NEWPORT — Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has been in contact with the airport regarding a license and permit allowing FEMA to use designated premises of the airport in the event of a presidential emergency declaration, Newport City Manager Spencer Nebel told the city council on Feb. 3. The matter was reviewed by the airport advisory committee on Dec. 10 which recommended council authorize the memorandum of agreement.
Areas available to FEMA, Nebel explained, include the crosswind runway, which is runway 20.
“The agreement would allow for ground-vehicle access to runway 20 staging area, a taxiway adjacent to the US Coast Guard parking lot, and approximately 25 acres of unimproved grassy area for overflow staging areas including empty trailer parking, responders’ support camp, manufactured temporary housing units,” he said.
Nebel told council, “Over the years FEMA has gone from having zero interest in the airport to having a much higher level of interest in the airport which is, I think, good. We’ve been pushing these sorts of issues with them. I’m pleased that they’re now incorporating this property in a response to a major natural disaster-type situation.”
Council authorized the city manager to execute a memorandum of agreement with FEMA allowing the Newport municipal airport to be used as a staging area and response site in the event of a presidential emergency declaration.