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BOARD OF PORT COMMISSIONERS CERTIFIES OAKLAND INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT’S EIR AND APPROVES EXPANSION PLANS

BOARD OF PORT COMMISSIONERS CERTIFIES OAKLAND INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT’S EIR AND APPROVES EXPANSION PLANS

Press Releases
June 29th, 1999

Oakland, CA, June 29, 1999 -- The Port of Oakland Board of Port Commissioners certified Oakland International Airport’s Final Environmental Impact Report (EIR), including the Supplement to the EIR, and approved the airport’s expansion program at today’s Board Meeting.

"Our decision was made after very careful consideration of all the facts and comments made by elected officials and the public during this process," said John Loh, president of the Board of Port Commissioners. "We looked at every development alternative possible, listened to public opinion on the pros and cons of the Airport Development Program elements and weighed our options before reaching our decision. We feel we can now move forward with building an air transportation center that meets the needs of our traveling and shipping public."

The Port of Oakland will now proceed with the planning and design aspects of the Airport Development Program, a group of 18 projects to accommodate anticipated growth in passenger and cargo volume into the next century.

Among the projects proposed in the ADP are a consolidated two-level terminal building with a common entrance, ticketing area, baggage claim facilities and central concessions court; a double-decked roadway to separate arriving and departing traffic; 12 new aircraft gates; a 6,000-space parking garage; and a new six-lane parkway from I-880 at 98th Ave. into the Airport, extending into Alameda’s Bay Farm Island.

The project will create 400 construction jobs and when completed, will generate an additional 3,800 permanent jobs at the Airport.

The Final EIR was originally released on December 2, 1997 and was certified by the Board of Port Commissioners on December 16, 1997. Several lawsuits were filed immediately after the EIR’s certification, and on February 2, 1999, an Alameda County Superior Court Judge issued a Judgment and Peremptory Writ of Mandate directing the Port of Oakland to add further environmental analysis to two areas in the Final EIR.

A Draft Supplement to the Final EIR was issued on March 15, 1999, containing additional analysis for (1) alternatives to the build/no build scenarios and (2) the cumulative impacts of past, present and probable future projects, including the construction of a new runway, the extension of Runway 11/29 and the construction of a high-speed exit taxiway. Public comments were received and were responded to in the Final Supplement to the EIR that was released on June 2, 1999. Public comments were heard at the June 15 Board Meeting.

"While we anticipate the legal process continuing, we will press ahead with some elements of our program, including the hiring of consultants, negotiating with the Master Architect, and designing the new buildings and infrastructure," said Mr. Loh. "Our airline tenants are anxious for the construction to begin since expanded facilities will help our tenants remain competitive in the marketplace, and the improvements will make the airport more convenient, a feature demanded by our traveling and shipping customers."

The complete Final EIR is available for review at local public libraries. Other information about the airport and its expansion program is available on the airport’s website at www.oaklandairport.com.

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