OLF Coupeville, was commissioned for use by the US Navy in 1943 to support practice approaches/landings and emergency landings. It currently supports day and night Field Carrier Landing Practice (FCLP) operations by the US Navy's EA-18G Growler.
1. Number of aircraft assigned per squadron;
2. Number of expeditionary squadrons;
3. Number of personnel; and
4. Distribution of aircraft operations at Ault Field and OLF Coupeville.
Under Alternative 2A, Ault Field will support four times the number of total aircraft operations when compared to OLF Coupeville – specifically 88,000 total operations would occur at Ault Field, with 24,100 at OLF Coupeville; 23,700 of those operations at OLF Coupeville would be FCLP flown by EA-18G Growlers. Since airfield operations are defined as either a takeoff or landing, under this scenario about 12,000 FCLP passes would occur annually at OLF Coupeville.
No final decision has been made. The decision will not be final until a Record of Decision is announced by the Secretary of the Navy or his designee who may choose the preferred alternative or may choose another operational scenario. After a Record of Decision is announced and if the decision represents a significant change or projected change in aircraft operations or flight paths, the Navy will conduct an Air Installation Compatibility Use Zone (AICUZ) study to provide official recommendations for land-use. The AICUZ study is part of the AICUZ Program which is a tool to promote compatible development near aircraft operations and to safeguard operational capabilities. Additionally, the program seeks to reduce noise impacts and engage the public in promoting compatible development. The AICUZ study is an
advisory document that the Navy encourages local jurisdictions to utilize in their land use regulations. Island County will
consider the AICUZ recommendations in their land use regulatory discussions in accordance with the following tentative timeline. More information about the AICUZ program can be found at the following link:https://www.cnic.navy.mil/regions/cnrnw/installations/nas_whidbey_island/om/environmental_support.html
The DOD provides APZs as a planning tool to assist local governments with land use planning and future community development. While the possibilities of an aircraft mishap are remote, the AICUZ Program recommends that land uses that promote high concentrations of people be avoided in the APZs. APZs are spatial planning areas that come with compatible land use recommendations, it is up to the local government to choose to restrict land use in the APZ.
Within any jurisdiction, only the local government has authority to regulate land use and, therefore, is responsible for adopting and implementing the appropriate control measures that pertain to zoning ordinances, general plans, and building codes. Partnership and coordination with the Navy ensures that incompatible land uses are minimized within noise zones and APZs.
The land use compatibility analysis section of an AICUZ study examines existing land uses within the AICUZ footprint and determines the level of compatibility with military air operations. Existing land uses are identified through data acquired from local or state governments and supplemented with aerial photography interpretation and ground verification. Long range plans for development within the AICUZ footprint are reviewed, as are local zoning ordinances and zoning maps to determine compatibility of current and future land uses, density, and intensity of development (e.g. building heights, dwelling units per acre, floor-to-area ratios). The AICUZ study will include maps and descriptions of compatibility concerns as well as recommendations for compatible land use.
Last Updated: 10/25/18
In an effort to assist local government in communities which house military air installations, the Department of Defense provides information related to flight paths and tracks. Within those flight paths, the military maps areas that are considered Accident Potential Zones (APZ). An APZ is an area with a higher potential for aircraft mishaps. Once an APZ is mapped, the municipal government can use this information to inform and update their land use standards.
Throughout the 1970’s and 1980’s, in an attempt to understand risk associated with military air operations, the Department of Defense conducted a study of historical flight data. Using the analysis of this data, specific flight tracks and standards for Accident Potential Zones were developed. Today, the Air Installations Compatible Use Zones Program Study (AICUZ) is an internal study used by the military to update and communicate the potential impacts based on a current or proposed use.