Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

FAA Sticks with Lambert Options

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

FAA Sticks with Lambert Options

Article excerpt

Despite protests from St. Charles County Executive Joe Ortwerth, the Federal Aviation Administration would not broaden its study of options for expanding Lambert Field, an FAA official said Tuesday.

Ortwerth said in a letter Monday that he would oppose any recommendation made by the FAA if an environmental study did not include "two viable proposals" that have been offered as options to the westward runway into Bridgeton, known as W1-W.

The options are a runway on Lambert-owned property northeast of the terminal, called the NE-1A plan, and a modified S-1 plan for a runway south of Interstate 70.

Mike Faltermeier, an official in the FAA regional office in Kansas City, said flatly on Tuesday that an extensive study had been made of 30 proposals "and we came down to three options - to do nothing or recommend either W1-W or S-1," thus eliminating a study of the two other options proposed by Ortwerth.

The modified S-1 plan was proposed by the Airline Pilots Association. One effect of the modification would be a reduction in the number of houses and businesses that would be eliminated by the original S-1 proposal.

The proposal for a new runway northeast of the terminal had the backing of the Air Traffic Controllers Association.

Ortwerth's letter to John Turner, regional administrator for the FAA, said, "I was very disappointed to see that neither of these alternatives is included in the alternatives analysis being conducted by the FAA. Instead, you have chosen to include the original S-1 plan, which while commendable in many respects, would require significant environmental intrusion and residential and commercial displacement."

Ortwerth continued, "It seems very curious that you would include review of a plan which is highly problematic and would face extensive practical obstacles, rather than an improved version of this plan which negates many of these impediments."

He warned that if the FAA confines its environmental study to the westward and the original southern proposals, "its conclusions will not be taken seriously by any objective observer. …

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