PURPOSE OF NOTICE: The Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) seeks public comment on the state’s response to the environmental aspects of a proposed vertiport in Blackstone, Virginia.
PUBLIC COMMENT PERIOD: October 25, 2023 to November 24, 2023
TYPE OF RESPONSE: DEQ is conducting an environmental review of a proposed vertiport as a component of the Town of Blackstone’s application for a Vertiport License submitted to the Virginia Department of Aviation (DOAV).
PROJECT DESCRIPTION: The Town of Blackstone, operator of the Allen C. Perkinson Municipal Airport in conjunction with the Department of Military Affairs, requests that the DOAV approves its application for a Vertiport License. The Allen C. Perkinson Municipal Airport is a joint-use facility that is comprised of approximately 700 acres, 26 of which are controlled by the Town. The Town’s portion houses the general aviation terminal building, multiple hangar facilities, a fuel farm and an aircraft parking apron, while the military’s portion houses the control tower, runway, taxiway system, and aircraft hangars. The purpose of this project is to identify a designated takeoff and landing area for the vertical takeoff and landing vehicles already operating at the field. The Vertiport License, as applied for by the Town, would authorize a specific area on the airfield to be solely dedicated for the takeoff and landing of drones and electric vertical take-off and landing vehicles (ETVOLs) on the airfield. The proposed site is located on a portion of the airfield controlled by the military but immediately adjacent to the 26 acres operated by the Town. The proposed Vertiport will be located on a 50’ by 50’ section of existing abandoned taxiway that will be painted or “marked” in a manner consistent with Engineering Brief 105, the Federal Aviation Administration’s recommended guidelines on Vertiports. The proposed action will allow the airport to identify a designated takeoff and landing area for the drones and ETVOLs already operating at the field and could potentially serve as an economic stimulant to the region.
HOW A DECISION IS MADE: The DEQ Office of Environmental Impact Review coordinates the Commonwealth's response to the environmental information submitted for licensing actions. DEQ distributes the documents to appropriate state agencies, planning districts and localities for their review and comment. Upon consideration of all comments, DEQ prepares a single state response to DOAV, which must consider the environmental review conducted by DEQ prior to approving the airport’s Vertiport License.
HOW TO COMMENT: DEQ accepts comments from the public by hand-delivery, email or postal mail. The public is invited to comment in any of three ways:
1. Oral comments will be recorded by a certified court reporter during a Joint Public Hearing.
2. Written comments may be submitted anytime during the Hearing.
3. Written comments may be mailed, emailed or hand delivered to DEQ at the following address:
Office of Environmental Impact Review
Department of Environmental Quality
1111 E. Main Street, 14th Floor
Richmond, VA 23219
All written comments will be forwarded to the DOAV. All comments must include the name, address and telephone number of the person commenting and be received by DEQ within the comment period. Before including your address, phone number, email address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, be advised that your entire comment–including your personal identifying information–may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold from public review your personal identifying information, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.
A copy of the environmental information is available at the following locations:
· Allen C. Perkinson Municipal Airport, 291 Dominy Corner Road, Blackstone, VA 23824
· Department of Environmental Quality, 1111 E. Main Street, 14th Floor, Richmond, VA 23219
PUBLIC HEARING: A Joint Public Hearing will be hosted by DEQ in conjunction with the DOAV for the purposes of compliance with State licensing requirements (Section 5.1-7 of the Code of Virginia). Anyone desiring to be heard in support of, or in opposition to, this proposed action may attend and have their comments considered by DEQ and DOAV.
The Joint Public Hearing will be held as follows:
Date: November 14, 2023
Time: Public Hearing will begin at 6 p.m.
Location: Allen C. Perkinson Municipal Airport
291 Dominy Corner Road
Blackstone, VA 23824
CONTACT FOR PUBLIC COMMENTS, DOCUMENT REQUESTS, AND ADDITIONAL
INFORMATION: Megan Black, DEQ Central Office, Office of Environmental Impact Review, 804-698-4099 or Megan.Black@deq.virginia.gov.