Airport Runway Project Summary
The Plymouth Airport Commission (PAC) is pleased to present the proposed Airport runway project as recommended by the Plymouth Airport Advisory Group (PAAG) and approved by the Airport Commission.
The PAC, with the help of the Plymouth and Carver Boards of Selectmen created the PAAG that comprised of an 18 member panel consisting of Plymouth and Carver residents, one Selectman from both Plymouth and Carver, airport users and two airport commissioners. The PAAG met eight times over a seven month period and worked to find a consensus that met the neighbors and airport users needs. The PAAG worked long and hard to produce the best recommendations possible and the Plymouth Airport Commission has embraced those recommendations with the approval of the Airport Master Plan which includes the Airport Layout Plan (ALP) of which this runway project is the major component.
The main components of the ALP are:
The main, east/west runway 6/24, with a current usable length of 4,350 feet remains unchanged. At the northeast end of the runway a 300 foot safety overrun area, known as a stopway, shall be added. This added stopway/safety area is to be used for emergency overruns only and may not be used for takeoffs or landings.
The crosswind, north/south runway 15/33, with a current usable length of 3,350 feet will be increased to equal 6/24 at 4,350 feet. At the north end of the runway, an additional 300 foot safety overrun area (stopway) shall be added. This added stopway/safety area is to be used for emergency overruns only, and may not be used for takeoffs or landings.
This balances both runways to 4,350 feet of usable runway with 300 foot paved safety stopways. This is the most appropriate approach based upon important safety and noise abatement issues.
Balancing the runway length eliminates the need to use two runways at the same time. For example, currently when the wind is out of the north or south, the smaller aircraft would be using runway 15/33 due to the wind, however, the Jets have to use runway 6/24 because of the length. In turn we would be using two runways at the same time. At a non- towered airport like Plymouth, the use of two runways at the same time is not an optimum situation as it can, and has, led to air traffic conflicts. With balanced runway lengths, the runway in use, as determined by the wind direction, would be available for all aircraft and eliminate the need to use two runways at the same time. Further, the 300 foot paved stopways would add an additional level of safety allowing more room to stop in the case of an emergency. It is important to note that these stopways are not used for normal operations such as takeoffs and landings, but only in the case of an emergency stop.
A major component of the proposed ALP also allows the jet aircraft to use either runway rather than focusing all of the jets onto the longer east/west runway 6/24. This will reduce the number of jet flights over the highest concentration of residents. The consensus was clear that this would be a more reasonable and fair means of dealing with aircraft noise and activity.
This project has many phases and we are still in the early stages of the environmental permitting process. It is anticipated that this project will take approximately 2-4 years to complete.