The Navy announced today that it will delay the expected release of a draft environmental impact statement (EIS) that examines five sites in Virginia and North Carolina for an outlying landing field (OLF) to support training for aircraft stationed at and transient to Naval Air Station (NAS) Oceana and Naval Station Norfolk.
The environmental planning which would lead to a decision to establish an OLF has been a challenging process. Various delays have pushed the OLF timeline to the point that it will now coincide with the commencement of the EIS process for homebasing of the F-35C Navy Joint Strike Fighter (JSF). As NAS Oceana is the East Coast master jet base and the home for the F/A-18 C/D aircraft, the Navy will likely consider whether it should be identified as a potential candidate site for the JSF.
Including JSF data in the OLF EIS will ensure the Navy incorporates all relevant factors in the analysis in a fiscally responsible manner. The National Environmental Policy Act process will inform the Navy and provide the public access to all information necessary to understand and comment upon the potential environmental effects of the proposed action.
The Navy has been exploring the development of an OLF since 2000 and will continue to work closely with the Congress, state and local officials, and the public to determine the best possible site. The Navy will continue to fully consider environmental impacts and remain transparent throughout the process.
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