Airport wins Environmental Achievement Award


St Augustine – St Johns County Airport Authority Chairman, Carl Youman, announced to Historic City News reporters that the Airports Council International for North America has awarded our local airport the “2012 Environmental Achievement Award” for excellence and innovation in environmental mitigation.

The Mitigation Award went to Northeast Florida Regional Airport in St Augustine for their Runway Safety Area Stabilization and Salt Water Marsh-Spoil Island Mitigation project.

“This award is presented each year to an airport in North America that demonstrates the environmental benefit of their project, innovative approach, effective implementation, applicability and cost effectiveness,” Youman told reporters.

“When it came time for the Northeast Florida Regional Airport to shore up their runway safety area from the effects of erosion, they planned an innovative way to mitigate a former salt-water marsh at the same time,” an Airports Council International spokesperson said. In presenting the award, the Council praised efforts in balancing the needs of the airport with adjacent environmentally sensitive coastal marsh area.

“They used native flora and fauna to create a living shoreline including a live oyster bed on the edge of the stabilized Runway Safety Area,” said Executive Director Edward R Wuellner. “The project was completed on time and under-budget, and is a great example of how airports can improve the environment and their facilities to better serve their communities at the same time.”

“This project was a total team effort, spear-headed by Airport staff, supported by so many innovative and diligent members of the planning, permitting and mitigation teams,” noted Andrew Holesko, Vice President of Passero Associates who led the consulting team. “The airport and its partners returned an offshore scrub island back to its natural saltwater marsh habitat and reused over 95 percent of all materials in the stabilization project.”

St Augustine – St Johns County Airport Authority members are elected by the citizens of St Johns County. They serve without remuneration. The Airport Authority is chartered by the Florida Legislature for the purpose of operating and developing the Northeast Florida Regional Airport on behalf of the citizens of St Johns County.