JBER releases Air Installations Compatible Use Zones study results

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Emily Farnsworth
  • JBER Public Affairs

Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, publicly released the results of an Air Installations Compatible Use Zones (AICUZ) study in November 2019.

The AICUZ program focuses on people, safety, and protection in the context of compatible land use through an analysis of the effects of military operational noise, aircraft accident potential, and land use development on the community.

“The AICUZ program is run across the entire Air Force to support local community members while helping preserve defense missions-both flying missions and training on the ranges-through compatible land use,” said April Gray, Air Force Civil Engineer Center AICUZ program manager. “Over the course of an AICUZ study we get to know both flight operations and operations on the ranges to determine what is compatible with the local land both on and off base.” 

The Air Force Civil Engineer Center ran the study which was initiated to track the changes by the merger of Elmendorf Air Force Base and Fort Richardson in 2010.

The study was unique and historic, being the first time since joint basing that both ground and aircraft noise from Bryant Army Airfield and JBER ranges and training areas were accounted for.

The program provides recommended land-use compatibility tables for noise zones and accident potential zones as a planning tool for local agencies. 

The Air Force Civil Engineer Center sees the study as a tool for reaching out to local communities to make recommendations on how to zone their lands. 

“AICUZ is an important tool for the installation for communicating to all of the entities who border us on how they can do some land use planning around some of the activities we do on JBER,” said U.S. Air Force Col. Michael Staples, 673d Civil Engineer Group commander.

JBER leadership said publicly releasing the study is important for the community to understand the base is aware of the its impact in the area.  

“It’s just about opening up the curtain so to speak on how we fly and the considerations in those flying operations have for the local community,” said U.S. Air Force Col. Shawn Serfass, the 3rd Wing vice commander.  “We want people to understand what we do and the overall impact. It’s about ensuring we have a good dialogue between JBER and the people impacted in the local community. We want them to be able to see we’re trying to be good stewards and working to minimize the impact while being effective in our homeland defense mission. We’re working with our local partners to accomplish this goal.” 

The installation hosted an open house to allow the public to ask questions about AICUZ, and members of the community said they were glad for this opportunity. 

“I appreciate how the base had an open house so that we can come and find out about the study and ask questions from experts on the subject,” said Carol Wong, an Anchorage resident.

Base leadership attended the event to promote transparency between the base and local community. 

“We want to be available to the public to hear any issues they might have,” said U.S. Air Force Col. Patricia Csànk, Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson and 673d Air Base Wing commander. “We want to do our part to protect the health, safety and welfare of the community.”

The full study can be found at: https://www.jber.jb.mil/Home/AICUZ/

For more information on the Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson 2019 AICUZ Study, contact the JBER Public Affairs Office at 907-552-8151 or email jber.pa@us.af.mil.