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FAA seeks comment on Kodiak airport expansion

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Posted: Monday, October 22, 2012 4:33 pm | Updated: 11:39 am, Mon Jan 21, 2013.

KODIAK, Alaska - Federal officials will seek comment on a proposal to upgrade Kodiak State Airport, seven years after public outcry sent plans back to the drawing board.

The Federal Aviation Administration has released a draft environmental assessment for how areas will be built in environmentally sensitive areas so out-of-control aircraft can stop, the Kodiak Daily Mirror reported (http://is.gd/wbR6b2).

That's difficult at the boxed-in Kodiak airport, where the four sides around it are the Buskin River State Recreation Area, Barometer Mountain, the Coast Guard base and the Pacific Ocean.

The 2005 expansion plan would have encroached toward the mouth of Buskin River, a plan so widely opposed the FAA decided to start over.

The new plan calls for one runway, the one that ends next to the Chiniak Highway, to be extended into Chiniak Bay under a landfill extension made of crushable concrete blocks.

The second runway, the one that runs parallel to the shore, will be shifted toward the base, again with the use of a landfill extension.

The FAA is planning series of meetings in Kodiak in November to discuss the project, culminating with a Dec. 6 gathering, at which members of the public can offer comment.

Complete details of the proposal can be found at www.kodiakairporteis.com . Public comments also will be taken online or by mail.

Once the public comment period is over, FAA officials will review the statements and make adjustments to the plan, if warranted. Then the agency will issue a final draft environmental statement, and the FAA will release a decision whether to begin construction. That is expected sometime in 2013.

© 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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