San Diego Airport Land Use Compatibility Plan Implementation Tool

The San Diego County Regional Airport Authority serves as the airport land use commission (ALUC) for San Diego County. Under California state law, an ALUC must prepare and adopt airport land use compatibility plans (ALUCPs) for all jurisdictional airports within their designated region and review all local land use actions so that new development complies with the adopted ALUCPs. The purpose of an ALUCP is to protect the public within an airport’s vicinity from health and safety hazards created from airport operations. It also helps prevent future development of incompatible land uses close to an airport. Many of the 16 airports in the airport authority’s jurisdiction are located within residential and commercial areas, so they continue to deal with the issue of encroachment of development. Each plan deals with four compatibility factors: noise, overflight, safety and airspace protection. Once the plans are adopted, information management and communication are key to their success. The authority and airport staff need the ability to easily identify and communicate which parcels are affected by any of these compatibility factors.

The Airport Authority hired a technical consultant team to develop ALUCPs for several of the airports located within the county. Working with the prime, C&S developed a custom geographic information system (GIS) web-based application to serve as the ALUCP GIS implementation tool for all sixteen airports. The software manages location-based information, like parcels and airport compatibility factors, storing the geometric features (location and dimensions) and associated attributes (owner name or noise contour level). It maps these features and can query information on what factors impact a certain property. The ALUCP GIS implementation tool allows a user to quickly and easily locate a parcel, either by entering address or tax ID information, or by zooming into the parcel visually from a map. If a user enters partial information, like the name of the street without an address number, the results will list all parcels on that street. If selecting the parcel by zooming in on the map, the user can either choose an individual parcel, or draw a box, returning a list of parcels that intersect the designated area. The application executes a spatial analysis to identify the most restrictive compatibility factors that intersect the parcel.

The airport authority’s new tool will save significant staff time and money and enhance the accuracy of information. What otherwise might require the use of several paper maps, consulting with multiple departments, or the expertise to use standard GIS desktop software, will instead be accomplished with only a few keystrokes and mouse clicks from any internet-connected computer.