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COS Airport completed a 20-year master plan in 2022


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What is a Master Plan?

An Airport Master Plan is a comprehensive study that is used to determine the development plans of an airport. The Airport Master Plan acts as guidance in planning future airport facilities over a 20-year period. It considers future aviation demand, available funding, environmental components and airport needs that are associated with current demand as well as future growth.

What is the Goal or Purpose of an Airport Master Plan?

The primary goal of an Airport Master Plan is to provide guidance for future airport development. Additionally, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) Aeronautics Division require airports to maintain a current Master Plan and Airport Layout Plan (ALP) to remain eligible for federal and state grant funds. Typically, Master Plans are updated every 7-10 years. COS’ last Master Plan was completed in 2013. Master Plans establish guidelines and timelines for development, so projects are completed in-line with demand forecasts. While Master Plans can be complex documents, they are important tools that ensure fiscal responsibility, identify and address industry uncertainties, and help balance airport improvements with local concerns.

What Information Does the Plan Include?

Airport Master Plan components are established by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The COS Master Plan will include the following:

  • An inventory of existing conditions including review and analysis of environmental considerations;
  • A series of aviation activity forecasts to identify growth trends and changing conditions;
  • A determination of facility requirements to meet current and projected levels of aviation demand;
  • The development and analysis of alternative solutions to meet defined facility requirements for the 20-year planning period;
  • A financial implementation plan or capital improvement plan that identifies funding sources and project sequencing for the short term (1 to 5 years), intermediate term (6 to 10 years), and long term (11 to 20 years); and
  • An updated Airport Layout Plan (ALP) set.

The completion of the master planning process will result in the following two products:

  • Airport Layout Plan (ALP): A set of plans that graphically depicts the phased development of the airport in accordance with federal airport operating and design standards. 
  • Airport Master Plan Report: A written report which provides narrative descriptions and graphic presentation of the components of the Airport Master Plan and ALP in a technically justified manner.




Reference Documents