There are a few things that are front and center for Easton Airport Manager Micah Risher these days. The first is starting the long-awaited design phase to relocate and expand the airport’s primary runway over the next five to seven years. This major upgrade, which has been planned for almost twenty years, will be one of the most significant and largest infrastructure projects ever on the Eastern Shore, adding some 1,900 feet in total surface area to the strip, the destruction and reuse of the old Black & Decker plant, and the upgrading of the airport’s physical plant and technology.
And the second priority, perhaps having just as much history as the main runway extension plan, is the very sensitive issue of noise abatement as aircraft traffic continues to grow for this jet-friendly airport. And while it should be noted that the noted increase in executive jet use of EAS is rarely the culprit of this form of sound pollution (given their modern engines and long flight paths), the fact remains that the airport is seeing noticeable growth in the smaller aircraft that do sometimes require higher decibel take-offs and landings.
In both cases, Micah has some important points to share with the Mid-Shore community. Yesterday, he sat down with the Spy to talk in more detail about the runway project and its important safety goals for what is one of the region’s most important economic drivers. In fact, using a independent consulting firm in 2018, it was determined that the airport had close to a $50 million a year impact of our local economy.
Risher also talks frankly about the noise rebatement concerns for which he and his family have “skin in the game” being a homeowner in one the nearly neighborhoods affected by sound issues. Over the last few years, Micah has doubled-down on that particular challenge with a number of programs, including changing flight paths and creating the airport’s Good Neighbor Program to mitigate as much as possible aircraft engine noise.
This video is approximately eight minutes in length. For more information about the Easton Airport please go here.