Frequently Asked Questions

Why Prepare an Environmental Assessment (EA)?

An EA is a document that analyzes the expected environmental effects of a federal action. The federal action in this case is FAA approval of the privatization of the Airglades Airport and approval of a proposed Perishable Air Cargo Complex at the airport. The analysis is required by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). If a determination is made that no significant impact would occur, a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) is issued. However, if the environmental impacts are determined to be significant and the impacts cannot be mitigated, the FAA will then prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).

What is the structure of an EA? Back to Top

  • Purpose and Need: Identifies a problem or need for an action, the purpose of the action (that is, the proposed solution to the problem), and the proposed timeframe for implementing the action.
  • Alternatives Including the Proposed Action: This section evaluates the No-Action alternative, the proposed action, and reasonable alternatives.
  • Affected Environment: This section of an EA describes existing environmental conditions of the potentially affected geographic area(s) and describes only those environmental resources the proposed action and its reasonable alternatives, if any, are likely to affect.
  • Environmental Consequences: This section identifies and discusses the reasonably foreseeable environmental consequences of the proposed action and its alternatives. It also identifies any voluntary or required mitigation measures.
  • Appendices: Includes all supplemental technical information used to prepare the EA document.

How is the EA approved? Back to Top

After Hendry County prepares the Final EA, the FAA will independently evaluate and determine the adequacy of the Environment Assessment (EA). If the document meets the FAA’s guidance and fulfills the agency’s role under NEPA, the FAA will take responsibility for the Final EA document’s content. Upon acceptance of the Final document, the FAA will also issue its environmental determination in the form of a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI), or, make a determination that an EIS is required.

What is the FAA’s Airport Privatization Pilot Program? Back to Top

Congress established FAA’s Airport Privatization Pilot Program to explore privatization as a means of generating access to various sources of private capital for airport improvement and development. Private companies may own, manage, lease and develop public airports. The Act authorized FAA to permit up to 10 public airport sponsors to sell or lease an airport with certain restrictions and to exempt the sponsor from certain federal requirements that could otherwise make privatization impractical.  For further information, a link to the FAA’s APPP website can be accessed here.

Who is the Private Developer for the Proposed Perishable Air Cargo Complex?  Back to Top

The private developer selected by Hendry County is Airglades International Airport, LLC, also referred to as AIA.

The original group which elevated the concept for this project was Florida Cargo Fresh, Inc. (FCFI).  This organization was formed in early 2010 with an investor group comprised primarily of individuals associated with the South Florida agriculture industry. The growth in interest and scope of the project made FCFI realize that in order to fully realize its potential, other key business partners would be necessary in order to make this project a reality.  United States Sugar Corporation (USSC) and Hilliard Brothers of Florida (HBF), both agriculture-based businesses with decades of experience and success, separately created a new entity named SugarHill, expressly for the purpose of joining FCFI to form a new company to develop the Proposed Perishable Air Cargo Complex at Airglades Airport.  So, on February 14, 2012, FCFI joined with SugarHill to officially form the new company Airglades International Airport, LLC, (AIA).

Who will own and operate the Airport?  Back to Top

The private developer, AIA, will own and operate the Airport once the FAA has approved the Final Application for inclusion into the FAA’s Airport Privatization Pilot Program, along with other relevant approvals required such as the completion of the Environmental Assessment and the associated Federal Finding.

Will the existing Airglades Airport remain open to existing and future Airport users? Back to Top

Yes, the airport and its facilities will remain open to the public.