SDdot
 
   
 

Stay Informed
Join our e-mail list.

Like us on Facebook

 

 

What is an Airport Master Plan Study?
What’s in an Airport Master Plan?
What is an Airport Layout Plan (ALP)?
Does the Airport Master Plan consider the noise impacts of proposed projects?
Is an airport required to do an Airport Layout Plan (ALP)?
Is an airport required to do an Airport Master Plan (AMP) by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) or by the Washington Department of Transportation (WSDOT)?
How often are master plans undertaken?
Who owns and operates Spokane International Airport?
Who’s paying for this study?
Why hire an outside consultant?
How can I be involved in the GEG Master Plan Study?
How long will it take to complete the study?
Where can I find more specific scheduling information about the GEG Master Plan Study?
Who approves the Airport Master Plan?
What is the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA’s) role in the GEG Master Plan Study?
Are additional studies needed before the airport proceeds with a recommended construction project?
Who pays for the projects recommended in an Airport Master Plan?
Why is the airport planning for a third runway?
Why did the airport start planning for a third runway so long ago?
When will the airport build the third runway?
Will the airport need to acquire new property for the proposed third runway?

What is an Airport Master Plan Study?

An Airport Master Plan Study (AMP) is a process to plan for the short-, mid-, and long-term development goals of the airport. This plan will have a 30-year planning horizon. The study is developed through a combination of professional evaluation and public involvement. The conclusions are recorded in a written document.

An AMP guides the physical growth of the airport so that it is coordinated with the future demand for services, available funding and environmental considerations. The AMP uses text and drawings to explain plans for future development both on and around the airport. It also includes a proposed schedule for development and a plan for funding. An AMP is also a tool to meet local, state and federal regulations, many of which are tied to funding and environmental compliance. [top of page]

What’s in an Airport Master Plan?

An AMP provides detailed answers to questions about how the plan was developed with background information and rationale for the future plans. It includes information about environmental impacts, financial analyses, technical analyses, and other details used in developing the ALP drawings. Common Master Plan chapters include:

  • Executive Summary – A summary of the main points of the plan.
  • Inventory – Existing airport conditions: what’s here and what’s happening now.
  • Aviation Forecasts – What is expected to happen in the future at the airport.
  • Airside Facilities – What we will need to meet future needs for airplanes (runway, taxiway, hangars, etc.).
  • Airline Terminal Facilities – What we will need to meet future needs for passengers (service counters, commercial services, lounge areas, etc.).
  • Landside Facilities – What we will need to meet future needs around the airport.
  • Environmental Overview – Potential environmental effects associated with the recommended airport development plan.
  • Land Use Compatibility – Coordination of land use activities and plans on and off the airport to minimize conflict.
  • Financial Analysis – A comprehensive report of airport business planning.
  • Public Program – Documenting the public input process and the input received.
  • Appendix: Airport Layout Plan (ALP) – A map of what we’re going to build. [top of page]

What is an Airport Layout Plan (ALP)?

An ALP is a detailed, scaled drawing of existing and proposed airport facilities. These include runways, taxiways, aircraft parking areas, terminal building(s), safety and maintenance buildings, general aviation and corporate facilities, and air cargo facilities. Along with the current and proposed facilities, the ALP drawings show associated areas that are required for operations and those reserved for safety called “airspace.” The ALP drawings are created with computer aided drafting and design techniques.

An ALP can be described as one big “blueprint.” It is a single, two-dimensional plan-view drawing of the airport. A broader term, “ALP set”, is used to describe several pages of drawings. Common pages in an ALP set include: ALP, Building Area Plans, Airspace Plans, Environmental Influence Maps and Land Use Maps. Spokane’s ALP set includes about 20 engineering-type plan sheets. [top of page]

Does the Airport Master Plan consider the noise impacts of proposed projects?

Yes and no. During the planning process, the consultants use the FAA’s Integrated Noise Model to predict noise implications associated with the approved activity forecast in the plan. But most master plans, including this one, do not assess individual project contributions to noise.

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. Noise is also a consideration during the environmental reviews that precede construction projects. [top of page]

Is an airport required to do an Airport Layout Plan (ALP)?

An ALP is required for most airport development projects that receive state or federal funding. An airport can update an ALP at any time without undertaking a master plan. [top of page]

Is an airport required to do an Airport Master Plan (AMP) by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) or by the Washington Department of Transportation (WSDOT)?

An Airport Master Plan (AMP) is not required by either agency but is encouraged. It’s encouraged because the AMP helps to answer questions about who, what, where and why the projects are important to the airport. State and federal funding agencies ask those questions when they receive requests for funding assistance. [top of page]

How often are master plans undertaken?

