General Aviation (GA) facilities (e.g., terminals, aprons, tie-downs, T-hangars, conventional hangars, fixed-based operators, other aviation service providers, ground access and parking, and fueling facilities), need to accommodate an expanding variety of aircraft types and activities. The requirements for flight schools, fractional ownership, corporate operators, recreational users, and others vary significantly; yet, they often are found at one airport. In addition, the industry is dynamic: certain activities are growing more rapidly than others, fleet mixes are evolving, and security protocols are changing. Finally, airports are faced with limited funding, which places an increasing emphasis on cost-effectiveness, revenue generation, and operational efficiency. While the needs for GA are broad, guidance for GA facility planning is limited. Appendix 5 of FAA Advisory Circular (AC) 150/5300-13, Airport Design, is dated, provides limited planning guidance for GA facilities, and is not applicable to all sizes of airports with GA activity. There are no other sources of comprehensive guidance for GA facility planning. The lack of comprehensive guidance has led to inefficient GA layouts and inconsistent GA planning methodologies.
Research is needed to develop guidelines to help practitioners plan GA facilities. The guidance should also document the information traditionally used to plan GA facilities as well as identify other nontraditional information sources that could enhance GA facility planning. The guidance should also consider varying user requirements.
The objective of this research is to develop a guidebook to plan General Aviation facilities, including (but not limited to): terminals, aprons, tie-downs, T-hangars, conventional hangars, fixed-based operators, other aviation service providers, ground access and parking, and fueling facilities, for any airport accommodating GA activity.
Research is complete. The results are published as Report 113.