What is an airport master plan?

The airport master plan is a guide which details the status quo, forecasted growth, and alternatives for future development of an airport. As a public-use, commercial service airport, GPIA is required to undergo a master plan update every 10 years. The airport has seen continuous growth in passenger enplanements and airline service for the last six years and, in an effort to meet this increasing demand, the airport is exploring opportunities for a terminal building expansion, among other necessary facility improvements.

The airport is under contract with its planning consultant, Mead & Hunt, for the completion of the master plan update. Over the past year, Mead & Hunt has been working with the FMAA Board, industry stakeholders, local government entities and the public to complete the following steps of the master plan:


  1. An inventory of existing facilities and infrastructure capacities is created to capture the status-quo. This is a snap-shot in time of the airport as it currently exists.
  2. A forecast of future passenger, cargo, and operational demands is developed using advanced planning techniques to highlight 5, 10, and 20-year benchmarks. Once developed, the FAA reviews and approves the forecast.
  3. A round of stakeholder workshops is held to solicit stakeholder comments and ideas about the future of the airport.
  4. Required facility upgrades are identified to meet the forecasted demands.
  5. Development strategies, known in the industry as “alternatives,” are created to carry out the facility requirements.
  6. Preferred alternatives are selected for each airport facility i.e. runways, taxiways, aprons, the terminal, etc.
  7. Another round of workshops is held to gather public input.
  8. The preferred alternatives are organized chronologically into a Capital Improvement Program (CIP) based on forecasted benchmarks, project costs, and availability of funding.
  9. The FAA reviews the CIP.
  10. A financial plan is developed to ensure financial feasibility of the capital improvement program.
  11. A land use plan is created to address the impacts of encroaching, incompatible land uses. Variables such as airspace obstructions, noise impacts, and clearance of safety zones are analyzed.
  12. Environmental impacts resulting from airport development are reviewed to determine the need for an environmental assessment or any mitigation.
  13. Finally, the Airport Layout Plan (ALP) is established. This is a graphical depiction of the existing airport facilities overlaid with the planned development alternatives.
  14. The FAA reviews the ALP and approves the airport master plan.

The Master Plan, a complex, year-long project, will focus primarily on terminal expansion.  It is scheduled for completion in late 2018.