What are the specific objectives of the Airport Master Plan? 

  • To research and evaluate socioeconomic factors likely to affect the air transportation demand in the region.
  • To determine the projected facility needs of airport users through the year 2038, by which to support airport development alternatives.
  • To recommend improvements that will enhance the airport’s safety capabilities to the maximum extent possible.
  • To recommend improvements that will enhance airport capacity to the maximum extent.
  • To produce current and accurate airport base maps and Airport Layout Plan drawings.
  • To establish a schedule of development priorities and a program for the improvements proposed in the Master Plan.
  • To prioritize the airport capital improvement program and develop a detailed financial plan.
  • To develop a robust and productive public involvement throughout the planning process.
  • To conduct an aeronautical survey that is compliant with Federal Aviation Administration Airport (FAA) Geographic Information System (AGIS) standards and includes airspace and obstruction information submitted to and approved by the FAA.
  • To prepare a Wildlife Hazard Management Plan (WHMP) in accordance with Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 139.337 and that is based upon the airport’s approved Wildlife Hazard Assessment completed in June 2016.

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 the FAA airport design standards and that the FAA finds the proposed development to be safe and efficient.

An ALP can be described as one 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 to program future funding assistance and to monitor an airport’s compliance with design standards and grant assurances.  It also allows the FAA to anticipate budgetary and procedural needs and to protect the airspace required for facility or aircraft approach procedure improvements.

Why is Chandler Municipal Airport completing an Airport Master Plan?

The FAA recommends that public use airports prepare a new Airport Master Plan every 7-10 years or as local aviation conditions change.  The previous Master Plan was completed in 2007.  Therefore, the City of Chandler 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, Inc. [link to company website] was selected to undertake the Airport Master Plan study.  Coffman Associates is a national aviation consulting firm specializing in airport planning studies.  Coffman Associates will lead the project with support from the following firms:

  • Dibble Engineering | Engineering support primarily to offer estimates of probable costs;
  • Makpro Services | Public outreach and coordination;
  • SWCA | Environmental evaluation and surveys;
  • Woolpert | Aerial photography, ground survey, and GIS products to meet FAA requirements for Airports GIS data submittal.
  • Quest Energy  | Conducting an energy audit and making recommendations to improve energy efficiency.

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 the City of Chandler.  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 would be the Environmental Review Process for the Airport Master Plan?

National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA)

  • The FAA is the lead agency for purposes of NEPA.
  • The environmental 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.
  • 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 the City of Chandler. Once the City has approved the Airport Master Plan, it 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 plan, but is not reflected in the accompanying ALP, will require an ALP update prior to the City’s examination of any proposed development item.

What is the FAA’s role in the Airport Master Plan?

The FAA has two official roles during the study:

  • FAA reviews and approves the aviation forecasts (the projected growth of airport services) that will be prepared as part of the master plan process; and
  • FAA reviews and approves the ALP for airspace and design standards.

In addition, the FAA has a supportive and advisory role during the preparation of the Airport Master Plan. The FAA may provide comments on Airport Master Plan findings, recommendations and deliverables, and may offer technical assistance and support. The FAA does not formally approve the Airport Master Plan since it is considered a local policy or guidance document.

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 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.

Coffman Associates Logo [Converted]