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Airport Planning and Development 49 providing very specialized aviation activities. Developing a regional aviation system plan allows for the assessment of the individual needs of each facility and then measures these needs compared to the needs of the greater regional system. Alternatives for development are often created using these regional goals, and recommendations are developed based on the resulting assessment. Airport Master Plans and Airport Layout Plans Airport master plans and airport layout plans (ALPs) are a companion set of documents essen- tial to the development of an airport. These two documents combine to provide the foundation from which an airport sponsor can make decisions about the future growth and development of an airport. The master plan document is the narrative piece of the planning process that docu- ments the process, alternatives, and recommendations. The ALP is the drawing set that graphi- cally depicts the recommendations of the planning process. Purpose of an Airport Master Plan and ALP Airport master plans and ALPs are long-range plans that detail the growth and development of the airport. These plans are typically based on a 20-year planning time frame and should be reviewed and updated every five to 10 years. The contents of an airport master plan are governed by FAA AC 150/5070-6B, Airport Master Plans, which can be found on the FAA website ( The contents of individual airport master plans are often used as the basis for the development of state aviation system plans, discussed in the previous subsection. The process of developing an airport master plan and the resulting ALP provides airports with the opportunity to assess exist- ing facilities and evaluate future development options. Essentially, the master plan is the airport owner's or sponsor's strategy for developing the airport. While airport master plans and ALPs are developed to address future needs, they should also consider the costs associated with the implementation of the plans. Additionally, consideration must be given to the environmental and socioeconomic impacts that may result from or be caused by the proposed actions. Efforts to avoid, minimize, or mitigate potential impacts to sensitive resources should be considered as part of the planning process. As outlined in the FAA AC 150/5070-6B, Airport Master Plans (9), a master plan and the plan- ning process should meet nine objectives: Document the issues that the proposed development will address; Justify the proposed development through the technical, economic, and environmental inves- tigation of concepts and alternatives; Provide an effective graphic presentation of the development of the airport and anticipated land uses in the vicinity of the airport; Establish a realistic schedule for the implementation of the development proposed in the plan, particularly the short-term capital improvement program; Propose an achievable financial plan to support the implementation schedule; Provide sufficient project definition and detail for subsequent environmental evaluations that may be required before the project is approved; Present a plan that adequately addresses the issues and satisfies local, state, and federal regulations; Document policies and future aeronautical demand to support municipal or local delibera- tion on spending, debt, land use controls, and other policies necessary to preserve the integrity of the airport and its surroundings; and Set the stage and establish the framework for a continuing planning process. Such a process should monitor key conditions and permit changes in plan recommendations as required.

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50 Guidebook for Managing Small Airports Importance of Airport Master Plans and ALPs Master plans and ALPs provide local decision makers with information to guide growth and development of an airport and should be used as a resource for the development of other com- munity planning documents, such as local comprehensive plans. An airport master plan and the associated ALP should be provided to the local land use decision makers when they are evaluat- ing projects in proximity to an airport in order to maintain compatible land uses for ultimate air- port development. These plans are a guide in the continued development of an airport. While predominantly used by those with an interest in aviation, such as airport owners, state aviation agencies, and the FAA, an airport master plan and the associated ALP drawing set can be a useful document for municipal officials, planners, and the general public. The planning process can afford not only the airport and those interested in aviation issues, but also those within the local community, an opportunity to work together to assess the future needs of the airport and the local community. Airports included in the NPIAS are required to have an ALP on file with the FAA. This file allows the FAA to evaluate airspace concerns within the vicin- ity of the airport, utilizing the FAR Part 77 surface criteria and the Terminal Instrument Procedures (TERPS) criteria. While an airport's master plan and ALP are reviewed by the FAA, only the fore- cast of demand and the ALP are actually approved by the FAA. Some states require airports to meet very specific requirements in order to receive state funding of their planned projects. Additionally, at the local level, it is essential that the local community's comprehensive planning process consider its local or neighboring airport(s). If a local planning document does not provide a foundation to support decision making regarding the development of compatible land use in the vicinity of a local airport, it is unlikely that an effective planning process can be accomplished. Airport sponsors should become involved early in the planning process to share the airport needs and future development plans with the local municipality. This involvement should focus on edu- cating the local municipality regarding the value the airport brings to the community as well as the need to preserve its operational areas. Airport sponsors or directors can become involved in the planning process in several ways: Have representation on the planning advisory or steering committee; Provide comments during the public comment portion of the process; Provide comments to other representatives of the advisory/steering committee to present airport-related concerns and issues; and Share airport master plans/airport layout plans with the local municipality to inform it of air- port development. Airport-related representatives should become engaged in the general planning process on a regular basis, not just during comprehensive planning exercises, to ensure adequate representa- tion of airport interests. Development of an Airport Master Plan and ALP Both an airport master plan and an ALP contain a specific set of information that guides the growth and development on an airport. Each of the documents and its associated components are described below in a general manner to outline the basic elements of each. It is recommended that prior to beginning a planning project, a considerable amount of time and effort be spent on devel- oping a project scope of work that will clearly define the goals, objectives, and specific work elements of each of the documents. An airport master plan is a comprehensive study of an airport or system of airports with short-, medium-, and long-term development plans to meet future airport demand. It is designed to put forward recommendations for the safe, efficient, and economic development of an airport to meet the demands of the community it serves. The process should focus on preparing a thoughtful, well-

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Airport Planning and Development 51 coordinated, and practical plan that includes a realistic assessment of needs and resources. The end product should be a cost-effective plan of action for an airport or system of airports consistent with established goals and objectives. The importance of the planning process can be summarized by "plan first, program second." That is, allow the results of the planning analysis to determine the facility requirements and needs based on FAA-approved forecasts, then develop appropriate alternatives for airport development prior to selecting a preferred alternative to present in the ALP drawings. A phased planning approach to project development should be utilized for complex programs. In most instances, it is suggested that a more "outside of the box" thinking process be used to create a work program spe- cific to the project, supporting a justified need and cost-effective alternatives to meet those needs. To begin the process, it is recommended that a complete understanding of available informa- tion and the issues to be addressed be compiled before a scoping meeting is held. Once these ini- tial data are available, a planning meeting can be conducted to discuss realistic expectations with all the involved parties and determine which tasks should be included in the statement of work, based on the issues and needs at a specific airport. An important part of the planning process is community involvement, which should be planned for and accommodated throughout the entire planning effort. Community involvement from the initiation of a planning study is critical for its successful completion. A technical advisory commit- tee should be established that is composed of representatives from airport users as well as the local community. Metropolitan planning organization (MPO) and state aviation agency inclusion is crucial on these committees. Committee meetings should be held regularly during the study, dur- ing which updates on planning tasks can be provided and input from the members can be sought. Bringing potential adversaries in early during the planning process to educate them on airport basics can be an effective technique for addressing potential opposition and may help with buy-in later. Using the Internet and developing a project web page to disseminate information about the planning process is recommended. A typical planning process includes individual elements that provide a fairly linear method of assessing the facility and its needs to meet the goals for development. For example, the following elements provide the basic guide for building an airport master plan, and these elements are mod- ified for each study depending on what the primary emphasis may be for a specific airport: Inventory of existing conditions and facilities, Forecasts of aviation demand, Operations, Number and/or type of based aircraft, Number of enplanements, where appropriate, Facility requirements, Alternatives for development, Recommended development, Environmental overview, 21 categories as outlined by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), Financial feasibility, Cost estimates for development, Rates and fees for airport services, Airport layout plan, Cover page, Airport data sheet, Airport layout sheets, Aerial and topographic features sheet,