10/19/16

 

8900.1 CHG 489

VOLUME 11  FLIGHT STANDARDS PROGRAMS

CHAPTER 6  ENVIRONMENTAL CONSIDERATIONS AND RESPONSIBILITIES

Indicates new/changed information.

Section 4  The Environmental Review Process for Actions That Can Be a Categorical Exclusion (CATEX)

11-226    GENERAL. Once a Federal action outlined in Volume 11, Chapter 6, Section 3, paragraph 11-217 is requested, the principal inspector (PI) then gathers the necessary information in order for the General Aviation and Commercial Division (AFS-800) Environmental Specialist in AFS-830 to conduct the environmental review and document the findings. From this environmental review, the PI, as decisionmaker, considers the results of the environmental review in deciding whether or not to take the Federal action.

11-227    PROCESSING A CATEGORICAL EXCLUSION (CATEX) FOR 14 CFR PART 121 OR 135 OPSPEC C070 AMENDMENT.

A.    Information Required for the AFS-830 Environmental Specialist. To determine if the approval of a Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulation (14 CFR) part 121or 135 operation specification (OpSpec) C070 amendment could significantly change the environmental impact of aircraft operations at an airport, the PI should ensure the following information is provided to the AFS-830 Environmental Specialist:

1)    Name(s) of the airport(s) proposed to receive service.
2)    Type of aircraft and engines to be used, including the make, model, and series (M/M/S).
3)    Number of proposed landing and takeoff operations during daytime (0700-2159 local) at airports to be served.
4)    Number of proposed landing and takeoff operations during nighttime (2200-0659 local) at airports to be served.
5)    Air operator’s long-range plans to include planned service expansion, planned changes in flight frequency, and planned changes in daytime or nighttime scheduled operations.
6)    Ground Support Equipment (GSE) to be used at an airport where the proposed operations at that airport is 30 daily operations or greater.

NOTE:  The PI should also copy this initial information to the Regional NextGen Branch (RNGB) Manager.

B.    Environmental Impact Analysis. Upon receipt of the necessary operational information, the AFS‑830 Environmental Specialist will perform noise and air quality analyses as necessary and consider the potential for extraordinary circumstances. Alternatively, the carrier or its contractor may perform these analyses (see subparagraph 11-227C).

Indicates new/changed information.
1)    When required, an Environmental Specialist must perform noise analysis using the approved models in accordance with the current edition of Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Order 1050.1, Environmental Impacts: Policies and Procedures. When required, air quality analysis must be prepared using the FAA’s Modeling Requirements discussed in Order 1050.1F Desk Reference, Section 1.3.4.
2)    In determining what extraordinary circumstances might exist, use the guidance provided in Order 1050.1, Section 5-2. Use the additional guidance below with regard to Order 1050.1, Section 4-3.2 (Context and Intensity) and Order 1050.1F Desk Reference, Chapter 15 (Cumulative Impact).
a)    Guidance for Order 1050.1, Section 4-3.2. A reasonable effort should be made to determine whether the approval of OpSpecs would cause added or increased aircraft operations/type aircraft that are likely to be highly controversial on environmental grounds. Highly controversial means that a substantial number of persons or a governmental unit is against the action. Environmental grounds does not include safety or environmental reasons unrelated to the proposed OpSpecs. Awareness of controversy can come from knowledge of past community opposition to increases in levels of service or a background of community opposition because of other issues at the airport. If this judgment cannot be made, consult as needed with the airport manager, or Airports Division/Airports District Office through the Quality, Integration and Process Division (AQS-100) Environmental Manager.
b)    Guidance for Order 1050.1F Desk Reference, Chapter 15. A reasonable attempt should be made to discover if there are connected actions related to a specific airport’s infrastructure that might result in the need to prepare an Environmental Assessment (EA) that considers cumulative effect. The proponent, the airport manager, or Airports Division/Airports District Office personnel may be helpful in learning about related projects. Examples of connected actions include a major runway extension needed to accommodate the aircraft that is the subject of OpSpecs, or a new hangar to accommodate the aircraft where the proposed site of the hangar is environmentally sensitive.
3)    The following, from Order 1050.1, Section 5-2, is a sample set of questions that an Environmental Specialist may ask of the airport manager with regard to extraordinary circumstances, respectively:
a)    Is the proposed new service highly controversial on environmental grounds? Public controversy on environmental grounds means any complaints regarding noise or air quality, including its effects on wildlife, parks, and other locations of historical or cultural importance.
b)    Are there any major projects, (e.g., runway extensions or construction of a new hangar), planned at the airport in the reasonably foreseeable future that will require the need for the new service to occur?
Indicates new/changed information.

