The New England Regional Airport System Plan - General Aviation
The New England state aviation officials, in partnership with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), are conducting a study of the General Aviation (GA) airport system in New England, including primary commercial service airports that service a General Aviation component.
In fall of 2006, the FAA New England Region, in concert with the New England Airport Directors and New England State Aviation Directors, completed the "New England Regional Airport System Plan" (NERASP). The results of this study describe the foundation of a regional strategy for the air carrier airport system to support the needs of air passengers through 2020. To date, the development of that strategy has been instrumental in facilitating the investment and development of the primary commercial airport system in New England.
During preparation of the 2006 NERASP study which analyzed the primary commercial airports in New England, the group recognized that a similar evaluation of General Aviation would also prove useful. It would provide state aviation officials with a greater understanding of airport roles and infrastructure investment. Faced with the current struggling economy, rising airport and aircraft operational costs, declining operational activity, an aging infrastructure and with limited state and federal funds to address improvements, the importance of developing both a short-range and long-range perspective on the future performance of the New England General Aviation airport system is clear.
This assessment of the New England General Aviation airport system will provide state aviation officials with a common understanding of their state airport system in relation to the New England region as a whole. Assisted by this information, the FAA will be better positioned to make decisions regarding priority capital investments. Moreover, the NERASP study proved that the geographic boundary of the New England region, as well as its cultural identity, makes an overall study of New England an effective planning approach.
This unique application of airport system planning complements a similar venture by FAA to conduct a General Aviation study to develop a nationwide General Aviation perspective. The timeliness of the New England proposal offers an opportunity to share mutual interests and findings.