Marana, Arizona – The Marana Regional Airport Master Plan and Strategic Business Plan commenced in August of 2015 led by a team of consultants from Armstrong Consultants, Inc., The Genesis Consulting Group, LLC, and Woolpert Inc. The intent of the Airport Master and Strategic Business Plans is to ensure future airport development is designed to enhance air and ground operations and improve safety and airport services for the Town, as well as the public users of the airport. An Airport Master Plan (AMP) describes and depicts the overall concept for the long-term development of an airport, and the Strategic Business Plan (SBP) provides a financial and objective based plan to reach the business goals of the airport and support its development.
Both the Airport Master and Strategic Business Plans will be finalized in the next couple of months. It is anticipated that the Airport Master Plan will be completed in August 2016; once complete, the Airport Master Plan and corresponding Airport Layout Plan (ALP) will be sent to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for final approval. The Strategic Business Plan is anticipated to be completed shortly thereafter, in September 2016.
The Planning Advisory Committee (PAC) and Technical Advisory Committee (TAC), along with the Strategic Business Plan Committee (SBPC), have met three times during the project to provide input and guidance on draft Working Papers published for both the AMP and SBP. Meeting minutes and all published draft documents for both projects that have been completed thus far can be found on the Airport’s website at www.flymarana.com.
A briefing with the Marana Town Council was held on Tuesday June 28, 2016. The purpose of the briefing was to provide Council members an update on the status of both the AMP and SBP, and the anticipated schedule for completion for both projects. At this stage in the process, future planned development has been identified within the draft AMP and a development strategy which includes grouping the airport into three distinct sectors (general aviation, specialty aviation services, and corporate development) has been created. In addition, the proposed plan includes providing space for more hangars, making some adjustment to the airfield geometry, and identifying where a future terminal building can be constructed to accommodate the increase in corporate jet traffic. Likewise, the SBP has analyzed the regional market factors, opportunities, and possible development scenarios, both at the Marana Regional Airport, and in the immediate areas adjacent to the airport. As a result, a market focus and a current economic depiction of the area has been developed.
The FAA and ADOT will participate in funding eligible projects, thereby reducing the costs to the Town of Marana. Under current Federal and State legislation, the FAA will fund 91.06 percent of eligible costs and the ADOT will fund 4.47 percent. The Town will fund the remaining 4.47 percent. Projects that are not funded by the FAA may be funded solely by ADOT; in this case, the State would fund 90 percent of eligible costs and the Town would be responsible for 10 percent of the remaining costs. Funding for eligible projects, regardless of FAA or State participation, is not guaranteed and is subject to funding availability. Additionally, under Airport Sponsor Assurance #24, the FAA requires that any AIP-funded airport be as financially self-sustaining as possible given the circumstances that exist at the airport. The development and implementation of an airport business plan provides the opportunity for the airport manager and policymakers to demonstrate that fiduciary responsibilities and the requirements of the FAA are being taken seriously. An airport’s financial statements, budgets, and performance measures are considered essential tools for achieving goals and realizing the mission and vision for the airport.
The final steps in the AMP process include a brief environmental overview, finalization of the ALP, and a concise financial plan which will provide an estimate of the costs associated with the proposed development and potential funding sources to pay for the development over the course of the 20-year planning period. The final steps in the SBP process will take into account all of the information and analysis that has been developed to date, and address the final goals and objectives of the airport. The final report will make recommendations for a stronger business structure, and will map a path to successful development for the future.