C.    Information Required When Operator Provides the Analysis. The operator may wish to conduct noise and air quality analysis, or alternately contract with a third party for noise and air quality analysis, to support a CATEX statement. If the operator wishes to prepare the analysis or contract to a third party, the PI will advise that all environmental analysis and/or documentation be undertaken in accordance with Order 1050.1. Paragraph 11-227 provides additional guidance. The PI must forward all operator or third‑party‑prepared analysis, including the information contained in subparagraph 11-227A, to the AFS-830 Environmental Specialist, with a copy to the RNGB Manager, for review and acceptance.

D.    Outcome of the Environmental Review.

1)    Statement of a CATEX. The AFS-830 Environmental Specialist will develop a CATEX statement for issuance by the AFS-830 manager. The CATEX will be emailed to the PI (parts 121 and 135), and copy the RNGB Manager associated with the PI, the RNGB Manager associated with the new airport to be included in the certificate, and the carrier if the email address is known. The PI will place the CATEX statement into the carrier’s file.
2)    Prepare an EA. If the environmental analysis shows the potential for significant environmental impacts or if any of the “extraordinary circumstances” exist, then the AFS-830 Environmental Specialist will work with the PI and carrier to reduce impacts, or process the OpSpecs approval as either an EA or Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) as appropriate.

11-228    PROCESSING A CATEX FOR 14 CFR PARTS 121, 129 OR 135 OPSPEC D085 AMENDMENT.

A.    Information Required for the AFS-830 Environmental Specialist. To determine if a part 121, 129, or 135 OpSpec D085 amendment could significantly change the environmental impact of aircraft operations at an airport, the PI should ensure the following information is provided to the AFS-830 Environmental Specialist:

1)    Name(s) of the airport(s) proposed to receive service.
2)    Type of aircraft and engines to be used, including the M/M/S.
3)    Number of proposed landing and takeoff operations during daytime (0700-2159 local) at airports to be served (if known).
4)    Number of proposed landing and takeoff operations during nighttime (2200-0659 local) at airports to be served (if known).

NOTE:  For parts 121 and 135, this initial information should also be copied to the RNGB manager. International Field Offices (IFO) should only copy the AFS-54 manger if there is a problem and they need assistance.

B.    Environmental Impact Analysis. Upon receipt of the necessary operational information, the AFS‑830 Environmental Specialist will perform noise and air quality analyses and consider the potential for extraordinary circumstances. Alternatively, the carrier or its contractor may perform these analyses (see subparagraph 11-228C).

