In Other News: Runway Extension at Anchorage Base to Relieve Regional Airspace Congestion; Homebuilders’ Suit Seeks to Halt Transfer of Concord Naval Weapons Station; Air Force on Cusp of Eliminating Maintainer Shortage

In Other News: Runway Extension at Anchorage Base to Relieve Regional Airspace Congestion; Homebuilders’ Suit Seeks to Halt Transfer of Concord Naval Weapons Station; Air Force on Cusp of Eliminating Maintainer Shortage

The Air Force has received Pentagon approval to extend the north-south runway at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson (JBER) by 2,500 feet for a project designed to reduce airspace congestion for military and civilian flights in Anchorage as well as diminish noise levels in a neighborhood adjacent to the airfield. “If we can contribute to air traffic safety in our shared aviation community between JBER, Ted Stevens, Lake Hood and Merrill airfields, I’m all for it,” Col. Robert Davis, commander of JBER’s 3rd Wing, said last week. The $150 million project is expected to save DOD up to $28 million annually in fuel costs by allowing pilots to take more direct routes to and from range areas, reported Anchorage Daily News. … A group of local homebuilders has filed a lawsuit challenging the Navy’s environmental review needed to authorize the redevelopment of the former Concord Naval Weapons Station, a $6.3 billion project that could result in the construction of 12,272 new homes and 6.1 million square feet of commercial space in California’s East Bay. The lawsuit, which seeks to stop the Navy from transferring the weapons station property to the city of Concord, claims the Navy’s environmental study violated the National Environmental Policy Act in failing to adequately measure issues such as traffic and air quality impacts. The suit could slow down the Navy’s transfer of property — which ultimately will be conveyed to the city’s master developer, Lennar Corp. — but planning will continue for the project, Guy Bjerke, Concord’s director of reuse planning, told the Mercury News. … The Air Force is on track to eliminate a shortage of aircraft maintainers that once stood at 4,000 personnel. The shortfall, which has dropped to 400 airmen, should be eliminated by the end of the year, Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein told Air Force Magazine. The maintainer workforce still lacks the proper mix of experienced maintainers. Overall, however, “we’re getting to zero,” Goldfein said. “So that’s good.”

 

Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Haley Stevens

Dan Cohen
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