Newark Liberty Airtrain obtains FAA’s environmental approval

The proposed AirTrain replacement project at Newark Liberty International Airport in the US has obtained a final environmental assessment (EA) from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey runs the airport.

After reviewing 17 areas of assessment, the FAA issued a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) / Record of Decision (ROD) following the completion of a 30-day public comment period and acted as the lead federal review agency.

The Final EA comprises public and written remarks compiled during the public comment period.

This development marks a milestone towards the replacement of the AirTrain that aims to minimise greenhouse gas emissions, reduce traffic congestion, and offer a better transit option for air travellers.

After carrying out a comprehensive environmental review, the FAA last month issued a ROD for the planned LaGuardia AirTrain.

With the new service set to commence in 2026, the construction work for the $2.05bn Newark Liberty project is expected to start in mid-2022.

The new 4.02km-long AirTrain Newark will be an elevated guideway train system, which will replace the existing outdated AirTrain.

The current AirTrain, which is said to experience frequent breakdowns and delays, opened in 1996 and was extended in 2001.

Port Authority chairman Kevin O’Toole said: “The current AirTrain Newark has outlived its usefulness. 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.”

The new train system will provide seamless connections to other forms of transportation to improve the customer travel experience.

AirTrain stations will feature modern wayfinding, digital tools, and other amenities.

The train system will be linked with the airport’s new terminal, as well as a Consolidated-Rent-a-Car Centre (ConRAC).

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