An Airport Master Plan is a comprehensive study that describes an airport’s short-, medium-, and long-term plans. It examines the history and current operations at the airport and helps the airport sponsor (in our case, Heber City) to determine what should happen at the airport over the next 20 years. The Heber Valley Airport Master Plan is designed to be a transparent and thoughtful effort to engage all stakeholders in planning for the future of the airport.
Over the past 15 years, Heber Valley Airport has seen a significant increase in small jet traffic. The current runway at Heber Valley Airport was designed for aircraft with much slower approach speeds than the aircraft now frequenting our airport. Because we have more than 500 of these operations (takeoffs or landings) in a year, the FAA has strongly encouraged Heber City to do a master plan update, which will provide the framework needed to accommodate our existing traffic.
The guiding directive to update an Airport Master Plan is the FAA Advisory Circular 150/5070-6B. The Heber Valley Airport will follow the Advisory Circular to perform the three steps in the Airport Master Planning process:
- Data collection and forecast development;
- Identification of alternatives and selection of the recommended alternative;
- Final document development, including the Airport Layout Plan.
Heber Valley Airport’s master plan update will gather information on what types of planes use the airport and how often, the types of businesses that operate at the airport (including emergency support), and how the airport might be most efficiently utilized in the future. Once the data is collected, the City can then make decisions on whether it needs to modernize the airport or if there are safety concerns that should be addressed. Going through the process of collecting data ensures that the City will have the most accurate and current information to make educated decisions regarding security, safety, and efficiency. With that information, the City can then determine if any changes are needed to update the existing airport’s security, safety, and efficiency.
It is important to note that the Airport Master Plan is not a mandated expansion of the airport. It is an FAA-required look at airport operations and how the airport intends to accommodate the aircraft already landing at the airport. It is only through the process of updating the Airport Master Plan that the City can decide what will happen at the Heber Valley Airport for years to come.