Topic 1
A Regional Vision
Ernest A. Love Field

Frequently Asked Questions

In this section of the site we answer the most popular questions that airport neighbors have about the project. If you can't find the answer here, please don't hesitate to contact us.


How does the airport planning process work?

The FAA is responsible for the development and publication of the National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems (NPIAS). The NPIAS lists the airports considered to be in the national interest and eligible for federal funding.


State aviation organizations identify existing airports that meet the state air transportation goals and any new airports required to meet future aviation demand. This information is then used to identify airports for inclusion in the NPIAS. At the local level, airport owners/operators develop Master Plans and Airport Layout Plans that typically contain a higher level of detail than system plans.


What is the airport's development process?

An airport's development process begins with the Airport Master Plan and Airport Layout Plan (ALP). Following local, state, and federal approval of the ALP, the airport may begin development of the projects as depicted on the approved ALP. The projects eligible for state and/or federal (FAA) funding are completed based upon the approved Airport Capital Improvement Program (ACIP), which details those projects which are eligible to receive federal funding. The ACIP is updated each fiscal year.


Based on the scope of the proposed project(s), an airport may need to complete an environmental review. This effort may range from a checklist to an Environmental Assessment (EA), or an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). It is necessary to receive approval of the appropriate environmental documentation before the project begins.


What is an Airport Master Plan?

An Airport Master Plan is a document that represents the long-term (20-year period) development goals of an airport and is typically reviewed and updated every 5 to 10 years. The Airport Master Plan provides the following:

  • A graphic presentation of the future development of the airport and anticipated land uses in the vicinity of the airport;
  • A schedule for development;
  • An achievable financial plan;
  • Justification for the plan technically and procedurally; and
  • An implementation plan that satisfies local, state, and federal regulations.

What components make up an Airport Master Plan?

The components of a Master Plan may include the following:

  • Study design and identification of issues
  • Inventory, surveys, and data collection
  • Environmental overview
  • Aviation forecasts
  • Demand capacity and analysis
  • Facility requirements
  • Alternative development
  • Financial feasibility
  • Implementation plan for development
  • Updating the Airport Layout Plan (ALP) drawing set in accordance with federal airport operating and design standards

How is a Master Plan approved?

An Airport Master Plan, inclusive of the ALP, is produced based upon FAA guidelines and regulations found in FAA Advisory Circulars, 150/5070-6, "Airport Master Plans" and 150/5300-13A, "Airport Design."


The FAA does not approve a Master Plan text document, but rather "accepts" it, meaning they do not verify the narrative information or data contained in the overall plan. The final ALP drawing set, however, is approved by the state and FAA as being in conformance with planning and design guidelines.


What is an Airport Layout Plan (ALP)?

An ALP is a scaled graphic presentation of existing and proposed airport facilities (e.g. runways, taxiways, apron, terminal building, navigation aids, etc.), their location on the airport, and the relevant safety clearance and dimensional information required. The ALP drawing is typically one of several drawing sheets within an “ALP drawing set.” Other drawings in the set may include Terminal Area Plan, Airspace, Airport Property Map, etc. Under certain circumstances, only the ALP drawings will be updated rather than the entire Master Plan for an airport. The FAA requires an airport sponsor to keep the ALP current as significant changes occur on the airport.


What are the different levels of environmental analysis?

The following are the various levels of Environmental Analysis:

  • Categorical Exclusion (CatEx)
  • Environmental Assessment (EA)
  • Environmental Impact Statement (EIS)

What is an Environmental Assessment (EA)?

An EA is a public document that analyzes a proposed federal action for the possibility of significant environmental impacts. The analysis is required by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). If a determination is made that no significant impacts would occur, a "finding of no significant impact" (FONSI) is issued. However, if environmental impacts are determined to be of significance, the federal agency may then need to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).


Is the airport development funded with taxpayer’s money?

People who use our air transportation system (including people shipping packages, private pilots, airline passengers, and employees flying on corporate aircraft) pay for the costs of developing America's National Airspace System (NAS) and a portion of public use airports. Similar to the national highway system, much of airport infrastructure is paid for with user taxes on aviation fuels.


Typically, federal funding is provided by the FAA Airport Improvement Program (AIP). AIP is funded by aviation user fees deposited in the federal aviation trust fund for the purpose of improving the nation's aviation infrastructure. Currently, AIP funds account for 95% of eligible projects at Prescott Municipal Airport. The remaining 5% of project costs for AIP-eligible projects are divided between state and local funds, typically contributing 2.5% each. State aviation organizations may also offer funding support for a variety of non-AIP-eligible projects.


Will a noise analysis be conducted as part of the Master Plan?

Yes. A noise analysis will be conducted as part of this Master Plan effort. The Master Plan will analyze both existing and future noise conditions.