Airport Strategic Planning; Master Planning: An Exploratory Research Project
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Purpose: Airport master plans have been used for decades but research done on the effectiveness, and its alternatives is limited and still in the beginning phase. This research begins to fill in the gaps. The purpose of this applied research project is to explore the facilitators and barriers of effective strategic planning at airports and the alternates. A review of the scholarly literature on airport strategic planning and airport master planning developed the three key concepts. After conducting interviews with airport professionals, a preliminary assessment was developed to begin addressing the challenges with each concept. Methodology: A standardized, open ended interview was developed to assist with gathering qualitative data. The concepts were identified in the literature review as a framework to construct the interview questions. The sample of this study includes four airport planning officials and two airport executives that were interviewed to discuss the challenges and successes of airport master planning around the country. Findings: initial findings suggests the respondents agree each airport has similar facilitators and barriers when implementing an airport master planning. The issues are consistent with the literature and the following recommendations were outputs of this research project:
- Develop realistic goals that support the customers’ needs and ensure the goals receive community and political support early in the process.
- Engage political figures early in the process and incorporate their ideas, airport must garner support from key political figures for large project funding.
- Provide the FAA with a master plan that clearly demonstrates the need for new facilities to support passenger demand and meaningful justification.
- Improve communication across the organization.
- Ensure the master plan can be funded as presented.