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An Airport Master Plan is a tool that helps airport owners, regulating agencies and public officials meet the needs of the traveling public and guide the continued improvement of aviation facilities. Master Plans are developed according to FAA guidance provided in Advisory Circular 150/5070-6B, Airport Master Plans (http://www.faa.gov) and they evaluate facility needs of the airfield (runways and taxiways), landside (auto parking and access), terminal building and overall airport land use. The resultant products of Master Plan Study include a technical report and an Airport Layout Plan (drawing set). Master Plans typically evaluate a 20-year planning horizon but place more detailed emphasis on the short- and mid-term windows. Due to variability of the airline industry and changing market conditions, Master Plans also provide flexibility to accommodate potential long-term needs even beyond the 20-year horizon.
A Master Plan report provides detailed rationale for how the plan was developed and relevant supporting background information. While Master Plans are tailored to the specific needs of each individual airport, typical contents of the technical report include:
• Executive Summary – A summary of the main points of the plan.
• Introduction – A description of the study goals as well as the vision and mission of the airport.
• Inventory – A description of existing airport facilities, conditions and operational characteristics.
• Forecasts – An evaluation of anticipated passenger and aircraft activity levels.
• Demand/Capacity Analysis – An evaluation of what facilities are needed to meet the forecast demand.
• Development Concepts – An evaluation of alternative development scenarios and identification of a preferred concept that meets both the facility requirements and long term vision for the airport.
• Environmental Overview – A brief overview of the potential environmental effects associated with the recommended airport development plan.
• Land Use Compatibility – An evaluation of land use activities on and off the airport that attempts to maximize integration with the region and surrounding communities and minimize potential conflict.
• Implementation Plan – A recommended phased development program that includes a listing of each project element (i.e. environmental evaluation, design, construction) and preliminary cost estimates.
• Financial Analysis – An evaluation of the financial feasibility of the recommended development program.
• Public Involvement Program – Documenting the public outreach process and any input received.
• Airport Plans – A description and/or reduced set of the Airport Layout Plan (ALP) drawings.
A broader term “Airport Layout Plan Drawing Set” is used to describe several pages of drawings. These drawings are graphical representations of the airport facilities, proposed development, airspace and landuse concerns, and property holdings. An “ALP” is more specifically a single drawing within that set that focuses on proposed improvements. Drawing sets are prepared in accordance with strict FAA guidelines and common pages in an ALP Drawing Set include:
• Cover Sheet – documents drawing set details and provides administrative information
• Airport Data Sheet – contains detailed airfield data including geographic coordinates, meteorological data and facility design standards
• Existing ALP – depicts existing facilities and safety area standards at a single point in time
• Facilities Layout Plan – a simplified version of ALP that depicts existing and future facilities without the extensive detailed elements required on the official ALP
• Airport Layout Plan – detailed drawing representing existing conditions and planned development. Any proposed development on a federally obligated airport must be shown on an ALP that has been approved by the FAA. For eligible development projects to receive federal funding assistance, the project must be identified on an approved ALP.
• Terminal Area Plans – larger scale depictions of areas that are difficult to present with enough detail on an ALP sheet. Typically include terminal areas, general aviation areas, cargos areas and include information such as aircraft parking configurations, object free areas and relevant setback requirements.
• Airspace Drawing – an illustration of all existing and proposed Part 77 airspace protection surfaces and any known obstructions to the outer areas of those surfaces.
• Inner Portion of the Approach Surface Drawing – a larger scale, more detailed depiction of the various approach protection surfaces and any close-in obstructions to those surfaces
• On and Off Airport Land Use Drawings – depict the various aviation and non-aviation uses of land on and near an airport. A useful tool in coordinating land use and zoning programs with the local government entities.
• Airport Property Map – identifies all land owned by the airport with parcel, acquisition and deed information. Also identifies property or easements anticipated to be acquired over the planning horizon.
Yes and no. During the planning process, the FAA’s Integrated Noise Model (INM) is used to predict noise implications associated with the approved activity forecast. The model produces noise contours showing anticipated noise levels around the airport. The contours look like a series of rippling circles (similar to elevation contours) and show how noise levels change in relation to distance from the airport. But most Master Plans, including this one, do not assess individual project contributions to noise. Under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the potential project related effects of noise on surrounding land uses is considered during the required environmental reviews that precede construction projects. [top of page] Noise around an airport is more directly evaluated during separate noise control and compatibility planning efforts that include the preparation of airport Noise Exposure Maps (NEMs) and airport Noise Compatibility Programs (NCPs) under Title 14, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 150, and the Aviation Safety and Noise Abatement Act of 1979.How often are Master Plans undertaken?
