Metropolitan Washington Airport Authority

Dulles International Airport

Dulles New Runways Environmental Impact Statement - Process

The EIS Process

This Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) evaluates the potential environmental impacts of building and operating two new air carrier runways at Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD). It is important to note that a 5-runway system has been envisioned at IAD since the publication of the 1985 Master Plan prepared by the FAA.

The EIS process involves gathering and analyzing data in order to assess and document potential environmental effects of building and operating the new runways. This EIS documents the need for the new runways; identifies possible alternatives for the location of the runways; evaluates environmental impacts and identifies mitigation options.

The EIS process also provides a forum for review and comment by appropriate governmental agencies and the public. These comments help guide the direction and focus of the EIS to ensure that local and regional priorities and objectives are properly addressed.

The EIS process ends with the issuance of a Record of Decision (ROD) by the FAA. If the project is approved from an environmental standpoint through the ROD, the Airports Authority may be eligible to receive federal funds for the construction of the project. After a ROD is issued supporting the preferred alternative for the runways, it typically would take another two to three years to construct the proposed improvements.

The EIS is a source of detailed information on the environmental impacts of the alternatives under review. This information is designed to assist the FAA in making its decision on the proposed project.

The EIS process was conducted in three phases:

Phase 1 - Project Mobilization and Scoping (Spring 2002 - Summer 2003)

- Mobilize the Study Team
- Contact various agencies and the public
- Collect the initial data
- Conduct Public and Agency Scoping Meetings.

Phase 2 - Alternatives Review/Draft Environmental Impact Statement
(DEIS) (Summer 2003 – Spring 2005)

- Develop and refine preliminary design alternatives
- Analyze impacts
- Share these alternatives with the public
- Prepare the Draft EIS
- Conduct a Public Hearing on the Draft EIS
- Preliminary Review of comments on the Draft EIS.

Phase 3 - Final EIS (Spring 2005 - Fall 2005)

- Review all agency and public comments on the Draft EIS.
- Prepare responses to comments
- Select preferred alternative
- Develop final mitigation package
- Prepare and publish Final EIS
- Issue Record of Decision (ROD) by the FAA.