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CHAPTER 4 Airport Planning and Development Airport planning and development is essential for the success of an airport. It provides the foundation for growth of an airport by creating a plan not only for the development but also for the process used to implement the planned projects. A number of federal requirements govern various development projects, as well as the planning and development process. This chapter will address the planning and development process and the various tools, techniques, and requirements associated with implementing this essential part of the airport management process. Planning Planning provides a framework to establish a baseline of existing land uses and to forecast future growth. A number of planning processes, at various levels, can assist with the development of an effective and efficient aviation system: National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems; State aviation system plans Regional aviation system plans; Airport master plans and airport layout plans; Design standards; Project justifications; Compatible land use plans; and Airport zoning ordinances, including land use and height limitations. National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems In the mid-1940s, when the aviation industry was in its infancy, the federal government and avi- ation industry recognized that a national approach to managing the emerging aviation system was necessary. More than 60 years later, this need to plan for the aviation system from a national per- spective is still taking place through the NPIAS. The most recent version of the NPIAS addresses the future of the system, from 2007 to 2011. This plan was developed in accordance with 49 USC 47103. Primary Principles of the NPIAS First issued in 1946, the NPIAS provides guidance to the national aviation system, which has evolved to be guided today by the following nine primary principles: Airports should be safe and efficient, located at optimum sites, and developed and maintained to appropriate standards. 46

OCR for page 46
Airport Planning and Development 47 Airports should be affordable to both users and government, relying primarily on user fees and placing minimal burden on the general revenues of the local, state, and federal governments. Airports should be flexible and expandable, able to meet increased demand and to accommo- date new aircraft types. Airports should be permanent, with assurances that they will remain open for aeronautical use over the long term. Airports should be compatible with surrounding communities, maintaining a balance between the needs of aviation and the requirements of residents in neighboring areas. Airports should be developed in concert with improvements to the air traffic control system. The airport system should support national objectives for defense, emergency readiness, and postal delivery. The airport system should be extensive, providing as many people as possible with conven- ient access to air transportation, typically by ensuring that most travelers will have no more than 20 miles to travel to the nearest NPIAS airport. The airport system should help air transportation contribute to a productive national econ- omy and international competitiveness. In addition to these guiding principles, the national aviation system is also under the requirement associated with Executive Order 12893, which states that investment in federal infrastructure systems must be cost beneficial. The national priority system, as outlined by the NPIAS through the afore- mentioned principles, guides the general distribution of funds, with flexibility provided if there is additional analysis and justification. Airports within the NPIAS The plan identifies 3,431 airports that are of significance to the national air transportation sys- tem. As of July 2006, the FAA reported that there were 5,261 airports open for public use within the United States. Of these 5,261 airports, 3,431 (65%) are identified as part of the NPIAS. These NPIAS airports comprise 3,364 existing airports and 67 proposed airports. Of the existing airports, 3,251 are publicly owned while 113 are privately owned. A brief summary of existing NPIAS air- ports by FAA classification is as follows: 382 primary airports, 135 commercial service airports, 274 reliever airports, and 2,573 general aviation airports. NonNPIAS Airports There are 918 airports open for public use but not included within the NPIAS. These airfields are not included because they do not meet the minimum criteria: At least 10 based aircraft, At least 20 miles from another NPIAS airport, and Adequate opportunities for expansion or improvements at the site. According to the 20072011 NPIAS, public-use airports not included in the NPIAS have an aver- age of one based aircraft, compared to an average of 33 based aircraft at general aviation airports included in the NPIAS. NPIAS Funding Inclusion in the NPIAS establishes an airport's eligibility to receive grants under the FAA AIP, as well as identifies its role in the national system. According to the 20072011 NPIAS, over the next five years there will be an estimated $41.2 billion in AIP-eligible infrastructure development spread over the various segments of the national aviation system.