What is an Airport Master Plan?

An Airport Master Plan is a process to plan for the short, intermediate, and long term development goals of the Airport.  The Airport Master Plan for Lake Havasu City Municipal Airport will have a 20-year planning horizon based on aviation activity forecasts and will be developed through a combination of professional evaluation and public involvement.  The goal of the Airport Master Plan is to provide the framework needed to guide future Airport development that will cost-effectively satisfy aviation demand, while considering potential environmental and socioeconomic issues.


What are Aviation Demand Forecasts?

Airport facility planning relies, in part, on a definition of the future aviation activity that may reasonably be expected to occur during the useful life of the Airport’s key components.  In airport master planning, this involves projecting potential aviation activity for a 20-year timeframe.  Aviation demand forecasting for Lake Havasu City Municipal Airport will primarily focus on based aircraft forecasts and aircraft operational activity projections.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has oversight responsibility to review and approve the aviation activity that may reasonably be expected to occur during the useful life of the Airport’s key components.  The FAA will review individual airport forecasts with the objective of comparing them to its own Terminal Area Forecast (TAF) and the National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems (NPIAS).  In addition, aviation activity forecasts may be an important input to future benefit-cost analyses associated with Airport development.  The FAA reviews these analyses when federal funding requests are submitted.


What is an Airport Layout Plan (ALP)?

The ALP is an important component of the Airport Master Plan and will reflect the actual and/or planned modifications to the Airport.  FAA approval of the ALP indicates that the existing facilities and proposed development depicted on the ALP conforms to applicable airport design standards and that the FAA finds the proposed development to be safe and efficient.

An ALP can be described as a big “blueprint.”  It is a single, two-dimensional plan-view drawing of an airport that shows existing and proposed airport facilities.  Additional pages of drawings in the ALP set may include: Terminal/Building Area Plans, Airspace Plans, Property Maps, and on-airport Land Use Maps.

The ALP is the major product of the Airport Master Plan which contains information used by the FAA and Arizona Department of Transportation – Aeronautics Group (ADOT) to program future funding assistance and to monitor an airport’s compliance with design standards and grant assurances.  It also allows the FAA and ADOT to anticipate budgetary and procedural needs and to protect the airspace required for facility or aircraft approach procedure improvements.


Why is Lake Havasu City completing an Airport Master Plan?

The FAA recommends that public use airports like Lake Havasu City Municipal Airport prepare a new Airport Master Plan every 7-10 years or as local aviation conditions change.  The previous Master Plan was completed in 2009.  Therefore, Lake Havasu City has initiated this Airport Master Plan to ensure the Airport continues to be operated in a safe and efficient manner, and to address any changes in the aviation industry both locally and nationally.

Who is preparing the Airport Master Plan?

Following a qualifications-based selection process, Coffman Associates was selected to undertake the Airport Master Plan study.  Coffman Associates is a national aviation consulting firm that specializes in airport planning.


Who is funding the Airport Master Plan?

The FAA provides 91.06 percent of the project funding, with the remaining 8.94 percent coming from ADOT and local funds.  The FAA funding is sourced from the Aviation Trust Fund, which is funded exclusively by various aviation user fees, including taxes on airline tickets, aviation fuel, and some aircraft parts.


What are the components of the Airport Master Plan Update?

  • Inventory
  • Aviation Demand Forecasts (to be approved by the FAA)
  • Facility Requirements
  • Airport Alternatives
  • Recommended Master Plan Concept and Capital Financial Plan
  • Environmental Evaluation
  • Airport Layout Plans (to be approved by the FAA)


What would be the Environmental Review Process for the Airport Master Plan?

National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)

  • The FAA is the lead agency for purposes of NEPA.
  • The Consultant will prepare an Environmental Overview that considers environmental resources defined in FAA Order 5050.4B, Airport Environmental Handbook.  The Environmental Overview will identify components of the Airport Master Plan that may require further NEPA analysis and will be included as an appendix to the Airport Master Plan.  Note that the Environmental Overview does not satisfy the NEPA requirements, but rather provides guidance on what environmental issues may require official NEPA documentation upon project implementation.
  • After taking into consideration the Environmental Overview, the FAA will determine the level of environmental review required for future projects identified in the Airport Master Plan, i.e., an Environmental Assessment/Finding of No Significant Impact or Environmental Impact Statement.


Who approves the Airport Master Plan?

The Airport Master Plan will be approved by Lake Havasu City. Once approved, the Airport Master Plan can be used as a policy document that sets forth the conceptual framework for possible future airport development.  However, any actual or planned modifications to the Airport that is reflected in the Airport Master Plan, but is not reflected in the accompanying ALP, will require an ALP update prior to the City’s examination of any proposed development items.


Are Additional Studies Needed Before the Airport Proceeds With a Recommended Construction Project?

Yes.  Approval of the ALP by the FAA only means that there are no safety concerns related to the proposed Airport Master Plan and that the depiction is in general conformance with FAA standards.  Additional studies may be necessary before a project depicted on the Master Plan is implemented.  At a minimum, these usually include NEPA documentation (as discussed in the FAQ above), and any other studies needed to satisfy required permit applications.


What is the Planning Advisory Committee (PAC)?

The PAC includes representatives from the FAA, ADOT, airport businesses, tenants, area economic development interests, neighborhood associations, area governments, and local citizen interest groups that have been selected by Lake Havasu City to represent a broad constituency of airport stakeholders.  These entities will provide guidance and feedback on draft Master Plan documents.  PAC meetings take place at key milestones in the planning process.


How can I get involved and stay informed?

All pertinent Airport Master Plan materials, including draft submissions, are posted to a dedicated Airport Master Plan website: lhc.airportstudy.com.  Public comments can be submitted on the Airport Master Plan website.  In addition, this Airport Master Plan calls for up to three Public Information Workshops which will be held during the Airport Master Plan development process.  These Workshops will be advertised locally and on this Airport Master Plan website.

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