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Plymouth Airport Commission seeks Corps permit to impact wetlands to extend runway, make airport safety improvements

Published Nov. 26, 2013

CONCORD, Mass. – The Plymouth Airport Commission is seeking a permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District to conduct work in waters of the United States in conjunction with extending a runway and making safety improvements at the Plymouth Municipal Airport in Plymouth, Mass.


The Plymouth Airport Commission is proposing safety improvements at Plymouth Municipal Airport that involve extending Runway 15-33, constructing two stopways, constructing a new Runway Safety Area, extending the taxiway parallel to Runway 15-33, and removing obstructions (vegetation clearing). These activities will permanently fill 1.1 acres and convert 4.8 acres of forested wetland to scrub-shrub wetlands. Temporary placement of swamp mats in the conversion area also will occur.


The work is proposed in unnamed wetlands at 246 South Meadow Road in Plymouth. The existing airfield configuration consists of two intersecting runways: Runway 6-24 and 15-33. Expanding Runway 15-33 so all aircraft (not just small planes) can land and depart using the same runway will help reduce the frequency of near misses and the possibility of a catastrophic event that would occur if two planes were to collide. Approximately 75,000 square feet of pavement will be added for the runway and taxiway extension.


Two culverts will be placed beneath the runway and taxiway extension to maintain hydrology and connectivity within the wetland system. Stopways will be constructed to enhance safety for emergencies such as aborted takeoffs. Each of the stopways will be 300 feet long by 75 feet wide. With the extension of Runway 15-33, it will be necessary to construct a new Runway Safety Area (RSA). The intent of the RSA is to accommodate aircraft undershoots, overshoots, and runway excursions, to minimize the likelihood of personal injury or death, and to minimize property damage. The RSA will be 300 feet wide by 600 feet long.


The application for the federal permit was filed with the Corps in compliance with Section 404 of the Clean Water Act, which regulates the discharge or fill of material in U. S. waters, including wetlands. The public notice, with additional information, can be viewed on the Corps website at


Public comments on the proposed work by the Plymouth Airport Commission (file # NAE-2011-01840) should be forwarded no later than Dec. 26, 2013 to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District, Regulatory Division (ATTN: Richard Kristoff), 696 Virginia Road, Concord, MA 01742-2751. Additional information is available from Permit Project Manager Richard Kristoff at 978-318-8171 or by email to:

Tim Dugan

Release no. 2013-115