Cuyahoga County Airport Master Plan

This master plan update project was the first update undertaken for Cuyahoga County Airport since the previous master plan was completed in 1977. Initially, the county needed to plan for a capital project for runway safety area improvements to comply with FAR Part 139 for meeting the requirements of the FAA’s Runway Safety Area Program. This led the county to address the broader need for an update of the airport master plan. Since residential development has grown significantly in the past twenty years in the eastern Cleveland suburban neighborhoods that surround the airport, and new, fast-growing businesses are now located at the airport, it was time to take a careful look at the future of the airport as well as the community.

The master plan update addresses wide-ranging issues and includes an obstruction study, an economic impact analysis, a noise analysis, and aviation forecasting, unique because of the location of the national headquarters of Flight Options, the second-largest fractional ownership aircraft business in the nation, at the airport.

The alternative solutions for runway safety area improvements carefully consider engineering constraints to a greater degree than typical for a master plan. This in-depth examination of such considerations as the feasibility of road relocation, tunneling, drainage concerns, cost, and environmental impacts provides a level of analysis that will benefit the master planning effort.

A proactive public relations approach to the project was undertaken to engage airport stakeholder and community support. In addition to two airport advisory committees (technical and community) a series of small focus group meetings are providing feedback to airport management and the consultant team. The seven focus groups represent planning professionals, security agencies, airside and landside tenants, regulatory agencies, airport neighbors, and community leaders. In addition, a website has been created to provide project information to the public, and newsletters and community workshop/open house meetings are planned at milestones in the project. The ultimate goal is to have a successful project that is understood and supported by the community.