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48 Guidebook for Managing Small Airports NPIAS System Performance Factors Developers of the NPIAS recognized that periodic assessment of the plan's effectiveness was necessary. Six key factors have been established to assess system performance: Capacity, Safety, Environment, Pavement condition, Surface accessibility, and Financial performance. Each of these factors is relevant to the overall quality of the national aviation system and the pro- vision of air transportation. Combined, these factors provide a good indication of the system per- formance as a whole. These factors can also be used to assess the performance of each individual airport and to guide development. Priorities for project development can be set by using the six factors. For example, in recent years, improvements to the system that address increases in capac- ity and that improve safety have been a focus. State Aviation System Plans As a complement to the NPIAS, each state has developed a state aviation system plan that pro- vides guidance for an individual state's needs for a viable aviation system. The individual state plans assess the interaction of airports within the state's geographic boundary while evaluating the avia- tion needs, economic benefits, population requirements, and surface transportation needs of the local area and the state as a whole. FAA AC 150/5070-7, Airport System Planning Process, contains guidance for the development of a state aviation system plan report (8). It provides a summary of the various data that should be evaluated as well as identifies the steps used in the planning process and the general deliverables that should result from the work. The state airport system planning process should be consistent with state or regional goals that involve examining the relationship between airports and aviation user requirements. Once these relationships are established, the airport system planning process should result in the identifica- tion, preservation, and enhancement of both current and future aviation demand. This AC pro- vides a detailed outline for developing an acceptable airport system plan. In many instances, state system plans include both NPIAS and nonNPIAS airports in which the nonNPIAS airports represent those airports acknowledged by their state aviation agencies as being of local or regional significance. These state plans include about 5,000 airports, which is approximately 33% more than the number contained in the NPIAS. Regional Aviation System Plans In some instances, there may be significant concentrations of airports within a specific geo- graphic area that may warrant the development of a regional aviation system plan. A regional plan utilizes the same general principles addressed in the state system planning process but within the small context of the geographic region. For example, in a large metropolitan area, there may be a commercial service airport and several small general aviation airports providing services to meet the demands for aviation activity. It would be important to assess the capacity, infrastructure needs, and use patterns of each of these airports as they relate to the entire area instead of assessing only their individual needs, because they likely provide services that complement the other airports. Evaluating these types of relationships is important, especially in areas where airports are in proximity to one another, when airports may be offering similar services, or when airports may be