Master Plan

Frequently Asked Questions

What is an Airport Master Plan Study?

As defined by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), an Airport Master Plan is a comprehensive study of an airport and usually describes the short-, medium-, and long-term development plans to meet future aviation demand at the Airport. Airport master plans serve as facility development guides for a long-range planning horizon (usually 20 to 25 years), and summarize an airport’s strategy for the development of the airport. The results are presented in two documents, a planning report and a set of Airport Layout Plans that graphically describe current and future conditions.

What are the goals of the Master Plan Study?

In general, the study provides a framework to meet the more specific objectives defined by the Gary/Chicago International Airport Authority (GCIAA) for improvements in the airside, landside, terminal, and support facilities as well as environmental and financial considerations.

What are the components of the Master Plan Study?

The major elements of the Gary/Chicago International Airport Master Plan Study include:

  • Inventory of Existing Conditions
  • Aviation Activity Forecasts
  • Facility Requirements and Demand/Capacity Analysis
  • Alternatives
  • Proposed Development Plan
  • Airport Layout Plan
  • Stakeholder and Public Participation

Why is the Authority doing this Study?

The most recent Master Plan Study for Gary/Chicago International Airport was completed in 2001. Since that time, the Authority has implemented several of the projects recommended in the study. The Authority desires to update the 2001 Master Plan Study to reflect the recently completed projects, revisit portions of the study, and provide an updated vision for the next 20+ years of airport development.

How long will it take to complete the Study?

This study will take approximately 19 months: September 2016 – March 2017

How often are master plans undertaken?

There is no regulatory requirement for how frequently master plans are undertaken. Timing varies based on the airport’s activity and changing conditions. Typically, airports update their plans every 5 to 10 years, or as needed to remain relevant to the airport’s role and conditions.

Who owns and operates the Gary/Chicago International Airport?

The Airport is owned and operated by the Gary/Chicago International Airport Authority (GCIAA). In January 2014, the City of Gary and the GCIAA entered into a public-private partnership with AFCO/AvPORTS for management of the Airport and development of the surrounding land.

Who is preparing the Airport Master Plan?

Jacobsen|Daniels, LLC (J|D) was selected from several teams interviewed for this project. J|D is a professional consulting firm that specializes in aviation planning and implementation support. Their planning services include master planning, strategic and operational planning, and environmental planning, and they work with both airports and airlines to design, define, implement, and manage their airport improvement projects. J|D is a certified Disadvantaged Business Enterprise, Small Business Administration 8(a) and Airport Concessions Disadvantaged Business Enterprise company with extensive experience in the design, execution, and management of diversity and inclusion programs. There are eight firms supporting J|D:

  • LeighFisher - Financial Feasibility and Forecast Services
  • RS&H - Environmental and Engineering Support
  • Above & Beyond Consulting - Planning Support
  • Forms & Funktion - Architectural Support and Community Outreach
  • AES Services – Engineering Support
  • Fluid Communications – Community Outreach
  • DataMine – Website Development and Management
  • Quantum Spatial – aerial photogrammetry and mapping

Who is paying for the Master Plan Study?

The Master Plan is being paid for with a combination of federal and local funds.

Who approves the Master Plan?

The Gary/Chicago International Airport Authority Board will review and approve the Study. The Board will receive regular briefings on the findings and recommendations as the study progresses.

What is the FAA’s role in the Master Plan?

In addition to providing input on the scope of work and ongoing advisory coordination, the FAA has two main roles:

  • Review and approve the Forecast of Aviation Activity
  • Review and accept the Airport Layout Plans which show existing and proposed improvements as well as the current and future standards of the runways and airfield.

How are the environmental concerns, such as noise, wetlands, air quality, and habitats being considered in the Master Plan?

The planning team gathered available information on environmental conditions of the airport and its vicinity as part of the initial work tasks. Potential environmental effects of the proposed development will be identified and discussed as part of the alternatives analysis and preferred development plan. This information will help ensure selection of alternatives for development that respect the environs and also support the Authority’s mission of continued growth and activity at the Airport.

Who will pay for the projects that are recommended by the Master Plan?

Projects recommended by airport master plans are typically funded by a variety of sources. These may include Federal Aviation Administration grants, airport revenue funds, passenger facility charges, and third party investments.

Will the project change the types of flight activity at the airport?

No, typically an airport master plan does not, in itself, change the types of activity. Its objective is to help identify and prepare for foreseeable changes in flight activity.

Is the Master Plan studying how the Airport can get better air service?

No, this is a study to help prepare for that activity when it may occur.

What is an Airport Layout Plan, or ALP?

As defined by the Federal Aviation Administration, the Airport Layout Plan, or ALP, is a scaled drawing (or set of drawings), in either traditional or electronic form, of current and future airport facilities that provides a graphic representation of the existing and long-term development plan for the airport. The ALP demonstrates the preservation and continuity of safety, utility, and efficiency of the airport to the satisfaction of the FAA.

All airport development at airports receiving federal funds must be shown on an FAA-approved ALP. The ALP should meet FAA airport design standards existing at the time of its approval.

How can I be involved in the Master Plan?

There are several ways that you can stay involved and informed:

  • Visit this website for updates to the study and notices of public meetings.
  • Listen for announcements of public meetings on local radio and other media outlets.
  • Attend the public meetings and talk with Airport staff and the planning team to share your thoughts and ask questions.

What is an aviation activity forecast?

An aviation activity forecast is a projection of potential ranges of flight activity at an airport, encompassing passengers, aircraft operations (an operation is defined as a take-off or a landing) and based aircraft. These form the basis of analysis for long range planning of airport facilities and therefore are critical to the Master Plan Study.

Forecasts may be based on socioeconomic trends or outlooks, continuation of historical activity, expressed as a percentage of the FAA’s national or regional forecast, or reflect changes based on a potential operational scenario. For this study, forecasts were developed for the period of 2016 – 2036.

What is GYY?

GYY is the Gary/Chicago International Airport’s location identifier. Every airport has a unique three to five character alphanumeric identifier.