Master plan updates are often done every 5-10 years. However, there is no legal requirement about how often master plans are undertaken. Instead, master plans are updated as needed to keep them relevant as a guide for development priorities. The last master plan for the Spokane International Airport was completed in 2003. [top of page]

Who owns and operates Spokane International Airport?

The City and County of Spokane jointly own Spokane International Airport, Felts Field Airport, and the Airport Business Park (Spokane Airports). The operating authority of Spokane Airports is the Spokane Airport Board, consisting of seven appointees from the two governmental bodies. [top of page]

Who’s paying for this study?

This master plan is paid for using a combination of Passenger Facility Charges (PFCs) and surplus airport revenue. PFCs are a tax on passenger boardings at Spokane Airport that may be applied to airport-specific projects and studies approved by the FAA. Surplus revenues retained in the Airport Enterprise Funds pay the remaining fees. Local taxes are not being used. [top of page]

Why hire an outside consultant?

Running the airport is a full-time job for the staff at the Spokane International Airport (GEG). An Airport Master Plan (AMP) is a study that takes lots of time and special expertise in lots of different areas. The consulting team offers the specialized diversity needed to get the project done. [top of page]

How can I be involved in the GEG Master Plan Study?

There are lots of ways for you to be involved in the GEG Master Plan Study:

Stay informed: Stay informed through this website. Sign up for the e-mail list, and you’ll hear about project newsletters, draft report text and meeting schedules on a monthly basis. The Plan Advisory Committee (PAC) meetings are open to the public and notes are available on the website.

Share your ideas: Public comments are welcome at any time during the study. The Contact Us page offers a comment form. Later in the project, two sets of public input meetings will be held to gather ideas and answer questions.

Spread the word: Tell a friend, a neighbor, a coworker, a social group and anyone else you know about the project. [top of page]

How long will it take to complete the study?

It will take approximately one year to complete the study. The study has been divided into five milestones which each include a set of tasks. Each one will take two to three months to complete. At this time, the project is scheduled for completion in September 2011. [top of page]

Where can I find more specific scheduling information about the GEG Master Plan Study?

General information about the project schedule is available on the Meetings page of this website. To receive project updates and keep up with the real time project schedule, sign up for the e-mail list on the Contact Us page. [top of page]

Who approves the Airport Master Plan?

The Airport Master Plan will be approved by the Spokane International Airport Board. [top of page]

What is the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA’s) role in the GEG Master Plan Study?

The FAA has two official roles during the Master Plan study. First, the FAA reviews and approves the aeronautical forecasts (the projected growth of airport services) that are developed by the consulting team early in the project. Second, the FAA formally approves the ALP for airspace and design standards.

In addition, the FAA has a supportive and advisory role in the Master Plan Study throughout the project. The FAA will provide comment on master plan text and deliverables and may offer technical assistance and support. Also, the FAA may attend some or all of the Plan Advisory Committee Meetings and Public Workshops. The FAA does not formally approve a Master Plan Study since it is a policy or guidance document. [top of page]

Are additional studies needed before the airport proceeds with a recommended construction project?

Yes. Approval by the FAA of the ALP means only that there are no safety concerns related to the proposed plan and that the depiction is in general conformance with FAA standards. Additional studies may be necessary before the project is implemented. At a minimum, these usually include National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) documentation, compliance with other local environmental regulations and any other studies needed to satisfy required permit applications. [top of page]

Who pays for the projects recommended in an Airport Master Plan?

Projects in an airport Master Plan are typically funded through a variety of existing aviation funding sources including the FAA Airport Improvement Program (AIP) grants, airport funds, and passenger facility charges. There are also opportunities to capture private investment for projects that will operate as a for-profit business. An Airport Master Plan includes a financial analysis and a funding plan for proposed improvements. [top of page]

Why is the airport planning for a third runway?

The airport is planning for a third runway so that travelers can continue to enjoy efficient and timely air service as the airport grows. A third runway will also help reduce travel delays due to weather conditions. [top of page]

Why did the airport start planning for a third runway so long ago?

GEG has been proactively planning for a new runway for the past 30 years to minimize the impacts to property around the airport after construction. So far, planning has focused on coordination with local land use controls in areas that will be impacted by the new runway. [top of page]

When will the airport build the third runway?

The third runway construction is expected to begin in 30 years. Even the planning work will not begin in earnest for the runway for at least ten years. It will be a primary component of a future master plan study. This master plan update utilizes a 30-year horizon so that the third runway is included in the long term vision. [top of page]

Will the airport need to acquire new property for the proposed third runway?

No. The airport currently owns the property needed to implement the new runway. [top of page]