Aviation Consulting Services
Land Use Planning
R&A has extensive experience in airport-related land use planning. Our land use planning expertise is in two specific areas: (1) airport vicinity land use compatibility and (2) nonaeronautical development of surplus airport property. The fundamental applications of these land use planning services, from an aviation and airport perspective, are to protect the public investment in airport infrastructure and airport capacity and to provide a reliable revenue stream for the airport operator from development that complements the services provided at the airport.
Since 1998, R&A's land use planning professionals have provided airport-related land use and development planning services. Other staff members with specialized technical expertise in airspace analysis and mapping, noise analysis, environmental analysis, and geographic information system (GIS) applications support this core group of land use planning experts on specific projects requiring such expertise. R&A has provided land use planning services for numerous airports, including the airports serving Chicago, Columbus, Las Vegas, San Diego, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C. Typical land use planning projects and services offered by R&A include the following.
- Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 150, Noise Compatibility Programs – R&A staff has prepared numerous 14 CFR Part 150 noise compatibility programs, including the development of noise abatement and noise mitigation procedures and policies. R&A also specializes in the land use compatibility planning component of 14 CFR Part 150 programs. This component requires close coordination with local land use regulatory agencies and the development of land use plans and prospective implementation ordinances that recognize local land use and development priorities while also considering airport compatibility needs.
- Vision 100 Section 160 Land Use Compatibility Plans – In 2003, as part of the Century of Aviation Reauthorization Act (also known as Vision 100), the U.S. Congress authorized creation of a special airport land use compatibility planning program. Under the Vision 100 Section 160 program, planning grants to local governments were authorized for the preparation of airport land use compatibility plans for large- and medium-hub airports. R&A staff managed the preparation of one of the first Section 160 Land Use Compatibility Plans authorized under this program. This plan, for San Francisco International Airport, involved the development of a comprehensive airport land use compatibility plan (ALUCP) addressing noise, airspace protection, and safety for use by the local regional planning agency and the municipalities adjacent to the airport.
- Airport Land Use Compatibility Plans – Under California law, counties are required to establish airport land use commissions, which must prepare ALUCPs for all public use and military airports in the county. ALUCPs must include land use policies addressing noise, safety, and airspace protection. Although the procedural requirements are unique to California, the technical analyses and policy aspects of the planning process are applicable to airports across the United States. R&A has prepared ALUCPs for several southern California airports and has assessed the consistency of proposed development projects with existing ALUCPs. In addition, senior R&A staff, under previous employment, prepared ALUCPs for over 20 California airports in several counties.
- Airspace Protection Plans and Zoning – R&A consultants with expertise in land use, airside, and airspace planning have collaborated on many airspace protection plans. These planning projects have included 14 CFR Part 77, Objects Affecting Navigable Airspace, mapping, TERPS mapping, and the development of airspace planning surfaces for one-engine inoperative procedures. R&A has also developed airspace protection planning criteria, procedures, ordinances, and online mapping tools for local government implementation of airspace protection zoning.
- Noise Land Inventories and Reuse Plans – R&A has assisted airport operators in complying with the requirements of Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Program Guidance Letter 08-02, Management of Acquired Noise Land: Inventory - Reuse - Disposal. Although the property inventory is a straightforward GIS application, reuse plans must be developed with foresight and imagination to protect airport development options and local economic development opportunities.
- Land Development/Airport Compatibility Impact Assessments – R&A consultants have assessed the airport compatibility implications of major development projects for state and local governmental entities. A recent example is the comprehensive assessment of the effects of a proposed 1,000 megawatt thermal solar power plant on a nearby airport in Blythe, California, prepared for the California Energy Commission. The compatibility of the proposed power plant with the Riverside County ALUCP was evaluated. The project also required collaboration with scientists specializing in glare and thermal updraft to determine the potential effects of the proposed power plant on pilots and aircraft in flight.
- Collateral Land Development Plans – R&A has assisted airport operators in preparing plans for the nonaeronautical, or collateral, development of surplus airport property. R&A land use and finance professionals form the core of our land development planning team. We partner with local real estate market specialists who provide an understanding of local issues and with airport civil engineers who assess infrastructure needs and constraints. R&A consultants apply their understanding of air service, logistics, and national and international airport development trends to identify potential development prospects that could capitalize on the unique locational attributes of an airport site.