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June 27, 2012

FAA Approves SSA Alternatives Development and Evaluation Report

PEOTONE – On June 27, 2012, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) informed the Illinois Department of Transportation, Division of Aeronautics, that it had accepted the Alternatives Development and Evaluation Report for the South Suburban Airport’s Master Plan.

The Alternatives Report is a crucial component of the South Suburban Airport Master Plan. It takes the information developed in each of the previous reports and determines the best overall location and configuration for the Inaugural airfield. The Alternatives Report also will serve as an essential resource for the FAA during the preparation of its Tier 2 Environmental Impact Statement.

Six alternatives were developed based on previous alternative identification efforts, stakeholder input and suggestions from the FAA and other state and federal resource agencies. These six alternatives were then evaluated against numerous criteria, including environmental impacts, operational efficiency, safety and security, social and community disruption, and cost effectiveness.

The resulting preferred airfield alternative provides the best overall combination of operational efficiency and future expansion potential while minimizing the impacts to environmental and cultural resources. The report details the location and configuration of the aviation facilities outlined in the FAA-accepted Facility Requirements Report, namely a 9,500-foot-long commercial runway, parallel taxiway, four-gate passenger terminal, cargo area, general aviation/corporate area, airport traffic control tower, and other aviation support facilities.

“I’m proud of the great progress we’ve made on the SSA Master Plan, and we’re working harder than ever to make sure SSA keeps up the momentum,” says Director Susan R. Shea, Ph.D. “FAA acceptance of the SSA Alternatives Report takes us one step closer to providing the region with an economic engine that will create jobs, needed infrastructure and numerous development opportunities.”

This is the latest in a growing number of reports that the FAA has accepted for inclusion in SSA’s Master Plan. Last year, the FAA approved SSA’s Aviation Forecasts and accepted the Existing Conditions Report and Facility Requirements Report. IDOT-Aeronautics continues to work with the FAA to promptly complete the Airport Master Plan.

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