Easton Airport moves into Phase 2 of the Obstruction Removal Program

Easton Airport has started work on “Phase 2” of the Obstruction Removal Program. The project supports the Easton Airport Runway Safety Improvement Program, a plan approved in 2018 after a 12-year environmental assessment period, to comply with updated Federal Aviation Administration guidelines and regulations for airports nationwide.

The Obstruction Removal Program focuses on eliminating obstructions (primarily trees) that penetrate the approach surfaces into the airport. Currently, identified obstructions do not comply with the federal regulations as defined by 14 CFR Part 77 – Safe, Efficient Use, and Preservation of the Navigable Airspace.

“The Obstruction Removal Program is an important component of our airport safety network that works in conjunction with other measures to achieve the highest possible level of aviation safety,” Easton Airport Manager Micah Risher said. “Keeping the tree obstructions below the FAA mandated heights goes along with our use of airfield markings, lighting, communication procedures, published approaches, and more. All of these components work together to form our comprehensive safety system.”

The project started in early December and is scheduled to be completed by March 2022. The largest work area is on airport property on the east side of Runway 4/22. A total of 11.60 acres of tree obstructions will be cleared. In addition, select tree obstructions will be removed on Goldsborough Neck Road, near the intersection of Airport Road, on Commerce Drive, and on Hazelwood Drive.

The overarching goal of the airfield improvements planned for Easton Airport is to ensure safety areas exist on either end of the primary runway.

“I like to use the example of motor vehicle safety,” Risher said. “You have seatbelts, airbags, and other integrated devices that when combined, make vehicle operation as safe as possible. You don’t rely on a singular safety measure; you need to layer them all.”

The Final Environmental Assessment outlines all of the plans and projects the airport will undertake to accomplish the necessary runway improvements needed to ensure safety. The document, found on the Easton Airport website, contains highly technical data and information. Mr. Risher invites the public to send any questions about the plan to him directly if they have any questions.

“There is still some misinformation circulating that Easton Airport is expanding and people are concerned that our small community airport will turn into a BWI,” Risher said. “That is not true, and is certainly not in any of our long-term plans. The upcoming projects will bring the airport into compliance with FAA design standards, modernize the airfield, and improve overall operational safety.”

For additional information on Easton Airport safety projects, and to download a copy of the Easton Airport Environmental Assessment plan, please visit www.eastonairport.com/projects. Questions or comments can be sent to Easton Airport Manager Micah Risher at mrisher@talbgov.org.