Mountain News- Airport Expansion Threatens Local Mountain Tranquility

Original article: HERE

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Planes ranging from the Boeing 737 to the Boeing 767 are expected to fly in and out of the proposed San Bernardino International Airport. It is not yet known whether those planes will follow flight paths over the mountain communities.

The San Bernardino International Airport Authority (SBIAA), has proposed the development of a package sorting and distribution center with an air cargo hub facility at the San Bernardino International Airport (SBD).

The information provided thus far pertains to the construction of facilities and infrastructure on SBD property (see below). What has not been provided is additional information about how this airport expansion of San Bernardino Airport will affect the mountain residents:

• How many Boeing-737 to Boeing-767 cargo aircraft will fly over the mountain communities per day?

• Will the aircraft be active both day and night?

• What flight paths will be utilized by the increased air traffic to this facility?

• How high — or low — will the aircraft fly as they pass over the mountains?

• How will the additional air traffic affect the environment and air quality here?

Those questions and related matters are not raised in the Notice of Availability of Draft Environmental Assessment (Draft EA) and Draft General Conformity Determination (DGCD).

Matthew D. Kallis, president of Friends of Lake Arrowhead Mountain Communities (FLAMC), raised these issues with authorities, but he reports that his requests have been ignored thus far. Kallis suggests that mountain residents attend the Public Workshop and Public Hearing on Aug. 8.

WORKSHOP AND HEARING

The workshop and hearing will be held at the main auditorium of the Norton Regional Event Center, 1601 E. Third Street, San Bernardino.

The workshop will be an informal open house format; the public can attend the workshop at any time between 5:30 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. The informal format will enable attendees to review information related to the Draft EA and DGCD, and to engage in one-on-one interaction with the Study Team.

At 7:00 p.m. the workshop will close and the Public Hearing on the Draft EA and DGCD will begin. A brief presentation at the start of the hearing will cover the purpose, procedures and rules of conduct. The Public Hearing will allow the public to provide their comments on the adequacy of information disclosed in the Draft EA and the DGCD verbally into the record by a court reporter. Responses to comments during the public hearing will be provided in the Final EA and Final General Conformity Determination. Attendees may sign up to speak at the Public Hearing until 8:30 p.m.

Spanish and Vietnamese translators will be available.

PROPOSED PROJECT

The proposed Eastgate Air Cargo Facility would develop a package sorting and distribution center with an air cargo hub facility at SBD. The project site is located on SBD property, north of Taxiway “E” and West of Hangar Way and south of 3rd Street in the City of San Bernardino.

The Proposed Project involves development of facilities and supporting infrastructure on an approximately 101.5-acre site on the northern side of the airport property. The Proposed Project includes construction of:

• A 658,500-square-foot building for sorting, distribution and office space. This Air Cargo Sort Building will range between 50 and 63 feet in height. It would include approximately 77 dock doors on the northern side, approximately 24 dock doors on the western side, and 20 doors to accommodate air cargo containers on the southern side of the building.

• Taxi lanes and aircraft parking apron to support 14 aircraft concurrently, ranging from Boeing-737 to Boeing-767 aircraft.

• Approximately 12 acres of ground support equipment parking and operational support areas.

• Two separate 25,000-square-foot maintenance buildings.

• About 2000 employee auto parking stalls and 380 trailer parking stalls.

• Two new driveways into the Proposed Project site.

• Third Street modifications to tie in road gradients and turning lanes with bridge entrances.

• Installation of new security fencing, vehicle and pedestrian gates, and a guard shack.

• Installation of exterior lights.

• Installation of airfield lights and signage for the aircraft parking apron and taxi lanes.

• Land clearing, demolition, excavation, embankment and grading.

• Extension of utilities to the site.

• Installation of stormwater management systems and infrastructure.

• Landscaping.

Pursuant to the Endangered Species Act, 16 U.S.C. §1536, the FAA gave notice that the FAA has determined the Proposed Action will have no effect on the San Bernardino kangaroo rat (SBKR), Santa Ana woollystar (a wildflower), and Santa Ana sucker (a fish) that are located on or near the airport.

FAA is using the NEPA process to notify the public of FAA’s finding that the project will not affect any properties listed or eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places.

PUBLIC REVIEW

Since July 3, the Draft EA and Draft General Conformity Determination have been available for public review through Aug. 19, at the following locations:

• Online: http://www.sbiaa.org.

• San Bernardino County Library, Lake Arrowhead Branch, 27235 Highway 189, Blue Jay, CA 92317-766.

• Federal Aviation Administration, Western‐Pacific Region, Office of Airports : 777 S. Aviation Boulevard, Suite 150, El Segundo, CA 90245.

• SBIAA’s Administration Office: 1601 E. Third Street, San Bernardino, CA 92408.

• Norman F. Feldheym Public Library, 555 W 6th St, San Bernardino, CA 92410.

• Sam J. Racadio Library, 7863 Central Ave., Highland, CA 92346-4107.

Matthew Kallis