There is no legal requirement for how often Master Plans Updates are performed. The timing varies based on needs of the airport and community, but are often done every 5-10 years. In practice, Master Plans are updated as needed to keep them relevant as a guide for development priorities. Between comprehensive Master Plan Updates, interim ALP updates can be performed that address specific or urgent development or operational needs. The last comprehensive Master Plan for the Akron-Canton Airport was completed in completed in 1998. Since then, interim development programs have progressed to accommodate growing customer demand. With the changing airline industry, fluctuating economy and advancements in technology – a fresh look Master Plan is needed to ensure that the Airport remains available to meet the needs of the traveling public and regional business communities well into the future.Who owns and operates the Akron-Canton Airport?
The Akron-Canton Airport is owned and operated by the Akron-Canton Regional Airport Authority. The Authority is a government agency formed by Summit and Stark Counties under Section 308 of the Ohio Revised Code. The Authority is governed by an eight member Board of Trustees. The members serve four year terms, they serve at the discretion of the appointing county, and they can be reappointed indefinitely. Four of the eight trustees are appointed by the Summit County Executive (and approved by Council) and four are appointed by Stark County Commissioners.Who’s paying for this Master Plan study?
This Master Plan Update is being paid for with a combination of federal grant funds from the Airport Improvement Program (AIP), Passenger Facility Charges (PFCs) and surplus airport revenue. The AIP is a federal program funded by fees collected from the users of the National Airspace System. PFCs are an tax on passenger boardings at Akron-Canton Airport that may be applied to airport-specific projects and studies approved by the FAA. The Airport, and this project, are not funded by general taxpayer dollarsWhy hire an outside consultant?
The Akron-Canton Airport is managed and operated by a relatively lean and highly efficient staff. Running the Airport is a full-time job and providing a high level of customer service is the first priority for the staff. An Airport Master Plan requires significant time and special expertise in lots of different areas. The Master Plan Update is being performed by R. W. Armstrong (www.rwarmstrong.com) which specializes in airport planning, design and construction. Their team of professionals provides years of experience, and lesson learned from around the world, that will lead to a logical and effective Master Plan.How can I be involved in the Master Plan study?
There are lots of ways for you to be involved in the Akron-Canton Airport Master Plan Study:
Stay informed: Visit this website to review the draft report chapters and meeting summaries from the Technical Advisory Committee as they become available. Sign up for Airport Newsletters at link. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter or follow our blog.
Attend the open houses: Come and talk to airport staff and members of the study team.
Share your ideas: Public questions and comments are welcome at any time during the study. The Contact Us page offers a comment form / provides email addresses and phone numbers
The Airport Master Plan will be approved and adopted by the Akron-Canton Regional Airport Authority. However, the FAA also has two official roles during the study. First, they are responsible for reviewing and approving the Forecasts of Aviation Demand that are developed early in the project. Second, the FAA formally approves the ALP for airspace and design standards.Are additional studies needed before the airport proceeds with a recommended construction project?
Additional studies may be necessary before a specific project is implemented. Approval of the ALP by the FAA means that there are no aeronautical safety concerns related to the proposed plan and that the facility concepts are in general conformance with FAA standards. Additional feasibility and environmental evaluation studies may be needed to satisfy National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and other local environmental and permitting regulationsWho pays for the projects recommended in an Airport Master Plan?
Projects in an airport Master Plan are typically funded through a variety of sources including FAA Airport Improvement Program (AIP) grants, airport revenue funds, and passenger facility charges. There are also opportunities to capture third-party private investment and public-private partnership investment for various for-profit business and economic development projects.What are some of the issues anticipated to be addressed by the Master Plan study?
The most pressing concerns for the Airport revolve around maintaining a high level of customer service, providing a good airline route structure with reasonable fares, and maintaining low operational costs. Some specific issues include the long-term adequacy of the terminal building, the availability of adequate automobile parking, efficiency of the taxiway system, ability to accommodate increasing corporate/general aviation needs, and overall land use compatibility both on and off the Airport.