Airport master plans are comprehensive studies of an airport that analyze needs over a 20 year period. Master plans vary in complexity and scope, based on the size, function, issues and challenges of an individual airport. Primarily intended for use by an airport sponsor, its staff, consultants, the FAA, and state aviation officials, master plans are also beneficial planning documents for board members, municipal officials, community planners, and the general public.
Goals of Airport Master Plans
An airport master plan identifies the short, medium, and long-term development goals of an airport. Master plans identify alternatives for improvements in order to address future aviation demand. Master plans establish a timeline and financial schedule for these improvements. Master plans may address specific development needs of an individual airport and focus on the identification of preferred alternatives. According to the FAA Advisory Circular (AC) 150/5070-6B, Airport Master Plans, these studies should:
Document the issues that the proposed development actions will address.
Justify the proposed development actions
Provide a graphic presentation of the proposed development
Establish a realistic schedule for the implementation of the proposed developments
Propose an achievable financial plan for the proposed developments.
Provide detail for subsequent environmental evaluations
Present a plan that adequately addresses local, state and federal regulations.
Document policies and future aeronautical demand
Establish the framework for a continuing planning process including key conditions and permit changes as required.
Master plans may also meet additional objectives specific to the development needs of an individual airport.
The Airport Master Planning Process
The airport master planning process is comprised of a series of fundamental elements and work processes. Each element is typically identified as a defined task in the study effort and may be presented as an individual chapter in the master plan report. The following summarizes the key tasks for each master planning process element:
Throughout the master planning process, the FAA, and DOAV review specific work products and sections to ensure sound planning techniques are being applied and the study is being conducted in accordance with their standards and policies. Both agencies will approve the aviation forecasts and the ALP drawing set.