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Coffman Associates, Inc. has been contracted by the City of Galveston to conduct an update to the Airport Master Plan and Business Plan for Scholes International Airport at Galveston (GLS). The purpose of this plan is to provide the airport, the City of Galveston, the Texas Department of Transportation – Aviation Division (TxDOT), and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) with a strategic vision for the long term operation of GLS, as well as improvements that may be necessary over the next 20 years. The plan will include an updated Airport Layout Plan (ALP) drawing set. The ALP is a multi‐drawing set that serves as the planning blueprint showing current and future conditions at the airport, including the development of planned future projects. The Master Plan and Business Plan is being prepared in accordance with FAA Advisory Circular (AC) 150/5300‐13A, Airport Design; AC 150/5070‐6B, Airport Master Plans; and FAA ARP Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) 2.00 – Appendix A – ALP Review Checklist. Specific objectives to be included in the study are:
Analyze the current situation at GLS by conducting an inventory of existing conditions and operational data
Identify aviation demand forecasts for airport operations and based aircraft for 5, 10, and 20 years into the future
Determine facility requirements necessary to meet forecasted demand
Draft alternatives for airport development and operation, in line with facility requirements
Select a preferred development concept, which will be reflected on the ALP
Develop a 20‐year demand‐based Capital Improvement Plan (CIP), including a recommended phasing plan
Prepare an updated ALP drawing set of existing and proposed facilities
Craft a Strategic Plan which includes updated Mission and Vision Statements and, if appropriate, recommend a branding strategy that could include updates to the airport’s website, logo, and other marketing materials
Analyze the airport’s business and development needs and recommend an implementation strategy to maximize airport revenue
Evaluate existing lease fee structure to ensure compliance with FAA grant assurances
Review the airport’s guiding documents, including Rules & Regulations and Minimum Standards, and update as necessary
The Airport Master Plan and Business Plan is of interest to many within the local community and region. This includes local citizens and businesses, community organizations, City of Galveston officials, airport users and tenants, and aviation organizations. To assist in the development of the study, the city has identified a group of stakeholders to act in an advisory role as the plan progresses. The Planning Advisory Committee (PAC) is comprised of individuals and organizations with a vested interest in the future development of GLS. Members of the PAC will meet at designated points during the planning process to review draft study materials and provide comments to help ensure a realistic and viable plan is developed. A community outreach program is also being established to allow members of the public to review and comment on the study as it develops.
The Airport Master Plan and Business Plan is prepared in a systematic fashion, with each planning element addressing a particular plan objective. These elements and objectives were developed in coordination with the airport sponsor (the City of Galveston) and are summarized as follows:
Element 1: Study Initiation and Organization – This element includes the development of the scope of services, budget, and schedule. The PAC will convene to discuss project goals and objectives, and a Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats (SWOT) exercise will be conducted. A strategic plan and visioning session will also be held to shape new mission/vision statements and discuss airport rebranding options. A project‐specific website will be created to serve as a draft document repository, allowing members of the community to review and comment on the plan as it progresses.
Element 2: Inventory of Existing Conditions – An inventory of the airport’s current condition will be conducted to evaluate airside (runways, taxiways, navigational aids, lighting, etc.) and landside (terminal building, apron, hangars, fixed base operators [FBO], on‐airport businesses, support facilities, etc.) facilities. Operational data and based aircraft will also be included in the inventory process, as well as demographic data and land use and environmental features on and around the airport.
Element 3: Aviation Demand Forecasts – Aviation demand forecasts will be prepared using FAA‐accepted methodologies and will include projections for based aircraft and annual operations (air taxi and general aviation) for 5, 10, and 20 years into the future. The service area will be defined in this element and used to develop the forecasts, and the critical design aircraft for the airport will be determined. The forecasts will be submitted to TxDOT for review and approval.
Element 4: Facility Requirements and Alternatives – Using the projections prepared in Element 3, airside and landside facility requirements will be determined based upon short (5 years), intermediate (10 years), and long term (20 years) planning horizons. Several alternatives will be developed to show different ways in which the airport can improve and expand to meet these facility requirements now and in the future.
Element 5: Airport Plans/Land Use Compatibility –
Coordination with airport staff and the PAC will result
in the selection of a recommended development
concept. Airport layout plans will be developed
to depict the recommended development
concept. The drawings will meet the requirements
of FAA’s Standard Operating Procedure (SOP),
Standard Procedure for FAA Review and Approval of
Airport Layout Plans (ALPs), effective date October
1, 2013. The updated ALP set will be included as Appendix
B to this study. The airport’s noise exposure
and land use compatibility will also be evaluated. An
environmental overview will identify any potential
environmental concerns that must be addressed
prior to the implementation of the recommended
Element 6: Financial Management and Development
Program – This element will analyze the costs
that may be associated with the development plan,
with in‐depth financial analysis to estimate capital
funds required from federal and state grant‐in‐aid
programs. A 20‐year capital program and development
schedule that prioritizes projects will be established.
Tenant lease agreements will also be
evaluated and methods for improving lease management
will be explored.
Element 7: Final Reports – The final element includes
production of the draft final report and ALP
drawings in print and digital form. These materials
will be presented to the City of Galveston, TxDOT,
and the FAA for review and approval. Once approved,
a final report will be prepared and made
available in print and digital formats.
Figure A illustrates the study process. In addition to
the elements described above, business planning elements
including airport goals/objectives and mission
and values statements will be identified. These
are included in Appendix C.
Figure A | Study Process
A SWOT analysis is a strategic business planning technique used to identify Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats associated with an action or plan. This exercise involves identifying an action, objective, or element, and then identifying the internal and external forces that are positively and negatively impacting it. The internal forces include attributes of the airport and market area that may be considered strengths or weaknesses, while the external forces are those outside the airport’s control, such as the aviation industry as a whole or the economy. These manifest as opportunities or threats. A SWOT analysis was conducted with the PAC in July 2020. A summary of this exercise and discussion is included below.