FAA extends public comment period for LGA AirTrain

Rendering of the proposed AirTrain to LaGuardia. (Photo courtesy of governor's office)

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) extended the public comment period on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for the LaGuardia Airport AirTrain for another 15 days.

The FAA announced the extension on Thursday, Oct. 1, a few days prior to the original end date that was set for Oct. 5. The new deadline is scheduled for Oct. 20 at 5 p.m. for a total of 60 days for public comment.

The extension is meant to give the public more time to provide input on the project.

The agency began the public comment period on the DEIS on Aug. 21, followed by three public hearings in September.

The hearings had a mix of opponents to the contested project as well as support from some business and labor representatives.

Lindsay Kryzak, director of media relations at the Port Authority, told QNS most of the opinions shared during the hearings were positive.

“During the public hearings last week on the AirTrain LGA over 80 [percent] of those voicing an opinion supported the project,” she said. “It’s gotten wide ranging support from labor, community leaders, environmental and business groups, and we welcome the additional time from the FAA to hear more support for this critical rail link to LaGuardia.”

The DEIS examines the potential environmental impacts of the proposed Access Improvement Project at LaGuardia Airport (LGA), an above-ground automated people mover from Willets Point to LGA terminals. The proposed project would include passenger stations at LaGuardia Airport that would connect with the Long Island Railroad and the New York City subway system.

The FAA is conducting the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the LGA AirTrain because the Port Authority plans to request funding for the AirTrain under the Passenger Facility Charge (PFC) program. The FAA’s EIS study is in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA), which requires the FAA to identify and publicly disclose the potential environmental impacts of the proposed project.

The full DEIS is posted on the FAA’s LGA AirTrain project website, which also gives people guidance on how they can comment for the record by U.S. Mail, email, and through a web comment form. Queens Public Library branches can download the document for residents who are not online.

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