss of runway, while minimizing total construction costs and maintaining the goal of preserving maximum runway length for air cargo operations.
Runway Safety Area Standards
The RSA standard for Runway 11L-29R at the departure end of each runway is 500 feet wide (centered on the runway) and extends 1,000 feet beyond the runway end. On the approach end of each runway, the RSA standard is only 600 feet beyond the runway end.
14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 139.309(b) indicates that the airport shall maintain its safety area cleared and graded with no potentially hazardous ruts, humps, depressions, or other surface variations. The safety area must be drained so that water does not accumulate. It must also be capable, under dry conditions, of supporting emergency equipment and the occasional passage of aircraft without causing major damage to the aircraft. No object may be located in the safety area except those that need to be because of their function in airport operations. In those cases, they must be constructed on frangibly-mounted structures where practical. The localizer antenna, which is within the safety area (for departures) at the southeast end of the runway, is not waived from this requirement.
The northwest end of Runway 11L-29R fully complies with safety standards, while the southeast end of the runway (which meets the standard for arrivals on Runway 29R) does not meet the extended safety area standard for arrivals or departures on Runway 11L. The perimeter access road (880 feet to nearest point from runway end), the perimeter security fence (898 feet to nearest point from runway end), localizer antenna (935 feet on extended centerline from runway end), and Clovis Avenue (935 feet to nearest point from runway end) are located within the RSA.
The City of Fresno Airports Department is proposing a 330-foot extension of Runway 11L-29R on the northwest end and the implementation of declared distances to fully comply with FAA design standards for the RSA and to maximize takeoff and landing length. The preliminary cost estimate for this project is estimated at $10-12 million.