Sun, Apr 23, 2023 • Westchester Airport
Working To Prevent Airport Expansion: Million Air Update
PEPA is dedicated to a single mission – protecting the environment and quality of life in this unique community. Preventing expansion at the airport is a chief concern.
Current Initiative: Preventing Expansion of Million Air/FBO facilities
Million Air, a luxury Fixed Based Operator (FBO*) that already operates a private hangar at the airport, has submitted a “Draft Environmental Assessment (DEA) Million Air Redevelopment / Development project at the Westchester County Airport (HPN)” to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and seeks to circumvent a full environmental review of their plan to build a second hangar.
In response, Westchester County has issued a public comment period through May 3, 2023 and PEPA reacted accordingly.
PEPA prepared responses and a comment letter for submission to the lead agency and the FAA. A synopsis is provided below. You also can read a summary of the letter and/or the full set of comments (that includes voluminous appendices).
The letter prepared by PEPA asserts the following arguments in opposition to the DEA:
*The Phase II DEA Review Is Premature because the County has refused to give Million Air permission to proceed with the Phase II construction of the 78,344 square foot hangar and associated improvements.
*The Project Will Result In Significant Environmental Harm By Increasing Flight Activity and an explanation of why Million Air's allegation that “more hangar space will reduce flights” is disingenuous.
*The DEA Fails To Properly Address Fire Suppression – the DEA fails to consider the increased demand on fire suppression resulting from the Phase II project. The DEA simply states that Westchester Joint Water Works will supply water for fire suppression in the new hangars (DEA, p. 40), but fails to mention that a lack of water pressure required the installation of a larger water main and larger pumps to serve the project site.
*Ground Water Impacts - The DEA next fails to consider impacts on surface and groundwater from disturbance to a known brownfield site. HPN is the subject of a NYSDEC consent order to PFOA and PFOS contamination identified in groundwater at the airport. Test wells and surface sampling have shown that PFAS contamination is present at the Project site. The DEA makes no mention of this contamination and fails to describe any measures that will be taken to evaluate present contamination or prevent further contamination of surface and ground water during the proposed construction and associated soil disturbance during Phase II of the Project.
*The HPN Master Plan Update Has Not Been Considered
*Review Under SEQRA Is Required
Are you concerned about the Million Air DEA, and airport expansion, and want to get involved? Act Now!
1. Email your own comments (of any length) regarding the Million Air’s DEA and development of a second hangar. Learn more about submitting comments here.
2. Give a contribution of any amount to our campaign that focuses on discouraging development at the airport and expansion of Million Air/FBO facilities.
3. Attend a meeting of the Airport Advisory Board on the second Wed. of each month at 7:00 pm – in person at the Airport Manager’s conference room, 2nd floor of the Terminal – free parking. For virtual access go to meetings.westchestergov.com – only when the meeting is live will the link appear. Then, click on it on that first page, or click through to Calendar and find the “AAB meeting” in the schedule. The video link is all the way to the right but will only be there after the meeting has started.
CURRENT INITIATIVES & FAQ
What is an FBO?
The term “FBO” refers to a Fixed Base Operator. This is an airport business which handles private or “general aviation” (non-commercial), aircraft passengers and services. Usually, it is a stand-alone passenger terminal like you will find at the luxury Million Air White Plains at HPN.
Why should we be concerned about private aviation?
A trend toward more (and larger) private jets is a real concern at Westchester County Airport, where General Aviation already made up 85% of total operations. Unlike the commercial airlines, there are no restrictions on the number and frequency of these flights beyond the physical capacity of the airport, which has multiple General Aviation facilities outside of the main terminal
Is PEPA currently involved in other airport initiatives to curb expansion?
Yes, visit our website here to learn about how we are actively working to Stop WJWW from Destructive Building in the Protected Watershed on Airport Property. Please sign our petition to prevent this ill-conceived project if you haven't already had a chance to do so.
How can I help sustain and grow the PEPA Air Noise Campaign to demonstrate air noise is a problem experienced by a broad base of Purchase residents?
Since the start of the PEPA Air Noise Campaign in October 2019. PEPA has consistently documented that Purchase registers the most noise disturbances in Westchester County as reported in the County’s Noise Monitoring Report.
Register a complaint when disturbed by aircraft noise with the Noise Abatement Office at the Airport. Filing even one complaint per month from a single household helps make the case. If you prefer to file by phone, you can leave a voice message at the Noise Abatement Office’s Complaint Hotline at (914) 939-8484.
Explore filing complaints with Airnoise.io - an independent website that allows you to register complaints directly to the HPN Noise Abatement Office from your cell phone or laptop. No purchase is necessary, and you no longer need a button It's a simple three-step process and takes just a couple minutes to register.
Order an Airnoise button. While PEPA is no longer able to process orders for buttons you can easily order directly from Airnoise.io . The company will set you up and allow you to instantly submit an aircraft noise complaint to the Westchester County Airport Noise Office by the click of your Airnoise button.
PEPA - KEY LINKS
Petition to Protect the Watershed
Email Anne Gold, Executive Director