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Airport area planning and implementation : a review and analysis
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Planning for the secondary impacts of airport development is a complex process which requires the involvement of agencies at all levels of government as well as private individuals. This dissertation evaluates the effectiveness of this process. The term "secondary impacts" includes changes in employment, population growth, housing, land use, ground transportation, and public facilities demand which result from airport development projects. Some of the more difficult tasks which must be performed when planning for these impacts include defining the boundaries of the impacted area, forecasting the magnitude of these impacts, and forecasting their location. Many techniques are available for accomplishing these tasks, but all have significant flaws which are described in the dissertation. More research is needed in these areas. The FAA planning process includes the National Airport System Plan, state and regional system plans, airport master plans, and environmental assessments. Several aspects of each of these programs hinder efforts to produce beneficial results. Each program is outlined and suggestions for improvement are made. Identifying and using appropriate implementation methods can be difficult in an airport area. All major legal and financial implementation methods are described and evaluated. Methods examined include many types of zoning; subdivision regulations, building codes, and control of the provision of utilities; purchase, including fee simple, development rights, and easements; and taxation methods. Although there are many problems with the airport area planning process, these problems do not in themselves explain the frequent failure of airport area planning to achieve the desired results. The advantages of planning, which range from the preservation of passengers' lives to the protection of public investment in the airport, are certainly important enough to warrant the effort. Some primary causes for this failure lie in the link between planning and implementation. The language of required grant assurances, enforcement of assurances, administrative practices regarding the FAA master planning and environmental assessment programs, Federal appropriations procedures, and personnel practices all present roadblocks to the achievement of sound planning. In addition, widespread confusion about the proper role of each level of government in the planning and implementation process creates difficulties. This dissertation examines each of these problem areas in detail and offers suggestions for improving the process. There are some innovative approaches and notable successes in the airport planning field. The dissertation concludes with an examination of the most promising approach, which treats the airport as a "development of regional impact" or DRI. Several state laws for regulating DRIs are examined, including Florida, Vermont, Maine, and Washington. Planning for the Kansas City International Airport provides an example of a successful approach without the use of special state legislation. Only the FAA, by playing a more visible role in planning for the secondary impacts of airport development, can provide incentives sufficient to insure that these innovative approaches are more widely utilized.
SubjectMajor urban and regional science
1980 Dissertation B855
Bright, Elise Marie Bussard (1980). Airport area planning and implementation : a review and analysis. Texas A&M University. Texas A&M University. Libraries. Available electronically from
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