Australian Airport Master Planning Notes

Topics: Airport, Runway, Sydney Airport Pages: 19 (4323 words) Published: April 16, 2013
1. Master Plan Content
A good description of the content of an aerodrome Master Plan is provided in the Australian Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) document Rules and Practices for Aerodromes (RPAs), which have now been superseded by the Manual of Standards Part 139. Although the RPAs are superseded, the following description of the contents of an Aerodrome Master Plan remains valid.

The master plan should be written with the needs of the users of the document in mind. Major users would be the aerodrome operator, for the allocation of specific sites for development within the functionally planned areas; Commonwealth, State and local Governments, for input to the master planning process and for integration of the aerodrome and its needs with their own planning and development; local community groups and the public generally, for input to the master planning process and for their own information and the aviation industry, for input to the master planning process and for integration with their own planning.

Care should be taken in the writing of master plans to avoid jargon and a presentation that makes it difficult to be understood by interested non-industry bodies such as environmental or community groups. Supplementary and background material should be included where necessary to make the document more easily understood by lay people.

In broad terms, the text should commence with a statement of the objectives of the master plan; a discussion of the current and future perceived role of the aerodrome, covering local, regional and network aspects; the history of, and constraints on, the existing site, if any; and a discussion of alternative sites leading to selection of the preferred aerodrome site, where appropriate. The text should then pass to issues of past and forecast demand for the various activities and the capacity of the aerodrome site to accommodate this demand. The document should go on to cover the various functional requirements and commercial facilities proposed, and the design and policy considerations applying to each significant group of facilities; and the available options for the provision of these facilities. The rationale for each planning conclusion should be given, together with the consequences involved and the range of alternative options considered in each case. The evaluation of options should be undertaken on the basis of operational, technical, social, environmental, financial and economic criteria. The document should end by describing the adopted master planning concept and its assessed impact on the prevailing physical, biological, social and economic environments”.

A typical Table of Contents for an aerodrome Master Plan and key considerations for each chapter is provided below. It should, however, be noted that each aerodrome will have particular circumstances that may require more emphasis on some items and less on others and not

all items listed may necessarily be considered in all aerodrome master planning studies.

The introduction sets out the goals and objectives for the particular study and should contain background information relevant to the study such as airport location, review of relevant previous studies (if any), relevant issues to be considered in the preparation of the study, consultation program, etc.


Usually a master plan is to be prepared for an existing airport. This being the case, there will have been significant investments made in current facilities at the airport, most of which would be suitable for on-going use, with either extensions or renovations to ensure their continued suitability. Thus, an inventory of existing airport infrastructure and facilities should be prepared, including a drawing that depicts the current airport layout.


Constraints that would be imposed on future development should be identified. These could be either, or a combination of, physical or environmental...
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