According to Oak Ridge Today, the FAA provided a conditional approval for the proposed Oak Ridge Airport in February.
The conditions included in the February 22nd letter included the completion of a benefit cost analysis and an environmental assessment for the airport property.
In response to the conditional approval, the Metropolitan Knoxville Airport Authority’s board of directors approved a work authorization for CHA Consulting Inc. during a meeting last month to provide professional services for “qualifications development and agency scoping” for the design, environmental assessment, and benefit cost analysis for the proposed airport.
Officials said it is impossible to accurately predict how long each process will take because the benefit cost analysis and environmental assessment will involve review and comments by the FAA.
Officials have said that the U.S. Department of Energy has completed its own environmental assessment, so about 80 percent of that work is already done. DOE is involved because the airport would be built on about 170 acres of land that would be transferred for the airport at the Heritage Center, which is now a DOE site in west Oak Ridge.
If approved and funded, the airport would have a 5,000-foot runway, and it would be built on the south side of Heritage Center, the former K-25 site, along Highway 58.