FAA releases final decision on South-Central Florida Metroplex project

27 October 2020 (Last Updated October 27th, 2020 12:08)

The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has released the final decision on the proposed South-Central Florida Metroplex project, as well as its final environmental assessment (FEA).

FAA releases final decision on South-Central Florida Metroplex project
FAA’s South-Central Florida Metroplex project for satellite-based arrival and departure procedures is located in the southern half of the state. Credit: Matt5067.

The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has released the final decision on the proposed South-Central Florida Metroplex project, as well as its final environmental assessment (FEA).

The ‘Finding of No Significant Impact in its Record of Decision for the South-Central Florida Metroplex’ allows the agency to carry on with its plans for satellite-based arrival and departure procedures in the southern half of the state.

According to FAA, the proposed procedures will ‘ensure the safety of aircraft and the efficient use of airspace’.

The agency said it does not involve any physical development or modification of facilities, including protected resources.

It also noted that the project does not need a Clean Air Act conformity determination as it doesn’t involve the development of facilities.

The anticipated South-Central Florida Metroplex project is expected to modernise air traffic procedures at 21 airports in the region.

It includes Miami, Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood, Palm Beach, Orlando, Tampa and St Pete / Clearwater international airports, as well as 15 smaller airports.

FAA plans to roll out the new procedures in the middle of next year.

The agency noted that it conducted broad outreach to the public before issuing its final decision on the project.

This is said to have included 29 public workshops and two public comment periods during this year and the last.

FAA also assessed and responded to 3,239 comments in the FEA.

The final assessment was conducted by the agency in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA), which requires FAA to identify and publicly disclose the potential environmental impacts of the proposed procedures.

The documents released by the FAA is available on the Florida Metroplex Environmental website, as well as at 117 public libraries in the study area.

In May, FAA issued the draft environmental assessment (DEA) for the South-Central Florida Metroplex project for public review and comments.

It also announced airport safety and infrastructure grants worth $1.187bn to 439 US airports.