Othello Airport Runway Relocation
Client: Port of Othello, Washington
Othello Airport Runway Relocation, 2006-2010
Port of Othello, Washington
The existing Othello Airport runway measures 3,560 feet, and at that length, is too short to meet the required take-off and landing standards for aircraft using the airport. A critical element in the Port of Othello’s recently updated Airport Master Plan calls for a 500-foot runway extension to the west and relocation to the immediate south. The existing runway would become a new parallel taxiway. Additionally, current and future Runway Protection Zones (RPZ), designated approach and departure areas continuing from each end of the runway, extend beyond Port property.
Containing the RPZ’s within Port property would provide areas at the runway’s east and west ends, free of structures and ideally without roads. This would meet Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) standards for enhanced protection of people and property surrounding airports.
In Othello, meeting these safety standards could result in the closure or relocation of Billington and Lemaster roads and acquisition of properties on the east, west and south ends of the future runway location. An alternative solution would shift the new runway further west to fit the eastern RPZ within Port property. This would eliminate the relocation of Billington Road and the need to acquire property at the airport’s east end.
The Port of Othello hired TLG to explore the cultural environmental impacts of relocating the runway. TLG located, contacted, scheduled and conducted personal interviews with the property owners directly impacted by the runway relocation. Through personal meetings with each property owner at the onset and constant communication throughout, these stakeholders developed a thorough understanding of the project. In all cases, property owners have family history and memories, farming operations, improvements they’ve made and a deep desire to remain on their properties; however, they were accepting of the project and its purpose. Property owner comments were reflected in the EA and TLG assisted in negotiations of the purchase of property owner homes and land.