FAQ

 

Frequently Asked Questions:

1. What is the required environmental process for the proposed Airport Master Plan Project?

The proposed Airport Master Plan is considered a “project” under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) (Public Resources Code §§21000-21189) and the CEQA Guidelines (California Code of Regulations, Title 14, Division 6, Chapter 3, §§15000-15387). Based on the findings of the Initial Study for the proposed project, an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) has been prepared to analyze and consider its potential environmental impacts. The Monterey Peninsula Airport District (Airport District) is the Lead Agency for the proposed project for purposes of CEQA and is responsible for the preparation of the EIR. See EIR Documents tab for links to the Draft and Final EIR.

2. How does this EIR relate to other past, as well as ongoing, environmental studies at the Airport?

All past, present, and reasonably foreseeable future projects occurring at the Airport (within an approximate five-year time period prior to, and after, the preparation of the EIR) have been considered as part of the EIR’s cumulative impact analysis.

Although there is no federal approval action required for consideration and approval of the proposed Airport Master Plan project, some of the possible individual future development projects at the Airport recommended in the proposed Airport Master Plan would require separate federal approval; therefore, these projects are also subject to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969 (Title 42 United States Code §§4321 et seq.), various federal and state special purpose laws, and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) oversight and approval. See question 8, below for additional information.

3. Why is there a Proposed Project and an environmentally superior alternative?

The terms “proposed project” and “environmentally superior” alternative are required under CEQA to evaluate environmental impacts of the Proposed Airport Master Plan (Proposed Project) and a range of reasonable alternatives to the Proposed Project.  Put simply, an EIR must describe a range of reasonable alternatives to the Proposed Project which would feasibly attain most of the objectives of the project but would avoid or substantially lessen any of the significant effects of the project. The EIR must also identify an environmentally superior alternative among the alternatives.  In addition, the CEQA Guidelines require that a “no project” alternative be evaluated as part of the EIR alternatives analysis, and, if the environmentally superior alternative is the no project alternative, the EIR must also identify an environmentally superior alternative among the other alternatives.

The Proposed Project is the recommended development plan for the next 20 years associated with the Proposed Master Plan. The Proposed Project is based on the Airport’s objectives to enhance Airport safety, prepare for future aviation demand, incorporate Airport sustainability goals and increase Airport self-sufficiency.  It includes both short-term and long-term (programmatic) project components, recommended by the many stakeholders involved in the Master Plan PAC (Planning Advisory Committee). The Proposed Project would result in several potentially significant and unavoidable impacts.

As a result of the analysis in the Draft EIR, Alternative 1 has been identified as the environmentally superior alternative to the Proposed Project.  Alternative 1 retains all the major project components of the Proposed Project.  However, several components have been redesigned to reduce the environmental impacts identified for the Proposed Project.  Detailed environmental analysis is contained in Chapter Four of the EIR and compared quantitatively to the environmental impacts of the Proposed Project in a commensurate level of detail.  Alternative 1 meets all four project objectives.

While Alternative 1 would not reduce every potentially significant impact to a less than significant level, it would reduce several of the potentially significant and unavoidable impacts of the Proposed Project.  It would also reduce the amount of mitigation needed for several of the Proposed Project’s biological impacts.

4. Who is funding and preparing the Draft EIR?

The Draft EIR is funded by the Airport District and is managed by the Airport District’s planning staff. The Airport District is supported by a team of airport environmental planners, technical resource specialists and experts, engineers, and public outreach consultants to provide the technical expertise needed to prepare the Draft EIR and related environmental analysis. This consultant team was chosen using an FAA-approved selection process.

5. How long will the EIR environmental process take for the proposed Airport Master Plan Project?

A public scoping process for the EIR was initiated in late 2015, and a scoping meeting for the Draft EIR was held in February 2016. Preparation of the Draft EIR for the proposed Airport Master Plan was initiated in July 2016. Extensive field work and technical analysis occurred beginning in the fall of 2016 and throughout 2017. The Draft EIR was available for public review and comment from September 17, 2018 through November 9, 2018. The Airport District Board of Directors certified the Final EIR, the Mitigation Monitoring and Reporting Program, and related CEQA Findings and Statement of Overriding Considerations for the Monterey Regional Airport Master Plan on November 26, 2018. They then approved Alternative 1 as the Monterey Regional Airport Master Plan. The Airport Master Plan will provide a development framework to implement improvements that will enable the Airport to accommodate future demand for air travel in the region, enhance airport safety, incorporate airport sustainability goals, and increase airport self-sustainability.

