Gnoss Field Runway Extension
Proposed Airport Runway Extension Reduced
FAA: 300 more feet rather than 1,100 is appropriate at Gnoss Field in Novato
San Rafael, CA – Changes in aviation activity have led to a reduction in a planned runway extension at Gnoss Field, the County of Marin’s general aviation airport in Novato.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) notified the Marin County Department of Public Works (DPW) that it is preparing a supplement to the June 2014 Final Environmental Impact Statement to address changes. A runway extension project, in the planning stages since 1989, was slated to change the runway’s length from 3,300 feet to 4,400 feet, but updated FAA studies indicate that only 300 more feet is necessary.In January 2015, the FAA requested that the County complete additional study prior to a final federal decision on the Gnoss Field Runway Extension Project’s Environmental Impact Statement[External]. The results of the additional study, summarized in what DPW calls a purpose and need working paper[PDF], showed that there were a reduced number of existing and forecasted takeoffs and landings from larger aircraft and other planes that require longer runways.
The project plans call for the runway extension, a 300-foot safety area at both ends of the runway, an extension of a levee and drainage ditch at the north end of the field, and new taxiway construction at both ends of the airport.
DPW is planning a public meeting on the subject at 6 p.m. June 2 in the Marin County Board of Supervisors chamber at the Marin County Civic Center in San Rafael. Notices were mailed May 2 to local residents and interested parties.
“This meeting will provide the public an opportunity to review and provide comment to the FAA on the updated studies and proposed changes to the runway extension length,” said County Supervisor Judy Arnold, who represents most of the Novato area. “I encourage those interested in the proposed project to come to the meeting and provide comments.”
After public input, the FAA will direct a supplement to the June 2014 Final Environmental Impact Statement.
Gnoss Field, located just north of downtown Novato on the eastern side of Highway 101, handles about 97,000 flight operations per year and is a popular destination for both business and pleasure pilots. The pilots using the airport most often fly small propeller-driven aircraft or small jets with wingspans less than 49 feet. The airport, managed and operated by County DPW, occupies 120 acres and is open 24 hours a day.