In accordance with Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) guidelines, the Boca Raton Airport Authority (BRAA) completed an Operational Needs Assessment and Runway Safety Area (RSA) Study in 2012. The objective of the study was to assess alternatives to enhance the RSAs at both ends of the runway.
RSAs are clear areas established to enhance safety in the event of an aircraft undershoot, overrun, or excursion from the side of the runway. The standard RSA extends from 240 feet to 1,000 feet beyond each runway end and is between 120 feet and 500 feet wide, depending on the type of instrument approach procedures and size and type of aircraft served by the runway.
An Engineered Materials Arresting System (EMAS) uses materials of closely controlled strength and density placed at the end of a runway to stop or greatly slow an aircraft that overruns the runway. The best material found to date is a lightweight, crushable concrete. When an aircraft rolls into an EMAS arrestor bed the tires of the aircraft sink into the lightweight concrete and the aircraft is decelerated by having to roll through the material. This safety measure saves lives, property and minimizes damage to aircraft, the Airport and areas beyond the Airport.
Due to Airport property constraints beyond both runway ends including Spanish River Blvd and the Utility Services Complex located on the south side of the Airport, it was determined that the installation of EMAS is the only practicable alternative to enhance the Runway Safety Areas at the Airport.
The Airport Authority received grants from the FAA to design EMAS beds at both ends of the runway. A portion of the project costs are provided by the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) and the BRAA. The portion of funds provided by the Authority come from revenues generated by land leases and fuel flowage fees. No local, county, or state property or sales taxes fund airport operations or improvement projects, such as the EMAS.
The total project cost is $12 million and is funded using a combination of grants provided by the FAA and FDOT, which are allocating 90% and 5% respectively toward the project, while the remaining 5% is funded by the Airport Authority with funds generated by land leases and fuel flowage fees. No local, county, or state property or sales taxes fund airport operations or improvement projects, such as the EMAS.
Construction of the EMAS for the departure end of Runway 23 is scheduled for completion in the Fall of 2017.
EMAS construction takes place overnight in order to minimize impact to airport operations. The most up to date closure information is available on the Airport’s website and through the FAA’s Notices to Airmen (NOTAMs).
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