Scottsdale Airport continues 2015 master plan update

A view of the Scottsdale Airport. (Submitted photo)

A view of the Scottsdale Airport. (Submitted photo)

Expected this spring is the unveiling of how city officials anticipate the Scottsdale Airport will grow and facilitate the needs of the general aviation community through calendar year 2032.

While city officials contend growth to the Scottsdale Airport will be minimal over the next 17 years a master plan is needed as the last update only accounted for needs through calendar year 2015.

The Scottsdale Airport Master Plan is intended to be a proactive document identifying and planning for future facility needs, airport officials say.

The study is being funded with grant-in-aid assistance from the Federal Aviation Administration and Arizona Department of Transportation and a local grant match is being provided by the municipality of Scottsdale, according to the project’s website.

Coffman Associates Inc. has been tapped to update its 1997 master plan approved years ago.

The study process is anticipated to take approximately 18 months to complete, which includes time for agency reviews and FAA approvals of both the master plan forecasts and airport layout plan drawings.

The city of Scottsdale hosted an open house Tuesday, Jan. 8 and anticipate a final rough draft to be presented to the Scottsdale Airport Advisory Commission this spring.

The final word on the matter will come from Scottsdale City Council, according to Sarah Ferrara, the airport’s planning and outreach coordinator.

“The Federal Aviation Administration recommends airport master plans be updated every five years or as necessary to keep them current,” she said in a Jan. 7 written response to e-mailed questions. “Generally airports conduct updates to their master plans to assess its existing role as well as strategically plan for the future.”

Ms. Ferrara says this is a routine update.

“The last master plan process laid the foundation for several airport improvements which have been achieved,” she pointed out. This update serves as a proactive record to identify and plan for future facility needs.”

The Scottsdale airport is more than just another runway relieving congestion at the Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, Ms. Ferrara says.

“Scottsdale Airport facilitates travel and commerce, improves quality of life, catalyst for economic growth and creates jobs and income,” she said noting a economic analysis of the current master plan in place at the airport.

“The economic benefits filter into the surrounding airpark as well. Through this study, the economic impact of aviation activities at Scottsdale Airport is around $536 million for fiscal year 2014. The impact study found that there are more than 1,400 aviation-related jobs on the airport and in the airpark and spending by air visitors that arrive at the airport creates an additional 447 jobs in the local economy.”

The economic prowess of the Scottsdale Airport creates a ripple effect creating more than 3,450 jobs supported by aviation activity at the reliever hub, Ms. Ferrara says.

Megan Doyle, Scottsdale Convention & Visitor’s Affairs manager, agrees with the notion the Scottsdale Aiport has created a ripple effect of economic activity.

“The Scottsdale Airport has added tremendous value to the tourism and business industries, especially in the airport’s surrounding community. Not only has the Scottsdale Airpark thrived, but the Kierland Commons and Scottsdale Quarter shopping centers have seen significant growth,” she points out. “The airport provides an exclusive, private gateway for visitors to attend Scottsdale signature events such as the Waste Management Phoenix Open and the Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction. And, of course, events are essential to Scottsdale’s tourism industry.”

The Scottsdale Airport is like having an immediate tourism shot-in-the-arm on standby, Ms. Doyle contends.

“Getting visitors here is the priority, so it’s essential that our community can offer accessible and convenient entries,” she said. “Once they’re here, it’s vital that we have options for them to explore the destination. Scottsdale Airport is unique in that you can land, deplane, get in a rental car pulled up and waiting for you, and be at your hotel within a matter of minutes. It doesn’t get much more convenient than that.”

To learn more about the ongoing creation of the next Scottsdale Airport master plan go to www.scottsdale.airportstudy.com.

Northeast Valley Managing Editor Terrance Thornton can be contacted at tthornton@newszap.com

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