6. What is the approval process for the proposed Airport Master Plan?

Prior to consideration of the proposed Airport Master Plan project, the Board will review and consider the environmental analysis provided in the EIR, any comments received and responses provided, any related documents and technical analysis provided, and related information and analysis. Based on its review of the entire record, the Board will then determine whether to certify the EIR and adopt the proposed Airport Master Plan project. The Airport District Board of Directors certified the Final EIR, the Mitigation Monitoring and Reporting Program, and related CEQA Findings and Statement of Overriding Considerations for the Monterey Regional Airport Master Plan on November 26, 2018. They then approved Alternative 1 as the Monterey Regional Airport Master Plan. The Airport Master Plan will provide a development framework to implement improvements that will enable the Airport to accommodate future demand for air travel in the region, enhance airport safety, incorporate airport sustainability goals, and increase airport self-sustainability.

7. How can I get more information about the proposed Airport Master Plan?

Information can be accessed on the Airport District’s website Planning and Development page and then click on the “DRAFT MONTEREY REGIONAL AIRPORT MASTER PLAN” link.

8. How does the proposed Airport Master Plan Project relate to the Proposed Airport Safety Enhancement Project for Taxiway “A” Relocation & Associated Building Relocations?

One of the projects recommended for approval in the proposed Airport Master Plan is the proposed Airport Safety Enhancement Project for Taxiway “A” Relocation & Associated Building Relocations. Although the proposed Master Plan Project does not require formal approval from FAA, the proposed safety enhancement project does require FAA approval before the District can apply for and receive funding for the proposed project. Therefore, compliance with CEQA and NEPA is required.  The District recently received a federal grant for preparation of an Environmental Assessment (EA) under NEPA for this proposed project. FAA is the Lead Agency for the EA and the study is currently underway. Additional information relating to this proposed project and the NEPA analysis can be found on the Airport District’s website Planning and Development page and click on the “ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT (EA) FOR THE PROPOSED AIRPORT SAFETY ENHANCEMENT PROJECT FOR TAXIWAY “A” RELOCATION & ASSOCIATED BUILDING RELOCATION” link.

9. How will this project benefit the local community or the region?

The Airport provides thousands of jobs and revenues, both directly and indirectly, into the Monterey region. As an economic engine for the region, the Airport District is dedicated to maintaining and enhancing the Airport. To maintain the vibrancy of the Airport, the Airport District must look to the future and carefully consider potential future development while balancing the needs of the traveling public with local environmental sensitivities.

The proposed project is a 20-year planning document that would continue to make the Airport a safe and user-friendly place by which to gain access to the region. The proposed plan would also incorporate additional sustainability features, allowing the Airport to be more water and energy efficient.

Additional information on the economic benefits of the Airport and its future growth can be found here.

10. What is Vision 2035?

The tag line “Vision 2035” has been developed to capture the Airport’s commitment to the future viability and sustainability of the Airport and assist the community and stakeholders envision our exciting blueprint for progress based on the draft AMP including the proposed safety enhancement components.

11. How can the public get involved in this EIR process and how can I get more information?

The EIR process is a public process designed to not only provide information and analysis to federal, state, and local agencies, stakeholders, and other interested parties about the potential environmental impacts associated with the proposed Airport Master Plan, but to also provide all interested parties with the opportunity to offer input and comment on the proposed project and related environmental analysis. This helps ensure that the Airport District, in its role as the Lead Agency for the proposed project, is able to consider all input prior to its consideration of the Draft EIR and possible approval of the proposed Airport Master Plan.

The Public Outreach link on this website has been created so that interested parties can:

• Obtain public meeting information;
• Obtain proposed project updates; and
• Sign up for email updates from the District.

In addition to the public scoping process that was initiated in late 2015 and included a public review, comment period, and scoping meeting, a Public Meeting on the Draft EIR was held on Tuesday, October 9, 2018 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. The Draft EIR SCH# 2015121105 was available for public review and comment from September 17, 2018 through November 9, 2018. See also the EIR Documents tab to view the Final EIR, including the responses to all comments received during the Draft EIR public comment period.

If you would like to sign up for project e-mail updates, please contact the Monterey Peninsula Airport District (MPAD) at: 831-648-7000 (ext. 208) or planning@montereyairport.com and request that you be added to the e-mail list for proposed Master Plan project updates.

Updated 11/28/18