The US Federal Aviation Administration has issued a Final Environmental Assessment (EA) for the proposed AirTrain replacement at Newark Liberty International Airport, which the airport operator says will keep the project on track and sustain the city’s Port Authority in its ambition to expand the AirTrain system across all of its airports.
The FAA issued a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI)/Record of Decision (ROD), based on a review of 17 areas of assessment. The port authority says the finding will help it build momentum toward a state-of-the-art mass rail transit system that should reduce greenhouse gas emissions and traffic congestion and provide a safer, more accessible ride for air travelers.
Construction on the US$2.05bn Newark Liberty project is scheduled to begin in mid-2022, with completion by 2026 and will consist of a 2.5-mile elevated guideway train system, replacing the existing but outmoded AirTrain, which opened in 1996 and was extended in 2001 which has been plagued by breakdowns and delays.
“The current AirTrain Newark has outlived its usefulness,” said Port Authority chairman Kevin O’Toole. “Its replacement will create a new rail system that offers a 21st-century customer experience for airport visitors and employees, as we continue to reimagine and redevelop Newark Liberty Airport.”
To accommodate future passenger growth at Newark Liberty, the Port Authority has also embarked on several planned transformational capital projects, including a new US$2.7bn Terminal A and a state-of-the-art Consolidated-Rent-a-Car Center (ConRAC), which will accommodate numerous rental car agencies at one convenient location at the south end of the airport.