Airports are not just transportation facilities; they are also a form of public and/or private business enterprise. Many general aviation airports are minimally staffed to maintain and operate the airport. The focus of the airport manager is, by necessity, on the day-to-day operations and less on the vision and future of the airport, on potential revenue opportunities, or on strategic and business planning. While considerable time and money is spent on airport system infrastructure planning and forecasting, many general aviation airports invest little in formal airport business planning. Airport business planning and airport master planning are both essential in planning the future of an airport. Sound business planning will provide airport managers and policy makers with the tools to make informed, prudent, and defensible business decisions as they relate to the development and operations of the airport. Research is needed to define the value and to provide guidance on the development of business plans in a clear and concise manner that is specific to general aviation airports.
The objective of this research is to develop a guidebook to educate general aviation airport managers and policy makers on how to create a business plan to assist their airport in maximizing its self-sufficiency. The guidebook should address at a minimum (a) why a business plan is a valuable tool, (b) the elements of a business plan, and (c) the process to develop and implement a business plan.
STATUS: The Guidebook has been published as ACRP Report 77: Guidebook for Developing General Aviation Airport Business Plans There is also a CD-ROM with the worksheets, as well as a series of PowerPoint presentations as an alternative means of learning how to develop a business plan.