The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has given Mercer County the green light to move forward with the design and construction of a new passenger terminal at Trenton-Mercer Airport, County Executive Brian Hughes announced.
“This is great news for Trenton-Mercer Airport and the many thousands of travelers who pass through our passenger facility,” Hughes said in a release on March 22. “We appreciate the FAA’s diligence in its review of the Environmental Assessment for the proposed new airport terminal, and we’re pleased that we have the go-ahead to advance this important project.”
The agency issued the Finding of No Significant Impacts and Record of Decision (FONSI/ROD) for the Environmental Assessment (EA) for the proposed new passenger facility at the nearly century-old airport in Ewing Township, according to a release.
A FONSI documents the FAA determination that a proposed action does not have the potential for significant environmental impacts. A FONSI does not represent the FAA’s decision to implement the proposed action. A ROD is issued prior to a proposed action to explain why the FAA approved or did not approve it, according to the statement.
Mercer County proposes replacing the old terminal, which was built in the 1970s, with a modern four-aircraft-gate terminal to be located adjacent to the existing terminal. The purpose of a new terminal is to better accommodate current airport users and to meet forecasted demands to the year 2035.
A new terminal would address the needs of all aspects of airport functions such as baggage handling, Transportation Security Administration (TSA) checkpoint and baggage screening, airline operations, and improved customer comforts such as concessions, waiting areas and restrooms.
There is no plan or proposal for new or longer runways, and the airport size would remain exactly as it is today.
“The existing terminal at Trenton-Mercer Airport is about one-third the size it should be for the number of travelers currently using it,” Hughes added. “As we emerge from the coronavirus crisis, we expect an increasing demand for leisure travel, and nationwide and at Trenton-Mercer, we are seeing airlines adding new flights and reviving old ones.”
The EA process, governed by the FAA, included data collection, development and analysis of alternatives, identification and analysis of environmental impacts of the proposed terminal, and a public participation, according to the release.
The purpose of the EA is to evaluate the potential direct, indirect and cumulative impacts of the terminal project, and to look for ways to minimize or avoid potential environmental impacts.
The development of the proposed new terminal was arrived at by analyzing several terminal building alternatives along with a no-action alternative as they relate to environmental, social and economic impacts.
The FONSI/ROD notification will be made public along with copies of the EA. The posting of the notification and EA documents upon receipt by the FAA will be posted on the terminal project website, www.TTNTerminal.com.
According to the release, the FONSI/ROD notification will be advertised in local newspapers, and will be posted on social media and the Mercer County website, www.mercercounty.org.