Indicates new/changed information.
1)    The Environmental Specialist must perform the noise analysis using the Area Equivalent Method (AEM) discussed in Order 1050.1F Desk Reference, Section 11.1.3.
2)    The air quality analysis must be prepared using the FAA’s Modeling Requirements discussed in Order 1050.1F Desk Reference, Section 1.3.4.
3)    In determining what extraordinary circumstances might exist, use the guidance provided in Order 1050.1, Section 5-2. Use the additional guidance below with regard to Order 1050.1, Section 4-3.2 (Context and Intensity) and Order 1050.1F Desk Reference, Chapter 15 (Cumulative Impact).
a)    Guidance for Order 1050.1, Section 5-2(10). A reasonable effort should be made to determine whether the approval of OpSpecs would cause added or increased aircraft operations/type aircraft that are likely to be highly controversial on environmental grounds. Highly controversial means that a substantial number of persons or a governmental unit is against the action. Environmental grounds does not include safety or environmental reasons unrelated to the proposed OpSpecs. Awareness of controversy can come from knowledge of past community opposition to increases in levels of service or a background of community opposition because of other issues at the airport. If this judgment cannot be made, consult as needed with the airport manager, or airports division/airports district office through the Quality, Integration and Process Division (AQS-100) Environmental Manager.
b)    Guidance for Order 1050.1F Desk Reference, Chapter 15. A reasonable attempt should be made to discover if there are connected actions related to a specific airport’s infrastructure that might result in the need to prepare an EA that considers cumulative effect. The proponent, the airport manager, or airports division/airports district office personnel may be helpful in learning about related projects. Examples of connected actions include a major runway extension needed to accommodate the aircraft that is the subject of OpSpecs, or a new hangar to accommodate the aircraft where the proposed site of the hangar is environmentally sensitive.
4)    The following, from Order 1050.1, Section 5-2, is a sample set of questions that an Environmental Specialist may ask of the airport manager with regard to extraordinary circumstances, respectively:
a)    Is the proposed new service highly controversial on environmental grounds? Public controversy on environmental grounds means any complaints regarding noise or air quality, including its effects on wildlife, parks, and other locations of historical or cultural importance.
b)    Are there any major projects, (e.g., runway extensions or construction of a new hangar), planned at the airport in the reasonably foreseeable future that will require the need for the new service to occur?
Indicates new/changed information.

C.    Information Required When Operator Provides the Analysis. The operator may wish to do its own or contract with a third party to conduct noise and air quality analysis to support a CATEX statement. If the operator wishes to prepare the analysis or contract to a third party, the PI will advise that all environmental analysis and/or documentation be undertaken in accordance with Order 1050.1. Paragraph 11-228 provides additional guidance. The PI must forward all operator or third-party-prepared analysis, including the information contained in subparagraph 11-228A, to the AFS-830 Environmental Specialist, with a copy to the RNGB Manager, for review and acceptance. For part 129, copy the AFS-54 manger only if assistance is needed and if there is a problem that cannot be resolved between AFS-800 environmental specialist and the responsible IFO.

D.    Outcome of the Environmental Review.

1)    Statement of CATEX. The AFS-830 Environmental Specialist will develop a CATEX statement for issuance by the AFS-830 manager. The CATEX will be emailed to the PI (parts 121 and 135), and copy the RNGB Manager associated with the PI, the RNGB Manager associated with the new airport to be included in the certificate, and the carrier if the email address is known. The PI will place the CATEX statement into the carrier’s file.
2)    Prepare an EA. If the environmental analysis shows the potential for significant environmental impacts, or if any of the extraordinary circumstances exist, then the AFS-830 Environmental Specialist will work with the PI and carrier to reduce impacts, or process the OpSpecs approval as either an EA or EIS as appropriate.

11-229    PROCESSING A CATEX FOR AEROBATIC PRACTICE AREAS (APA).

A.    Information Collected by the General Aviation Operations (GAOP) Aviation Safety Inspector (ASI) from the Applicant. The GA Ops ASI ensures that the applicant fills out an Environmental Information Document (EID) available from their local Flight Standards District Office (FSDO) or online at http://www.faa.gov/about/office_org/headquarters_offices/avs/offices/afs/afs800/programs/media/aerobatic_environmental.doc, and FAA Form 7711-2, Certificate of Waiver or Authorization Application. No matter what form (EID or FAA Form 7711-2), the GA Ops ASI must ensure that the applicant provides the following information:

