Safety standards in 2020 are different from the standards 20 years ago. To enhance and preserve safety and security to meet the latest standards set by the FAA, improvements need to be made to the airport’s runways, taxiways and other airfield facilities, equipment and systems – sort of like new safety enhancements that are now provided with newer vehicles compared with their earlier models.
This image shows Runway 6-24, our preferred runway. Our plan addresses:
FAA Compliance: Our priority is to make sure that all airport facilities including the airfield comply with the FAA’s current standards and regulations. Our airfield facilities are safe, though studies show that there’s room for enhancements that will provide more efficient aircraft operations.
Full Runway Safety Areas (RSAs): Our runways are very safe, and we need them to stay that way. The FAA has determined the need for runways to include an area surrounding them with a suitable surface for reducing the risk of damage to aircraft in the event that they overshoot, undershoot or veer off the runway. This area is defined as the Runway Safety Area, or RSA.
Based on studies, ROA has determined that it needs to enhance the RSAs for Runway 6-24 based on the latest FAA guidance. The RSA for Runway 16-34 has already been enhanced and does not need further improvements.
These RSA improvements will also allow the airport to extend Runway 6-24 when needed.
Runway over 581: In order for the airport to have a full RSA on Runway 6-24, the best possible option is to create an overpass over I-581.
After considering various alternatives that would provide a solution, the option shown here meets important criteria:
Going over an interstate is not an uncommon practice. There are many examples throughout the country of airports that have done this. We know that additional aircraft noise over our communities could be one concern that might be raised when we reach this juncture, but we anticipate that aircraft noise will actually be the same or even less than what it is now because aircraft are being designed to be quieter.
We also anticipate that by meeting these safety standards, we will be better prepared to respond to new opportunities when they come our way.