The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is taking the next step toward replacement of the AirTrain at Newark Liberty International Airport with the publication of the Draft Environmental Assessment (Draft EA) of the project and commencement of a 30-day period of public review and comment.
The Draft EA, an integral part of the AirTrain Newark Replacement Program, is required by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The Draft EA evaluates the potential environmental impacts of the project across 17 impact categories (table 1). No significant, permanent impacts were found to the categories assessed. Of the 17 impact categories assessed, the Draft EA identifies three potential, temporary impacts during construction and recommends corresponding mitigation measures (also detailed in table 1).
The Draft EA and an overview presentation are available on the Port Authority’s website for public review and comment starting today, February 11, until March 12, 2021. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is the lead federal review agency. The FAA will issue its findings on the final EA following the review and incorporation of public comments.
The new AirTrain Newark will be a 2.5-mile elevated guideway train system and is a critical component of the modernization of Newark Liberty. It will replace the existing AirTrain, which opened in 1996 and is increasingly vulnerable to more frequent breakdowns and delays.
In addition, the new system will be designed to maximize customer convenience with seamless connections to other forms of transportation and provide modern wayfinding, digital tools and amenities in AirTrain stations and in vehicles. It will connect to the new 1 million square foot terminal replacing the existing Terminal A, as well as the new consolidated rental car facility.
In January 2019, Governor Phil Murphy called on the Port Authority to act quickly to fund a new AirTrain system that would meet the world-class standards of the airport’s new terminal and the needs of the region’s travelers at Newark Liberty. In October 2019 the Port Authority Board, as part of the reassessment of the agency’s 2017-2026 Capital Plan, approved new project funding for a new AirTrain Newark.
AirTrain Newark is crucial to the airport’s operation. In 2019, the line carried an average of 33,000 passengers per day, or approximately 12 million passengers per year. It provides access to the Northeast Corridor Rail Link Station and assists customers and employees transferring between air terminals, parking lots and rental car facilities.
-via Press Release