What is a Master Plan?
An airport master plan is a document required by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in order to be eligible to receive federal funds for airport improvements. The Niagara Falls International Airport Dynamic and Sustainable Master Plan is funded by both the FAA and New York State. An airport master plan, typically updated every 5-10 years should reflect the sponsor’s (NFTA) goals for the airport. The master plan depicts airport development covering a 10-20 year span and becomes the official FAA and New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) airport planning document.
Scope of Project
An airport is an integral part of the community’s economic profile and the benefits of economic potential extend far beyond the physical airport property. While the Niagara Falls Airport Master Plan does not include an in-depth analysis of off airport utilities and infrastructure, the master plan is targeted to complement local and regional plans to help facilitate economic development. External elements will be considered as they relate to adjacent development and compatible land use.
Dynamic Planning Approach
The unique and first of its kind Dynamic Master Plan approach is being used for this project with the goal of allowing the airport to consider the planning elements and requirements for a variety of scenarios that could occur over the planning period. A sample example of the Dynamic Analysis Tools was presented as part of the meeting. Over the course of this project the forecast, financial and facility requirement data will be populated into the Dynamic Analysis Tool which will be included as a final deliverable alongside the traditional master plan elements.
A key element in the Niagara Falls Airport Master Plan is the incorporation of sustainability into the planning process. The goal for this process is to have airport development strike a balance between social, economic and environmental needs for the surrounding community. Tenants and users may be asked to provide data and insight on items such as energy use, greenhouse gases, air quality and waste management throughout the course of the project.
Environmental features are important considerations when planning future airport facilities. Early Identification of Environmental Constraints including wetland delineation was conducted this past fall, the data and findings will be used throughout the planning process. Goals for the environmental considerations include:
- Incorporate findings into alternatives analysis
- Avoid/minimize impacts
- Consider mitigation requirements
- Informed decision making
- Basis for future National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), State Environmental Quality Review (SEQR), and Permit Processes