Environmental Assessment

Runway 220

Overview

The vital role of the Rochester International Airport (RST) in serving the Mayo Clinic’s patient and medical materials transport needs requires the Airport to be open and operational 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. To meet critical aircraft operational needs, at least one runway always needs to remain fully operational. During the development of RST’s recent Airport Master Plan, it was recognized that the most significant need to continue the safe and efficient operation of the Airport was the reconstruction of both runways within the next decade, as the pavement on each runway is reaching the end of its useful life. The Master Plan identified a plan to reconstruct and extend RST’s north-south runway, Runway 2/20, while maintaining uninterrupted service. This will provide adequate runway length for RST’s critical users in order to support 24/7/365 operation of the Airport whenever the east-west runway, Runway 13/31, becomes unavailable.

RST has recently completed an environmental review process for proposed airfield improvements to provide this uninterrupted service. In addition to the runway reconstruction and extension, the proposed project involves moving utilities and roadways to accommodate the extension of Runway 2/20, including a petroleum pipeline, overhead power lines, and portions of 31st Avenue SW, 90th Street SW (former Trunk Highway 30), and 95th Street SW, and acquiring land associated with the Runway Protection Zone. In accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), RST and its consultant developed a Federal Environmental Assessment (EA), which evaluated the potential physical, environmental, and social impacts of the proposed action.

The Draft EA was made available for public review and comment from April 19 through June 1, 2021. A virtual public hearing was held on May 19, 2021. The meeting began with a presentation and Q&A, followed by the official public hearing. The public hearing transcript is included in Appendix I of the Final EA.

RST and its consultant then developed a Final EA that addressed the public comments received during the comment period.

As the lead agency responsible for this EA, the Federal Aviation Administration issued a Finding of No Significant Impact/Record of Decision (FONSI/ROD) for the RST Runway 2/20 Project – Uninterrupted Service EA. Based on the analysis in the Final EA, the FAA determined that RST’s proposed project will not result in significant impacts to resources identified in accordance with FAA Orders 1050.1F and 5050.4B. Therefore, an environmental impact statement will not be prepared, and the project can proceed into design and construction.