The Airport System Plan
An airport system plan
is a representation of the aviation facilities required to meet the immediate
and future needs of a metropolitan area, region, state, or country. The
National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems (NPIAS) is an example of a
system plan representing the airport development needs of the United States.
The Michigan Aviation System Plan is an example of a system plan
representing the airport development needs of the state of Michigan, and the
Southeast Michigan Regional Aviation System Plan is a system plan
representing the airport development needs of a seven county region comprising
the Detroit Metropolitan area.
The system plan presents the
recommendations for the general location and characteristics of new airports
and heliports and the nature of expansion for existing ones to meet forecasts
of aggregate demand. It identifies the aviation role of existing and
recommended new airports and facilities. It includes the timing and estimated
costs of development and relates airport system planning to the policy and objectives
of the relevant jurisdiction. Its overall purpose is to determine the extent,
type, nature, location, and timing of airport development needed to establish a
viable, balanced, and integrated system of airports It also provides the basis
for detailed airport planning such as that contained in the airport master
The airport system plan
provides both broad and specific policies, plans, and programs required to
establish a viable and integrated system of airports to meet the needs of the
region. The objectives of the system plan include The orderly and timely
development of a system of airports adequate to meet present and future
aviation needs and to promote the desired pattern of regional growth relative
to industrial, employment, social, environmental, and recreational goals.
The development of aviation to meet its
role in a balanced and multimodal transportation system to foster the overall
goals of the area as reflected in the transportation system plan and
comprehensive development plan.
The protection and enhancement of the
environment through the location and expansion of aviation facilities in a
manner which avoids ecological and environmental impairment.
The provision of the framework within
which specific airport programs may be developed consistent with the short- and
long-range airport system requirements.
The implementation of land-use and
airspace plans which optimize these resources in an often constrained
The development of long-range fiscal
plans and the establishment of priorities for airport financing within the
governmental budgeting process.
establishment of the mechanism for the implementation of the system plan through the normal
political framework, including the necessary coordination between governmental
agencies, the involvement of both public and private aviation and nonaviation
interests, and compatibility with the content, standards, and criteria of
The airport system planning process must be
consistent with state, regional, or national goals for transportation, land
use, and the environment. The elements in a typical airport system planning
process include the following:
of issues that impact aviation in the study area
of the current system
of air transportation needs
of system demand
of alternative airport systems
of airport roles and policy strategies
Recommendation of system changes, funding
strategies, and airport development 8. Preparation of an implementation plan
Although the process
involves many varied elements, the final product will result in the
identification, preservation, and enhancement of the aviation system to meet
current and future demand. The ultimate result of the process will be the
establishment of a viable, balanced, and integrated system of airports.