Delegation Calls on FAA to Extend Comment Period for Philadelphia Airport Expansion

Wilmington, DE – Delaware’s Congressional Delegation today called on the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Association (FAA) to extend the mandatory public comment period relating to the proposed runway expansion at the Philadelphia International Airport. In a letter to FAA Administrator Marion Blakey, Senators Joe Biden and Tom Carper and Congressman Mike Castle argued that because of the importance of this issue to the surrounding community and the potential impact on their quality of life, a more extensive comment period is warranted. If granted, the current deadline of December 1, 2004, would be extended into the next calendar year. The text of the letter follows: “We are writing on behalf of the Philadelphia Airport Air Traffic and Quality of Life Issues Action Group to request that the public comment period for the Federal Aviation Administration’s Philadelphia International Airport Runway 17-35 Extension Project Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) be extended into the next calendar year. The expansion of the Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) is an extremely important issue to our constituents. For this reason, the Action Group believes that more time should be given for the public to be able to review and comment on this proposal. We are aware that the proposed PHL improvements, including the Runway 17-35 Project and the Capacity Enhancement Program, have been chosen as one of 13 transportation projects by the U.S. Secretary of Transportation (the Secretary) as high priority projects for expedited environmental review (environmental streamlining) under Executive Order 13274, “Environmental Stewardship and Transportation Infrastructure Project Review”; however, we believe the potential negative impact on the quality of life in the communities surrounding PHL warrants additional time for review and comment on the proposed project. Our community, through Delaware’s Action Group, has asked to be given additional time to review this document and we urge you to grant this request.”