CHATHAM — As part of a $1.2 billion federal airport safety and infrastructure grant program, the Federal Aviation Administration is sending a $347,000 check to the Chatham Municipal Airport. The funds will be used to conduct an airport-related environmental study.
The environmental assessment is designed to find environmental impacts that might result from the implementation of parts of the airport master plan. It will study all aspects of the plan, including capital projects that are 20 years in the future, Airport Commission Chairman Peter Donovan said.
Specifically, the study will “evaluate any potential environmental impacts related to easement acquisitions, obstruction removal, administration building construction, hangar-building construction, and fuel facility construction,” according to the grant award notice from the office of U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren.
The environmental assessment will help flesh out some of the more controversial parts of the airport master plan, including the revision of airport approaches. The airport commission and the FAA are in the process of evaluating several alternatives for improving the safety of aircraft landing at the Chatham Airport, particularly during low visibility.
“This will help everyone understand what the environmental impacts are,” Donovan said.
Most of the FAA funds came from the Non-Primary Entitlement program, which regularly helps general aviation airports with capital and maintenance costs. This grant also included $34,700 from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act.