Air Force Delays KC-46A environmental public hearings

  • Published
  • By 021013
The Air Force announced today that public hearings for the KC-46 Draft Environmental Impact Statement will be rescheduled due to a delay in the mandatory publication of the Draft EIS Notice of Availability in the Federal Register resulting from the government shutdown.

By regulation, the Air Force cannot begin the public hearings, originally scheduled for Oct. 28 for Altus Air Force Base, Okla., and Oct. 30 for McConnell Air Force Base, Kans., until at least 15 days after the Environmental Protection Agency publishes the NOA in the Federal Register. With the furlough of EPA personnel due to the Oct. 1 government shutdown, the required NOA cannot be published in time to meet the Air Force's original public hearing schedule. The Air Force will announce new public hearing information as soon as it becomes available.

Until the government is reopened the Air Force anticipates a week-to-week slip in the public hearing portion of its EIS schedule.

The Draft EIS is currently available for review at Comments will be accepted during the government shutdown, and can be submitted electronically or by mail using the procedures outlined on the website. Once the government has reopened and EPA has published the NOA in the Federal Register, the official comment period will open and extend for 45 days from the date of publication.

Announced in May, Altus AFB is the preferred alternative for the KC-46A formal training unit, McConnell AFB is the preferred alternative for the first active-duty led KC-46A main operating base, and Fairchild AFB, Wash., and Grand Forks AFB, N.D., are the reasonable alternatives.

The KC-46A will provide improved capability, including boom and drogue refueling on the same sortie, worldwide navigation and communication, airlift capability on the entire main deck floor, receiver air refueling, improved force protection and survivability, and multi-point air refueling capability.

The formal training unit and the first main operating base are scheduled to begin receiving aircraft in fiscal year 2016.

For more information contact Ms. Jean Reynolds of the Air Force Civil Engineer Center NEPA Center at 210-395-8541.