What is an Airport Master Plan?

An Airport Master Plan is a series of reports and planning documents that are created to define future development actions at an airport.  An Airport Master Plan is also a communication instrument between all airport stakeholders, including the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA); Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT); American Airlines; Flightstar, Parkland College; Champaign County; City of Champaign; City of Urbana; Village of Savoy; all airport users and the most important stakeholder, the Public.

Why is Willard Airport preparing a new Airport Master Plan?

A rule of thumb for airports of similar size to CMI, is to conduct new Airport Master Plan every 5-10 years, unless a change in aeronautical activities necessitate a new planning review.  The last CMI Airport Master Plan was approved in 1985.  Since the last Master Plan was completed, a new airline has initiated service to the airport, the airfield configuration has been reduced by one runway, a major Fixed Based Operator (FBO) has continued to develop and prosper and a local community college has taken over the training of aircraft pilots.  Based on these independent but also collective actions, conducting a new Airport Master Plan at this time is a prudent step.

How is an Airport Master Plan funded?

The Airport Master Plan is co-funded by the FAA, IDOT and the University of Illinois Willard Airport.  FAA will provide 90% of the project funding with IDOT and the Airport contributing 5% each.  FAA funds come from the Aviation Trust Fund, which is comprised of aviation user fees, taxes on airline tickets and aviation fuel.  IDOT funds come from State appropriated monies and the local share comes from the Airport.

What guidance and criteria are used in creating this Airport Master Plan Update?

The criteria used in the preparation of the CMI Airport Master Plan is contained in the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) published Advisory Circular 150-5070-6B “Airport Master Plans”.[1]  Additional FAA guidance used in this Airport Master Plan will include:  Advisory Circular 150/5300-13A, Change 1 “Airport Design”.

What makes up this Airport Master Plan Update?

The CMI Airport Master Plan is composed of several planning elements (chapters) including:

  • Inventory Chapter
  • Aviation Demand (Forecast) Chapter
  • Facility Requirements Chapter
  • Alternative Analysis Chapter
  • Airport Layout Plan
  • Implementation Plan / CIP & Financial Plan
  • Land Use Compatibility Plan
  • Stakeholder / Public Involvement Program
  • Airport Geographic Information Systems Input
  • Exhibit A Property Line Map

Copies of all these reports will be posted to this website as they are accepted/approved.

What are Aviation Forecasts?

Projected (forecasted) future airport facility needs depend on how often those facilities may be used.  Defining cost effective airport development is part of an Airport Master Plan.  Two major forecast elements prepared during an Airport Master Plan are:  How many passengers use the airport?  How many aircraft use the airport?  Passenger Enplanements (See Why are there multiple ways to count air passengers?  It is confusing! below in FAQs) can be a major strain on airport facilities and can also be a major source of airport development revenue.  Aircraft operations can also place a strain on airside facilities (runways, taxiways, aprons, etc.).  Projected aircraft operations by type and amount are necessary to make sure the future facilities are not overwhelmed.

What is an Airport Layout Plan?

An Airport Layout Plan (ALP) is a set of plans and drawings that graphically depict the finding of an Airport Master Plan report.  These complex drawings are used by the Airport to communicate to the FAA, IDOT, Airport Users and the Public, the future expectations for the airfield.  The ALP is also used by the FAA to determine potential airspace conflicts with future development outside the airfield boundary.  Some of the sheets in an ALP include: Title/Cover Sheet, Airport Data Sheet; Existing ALP Sheet, Future ALP Sheet, Inner Approach Plan Sheets, FAR Part 77 Approach Plan Sheet, and Airport Property Sheet.

Who needs to see and review an Airport Master Plan?

All Airport Stakeholders, Airport Users, Federal and State Government Officials, Public, and in short everyone that wants to see it, should.  Copies of report documents and chapters, as they are accepted or approved by the FAA, will be uploaded to this web site.

What is the schedule for completion of the Airport Master Plan?

The Airport Master Plan is a complex process and will take approximately two years to prepare and secure approval.  All chapters and plans will be subject to review by FAA, IDOT and CMI.  These reviews and associated responses can add several months to the entire Airport Master Plan process.  Once each chapter is accepted (Forecasts are approved) by the FAA, the documents will be posted to this web site.

Why are there multiple ways to count air passengers?  It is confusing!

Air Passengers are counted in several ways.  Passengers getting on (boarding) a commercial airliner at CMI are called “enplaned” passengers.  The number of passengers getting on an airliner is important in that FAA provides financial assistance to an airport based on the number of “enplaned” passengers.  This FAA measure of passengers getting on an airliner is call an “enplanement”.  Passengers getting off an airliner are called “deplaned” passengers.  FAA does not provide financial assistance to an airport regarding the number of “deplaned” passengers.  The number of “enplaned” passengers added to the number of “deplaned” passengers creates the “total” number of passengers served.  A simple rule of thumb to determine the “total” number of passengers is to double the “enplaned” number of passengers.  The passenger levels are normally listed by calendar year.  For more information regarding air passengers, please use the link below to the FAA web site.[2]

Why does the Master Plan need to know the “total” number of passengers in a year?

Understanding the “total” number of passengers using CMI is important in being able to determine if existing terminal facilities are sufficient.  “Total” passenger numbers can determine if items such as auto parking facilities, passenger queuing space at the ticket counter, passenger throughput in security screening, number of seats in the passenger hold rooms, seating and space for concessions and even the number of restrooms are sufficient.  In this master plan, existing and forecasted passenger levels will be used to determine if these and other airfield facilities are acceptable.

If I have a question on the Airport Master Plan, who do I contact?

If you have a question on the Airport Master Plan click on the Contact Us link in the links above and use the comment box to send your question or comment.

[1] https://www.faa.gov/regulations_policies/advisory_circulars/index.cfm/go/document.information/documentID/22329

[2] https://www.faa.gov/airports/planning_capacity/passenger_allcargo_stats/passenger/