On September 28, 2018, the Navy announced the release of the Final Environmental Impact Statement for EA-18G Growler Operations at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island and identified Alternative 2A as the preferred alternative. The ultimate decision will be made and announced in a Record of Decision no earlier than 30 days following the public release.

The Navy has released the Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) analyzing EA-18G Growler operations at Naval Air Station (NAS) Whidbey Island and Outlying Landing Field (OLF) Coupeville. It contains updated information since the release of the Draft EIS in November 2016 and identifies Alternative 2A as the preferred alternative.

Alternative 2A was announced as the preferred alternative on June 25, 2018. The announcement was made to provide the public transparency regarding the most updated information on the Navy’s current position with respect to the proposed action. No decision has yet been made. The ultimate decision with respect to force structure and Field Carrier Landing Practice (FCLP) distribution will be made by the Secretary of the Navy or his representative and announced in a Record of Decision no earlier than 30 days following today’s public release of the Final EIS.

Alternative 2A establishes two new expeditionary squadrons and adds two aircraft to each squadron that operates off aircraft carriers. This alternative adds 36 aircraft home based at NAS Whidbey Island, increases the airfield operations at both Ault Field and OLF Coupeville, and changes the distribution of FCLP between the two airfields. This preferred alternative provides the best, most realistic training for Navy pilots and takes into consideration the noise impacts to all surrounding communities.

The Navy announced a delay in the release of the Final EIS in September 2017 in order to analyze new information—specifically, a planned reduction in the number of pilots per squadron and the successful testing of Precision Landing Mode (PLM), formerly known as MAGIC CARPET. The reduction in pilots per squadron and the implementation of PLM will result in a 30-percent reduction in the FCLP requirement from that analyzed in the Draft EIS. This has a beneficial effect of reducing the overall environmental impacts. The Final EIS has been updated with a new noise analysis that reflects the reduction in airfield operations as well as a corresponding reduction in personnel and family members.

Public input was an important factor in the preparation of the Final EIS. The Navy considered 4,335 public comments received on the Draft EIS. The Final EIS has been updated with new and clarifying information to improve the accuracy and thoroughness of the analysis because of the public comments received on the Draft EIS.

  • Please click here to read the Navy’s press release for the Notice of Availability (NOA) of the Final EIS.
  • Please click here to read the NOA of the Final EIS as published in the Federal Register on September 28, 2018.
  • Please click here to read the newspaper notice for the NOA of the Final EIS as published in local newspapers beginning September 28, 2018.
Please go to the Current EIS Documents page to download a copy of the Final EIS.


Past announcements can be viewed on this website by selecting the “Public Involvement” tab above or by clicking here.


The Navy has prepared a Draft and Final EIS for EA-18G Growler airfield operations at the NAS Whidbey Island complex, Washington. The EIS evaluates the potential environmental effects associated with an addition of up to 36 aircraft to NAS Whidbey Island. The purpose of the Proposed Action is to improve the Navy’s electronic attack capability and to provide the most effective force structure and tactical airborne electronic attack capabilities. Once completed, the EIS will meet the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) as well as all applicable state environmental regulations.

The Navy is committed to engaging the community throughout the EIS process. This website provides information about the EIS process, including previously completed NEPA studies and efforts for NAS Whidbey Island; project background; EIS project schedule; and opportunities for public involvement. Updates to this website will be made throughout the EIS process to keep you informed about the project.

Please use the buttons at the top of the webpage to navigate through the site and learn more about the proposed project and how you can participate.

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