Summary

Challenge: An 80 - lot mobile home park, a permanent residence, and two businesses were located in the non-standard Runway 28 safety area (RSA) at Allegheny County Airport (AGC). Runway 10-28 at AGC is the primary runway and is heavily utilized by business jets. The project required a careful balance of improving safety and operational impacts. The urgency of addressing this non-standard condition and safety concern was highlighted when an aircraft overran the runway, destroying two mobile homes and damaging two others. The project required expeditious completion of an Environmental Assessment for acquisition of the properties and relocation of the affected residents and businesses in a manner consistent with FAA requirements and sensitive to their specific needs.
Solution: The alternatives analysis conducted in the EA considered a range of alternatives. The preferred alternative involved acquisition of the trailer park, business, and residence, and relocation of residents. This alternative fully addressed the key concern of residential land use within the RSA while not impacting runway utility. The EA and relocation effort included extensive public outreach throughout the process and creation of a staffed full-time relocation office to assist the residents. The public outreach efforts included public information meetings and workshops, a public hearing and a pre-acquisition survey that included one on one interviews of the affected population to fully understand individual needs. The project was initially met with loud resistance from the public however, at the end of the project the resistance had turned to broad support, with residents expressing thanks for the opportunity to move away from the airport.

Awards

  • Aviation Council of Pennsylvania Service Award