What is the Federal Aviation Administration’s role in considering this project?
The FAA is the lead federal agency with statutory authority over airports and airways in the United States. For the proposed Angoon Airport, the DOT&PF has applied to the FAA for construction funding from the FAA’s Airport Improvement Program and for approval of the airport layout plan (ALP) for the proposed airport. Before the FAA can decide whether to provide the requested funding or approval for the airport layout plan, they are required by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), to evaluate and disclose to the public the potential social and environmental effects of building and operating the proposed airport. Additionally, the FAA is responsible for ensuring that airport development projects provide for the protection and enhancement of natural resources and the quality of the environment (49 U.S.C. 47101(a)(6)).
Providing safe and reliable air transportation is the fundamental mission of the FAA, and providing funding for airports that meet this purpose is consistent with FAA policy. Additionally, the U.S. Department of Transportation, of which the FAA is a key agency, established the Essential Air Service program specifically to allow residents of small communities to have reasonable access to the national air transportation system. Finally, the FAA's Strategic Initiative for Rural Airport Improvement, as outlined in the agency's Airports Fiscal Year 2009 Business Plan (FAA 2009), specifically calls for improvements to rural airport systems in Alaska to provide for 24-hour visual flight rules access and to increase access to such airports by essential medical aircraft.