1)    The name of the person who will be responsible for use of the APA and their contact information.
2)    A depiction of the location and lateral limits of the APA on an aerial photo (e.g., Google Earth), along with the vertical limits (specifically the lowest altitude that routines will be flown in the APA. Alternatively, latitude/longitude coordinates may be provided. In general, it is environmentally advisable to locate APAs over airports or away from any land where a quiet setting is an expected part of the land’s utilization (e.g., residences, schools, and some parks).
3)    Regulation(s) to be waived.
4)    Start date and end for the requested waivers.
5)    Expected days of the week and times during the day the APA will be used.
6)    How many times the APA will be activated per month.
Indicates new/changed information.
7)    How long (minutes/hours) will the APA be in use each time it is activated.
8)    A list of each type of aircraft (make/model) that will use the APA, either the International Aerobatic Club (IAC) routine that will be flown or a description of the type of aerobatic activity for each aircraft listed, and an average number of routines/other aerobatic activity per month.
9)    A description of what the land within and surrounding the APA is used for (e.g., airport property, cattle grazing, hay fields, residences, industrial park, etc.).
10)    Identify if the waiver request is new or a reapplication. If a reapplication, identify how long has it been in use. Also, specify if there are any changes being requested in this waiver request.
11)    Whether the applicant aware of any complaints raised regarding noise, air quality, wildlife, etc.
12)    Whether the applicant knows if the APA has ever been the center of any public forums (e.g. public hearings, city council meetings, etc.).

NOTE:  This information is then forwarded to the AFS-830 Environmental Specialist.

B.    Environmental Impact Analysis. Upon receipt of the necessary operational information, the AFS‑830 Environmental Specialist performs a noise, air quality, historic preservation and biological analysis and determines the potential for extraordinary circumstances. In determining what extraordinary circumstances might exist, use the guidance provided in Order 1050.1, Section 5-6.6. Use the additional guidance below with regard to Order 1050.1, Section 4-3.2 (Context and Intensity) and the Order 1050.1F Desk Reference (an impact on natural, ecological, or scenic resources, or local significance).

1)    Noise Analysis. The noise analysis will be done in accordance with the “Analysis of Aerobatic Aircraft Noise Using the FAA’s Integrated Noise Model” (September 2012) (otherwise known as the “Volpe Study”), FAA Memorandum “Approval of Aerobatic Practice Area (APA) Noise Equivalent Methodology” (October 7, 2012), and FAA Memorandum “Clarification of FAA Order 1050.1 CATEX for Aerobatic Actions” (January 10, 2013).
2)    Historical Analysis. The historic analysis will be conducted in accordance with Order 1050.1 and the National Historic Preservation Act, Section 106.
3)    Air Quality Analysis. The air quality analysis will be conducted in accordance with Order 1050.1 and the Order 1050.1F, Desk Reference.
Indicates new/changed information.
4)    Guidance for Order 1050.1, Section 5-6.6. A reasonable effort should be made to determine whether the approval of long term APA would be highly controversial on environmental grounds. Highly controversial means that a substantial number of persons or a governmental unit is against the action. Environmental grounds does not include safety or environmental reasons unrelated to the proposed APA. Awareness of controversy can come from knowledge of past community opposition to APA or a background of community opposition because of other issues at the airport. If this judgment cannot be made, consult as needed with the airport manager, or Airports Division/Airports District Office.
5)    Additional Guidance for Order 1050.1, Section 5-6.6. A reasonable attempt should be made to discover if there are any sensitive resources which would be affected by the timing of the event, for example if the timing of the short term APA coincides with noise sensitive community event, or mating season of a threatened or endangered species. The airport manager, or local Fish and Wildlife Service Office may be helpful in learning about noise sensitive resources.

C.    Outcome of the Environmental Review.

1)    Statement of CATEX. If the results of the environmental analysis show that there is no potential for significant environmental impacts and there are no extraordinary circumstances, then a CATEX can be applied to the waivers for the APA. The AFS-830 Environmental Specialist will develop a CATEX statement for issuance by the AFS-830 manager.
2)    Prepare an EA. If the environmental analysis shows the potential for significant environmental impacts or if any of the extraordinary circumstances exist, then the AFS-830 Environmental Specialist will work with the GA Ops ASI and applicant to reduce impacts, and to process either an EA or EIS as appropriate. See Volume 11, Chapter 6, Section 5 for processing an EA.

RESERVED. Paragraphs 11-230 through 11-235.