July 2001 (Updated January 2002)

Contents


Introduction

In May 2001, the Department of Transportation/Federal Aviation Administration issued a report to Congress on the environmental review of airport development projects. That report included six FAA initiatives to improve and streamline the environmental process to reduce unnecessary delays. Check out the complete Report to the U.S. Congress on Environmental Review of Airport Improvement Projects (PDF).

FAA Initiative #6 in the report is to compile and issue a guide to best practices for environmental impact statement (EIS) management and preparation. Skilled approaches to EIS technical analyses, procedures, and coordination can reduce problems and delays. "Best Practices" include management techniques, approaches, and actions that can make the environmental process more streamlined and efficient. This guide includes best practices that are within the purview of airport proprietors and EIS consultants, as well as FAA. It has been developed based on the experiences and suggestions of FAA environmental specialists and environmental attorneys, airport proprietors, consultants, aviation organizations, and environmental interests.

The FAA's goal is for this guide to be a useful, informal management tool that is regularly updated to include new and revised practices that prove beneficial. The guide uses topic headings in the interest of providing some organization to the presentation of practices. The topic headings should not be regarded as mutually exclusive. For example, timely scheduling and sequencing of EIS analyses are addressed under more than one topic. There are obvious interactions in practices among several topics.

Some of the practices in this guide are quite basic and in common use, while others are new and innovative. The guide is intended to be flexible. Each and every practice may not be adopted for every EIS. Sound professional judgment should be used in applying specific practices. The guide is not mandatory, and it is not a substitute for FAA environmental guidance in FAA Orders 1050 and 5050.