The St. Louis Downtown Airport has a complete Transportation Improvement Plan provided by the Illinois Department of Transportation. However, the following are some key projects to watch for include drainage improvements, airport fuel farm improvements, aircraft run-up enclosure, and more.
Now home to more than 20 aviation-related businesses, a land use plan was created as the first phase of a 20-year master plan for future development of the surrounding industrial business park at the airport.
Why the Master Plan?
An Airport Master Plan is a study used to determine the long-term development plans for an airport. Because air transportation is a vital community industry, it is important that the requirements for new or improved airports be anticipated. It is also essential to reserve adequate resources to meet identified needs. Airport master planning is a critical tool in determining needs and programming development at individual airports.
The Airport Master Plan process provides opportunities for political entities and the public to participate in the development of aviation plans. It provides a framework for individual airport development programs consistent with short, intermediate, and long-range airport system requirements and determines future financial requirements. An Airport Master Plan addresses the development needs for a 20-year time period. Updates are often necessary as the dynamic conditions of the industry are reflected in activity and future needs.
The Airport Master Plan is a community’s concept of the long-term development of its airport. It graphically displays the concept and reports the data and logic upon which the plan is based. The plan is prepared to support the modernization of existing airports and the creation of new ones.
The master planning process considers the needs and demands of airport tenants, users, and the general public. The guiding principle of the airport master planning process is the development of a safe and efficient airport. It must also be responsive to area-wide, comprehensive transportation planning.
The St. Louis Downtown Airport charges no local tax, but generates over $583 million in the local economy as well as 142 jobs in the community. All airport expenses are paid directly by the users of the airport, but if you consider all of the other jobs generated by the airport in the region a total of 3,731 jobs are created. For every job created the airport generates over $156,258 in local investments.
KCPS is a regional general aviation airport serving the St. Louis metropolitan area and the third busiest airport in Illinois. The airport’s location makes it the most convenient airport to downtown St. Louis. It is a vital component of the regional and national system of airports. The October 2011 draft of the FAA’s Airport System Strategic Evaluation Task (ASSET), implemented during early 2012, would classify CPS as a Regional Service Airport.
KCPS has a limited amount of land and a significant portion of that land is currently committed to airfield use or is limited in some way in its ability to accommodate aircraft operations. In addition, a portion of the airport and surrounding property is encumbered by local, regional, or national ecological and/or storm water regulations such as those areas identified as wetland, floodplain, and those necessary for stormwater management. Therefore the land available for development will continue to be in high demand for aviation use facilities and the existing developed land will continue to be redeveloped in an attempt to provide best use.
The capacity of the existing runway configuration, as defined by the FAA’s Annual Service Volume, is sufficient to accommodate even the most aggressive aircraft operations forecasts. In addition, it is assumed that the current runway lengths are sufficient to meet the operational needs of the forecast aircraft fleet. Although no new runway infrastructure is anticipated the airport’s taxiway system will continue to evolve in order to safely and efficiently move aircraft to and from the runways and all designated aviation support facilities.
St. Louis Downtown Airport will continue to maintain a portion of its property to accommodate the floodplain management commitments identified in FAA’s Finding Of No Significant Impact (FONSI) dated June 20, 2007 and recent permit conditions identified by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. In addition, any impacts to the existing wetlands will be avoided, though—if unavoidable—minimized to all practicable extents. If however, areas that include unavoidable/minimized impacts to wetlands remain, there are existing wetland mitigation credits based on permits obtained for improvements listed in the previously referenced FONSI.
This approximately 38-acre area beginning east of St. Patrick Blvd and extending further east to the glide slope critical area is defined by the Building Restriction Line and the airport property line. At the present time development of this area is hindered by the lack of airfield infrastructure such as taxiway access, apron, and supporting utilities. Ground access to the site is poor due to the need to traverse established residential neighborhoods to reach the airport property. However the area does offer parcels of land suitable for development of airfield support facilities that are in close proximity to the primary runway. The location and route of ground access and the relative isolation of this area from the established aviation support facilities in the west and north quadrants make it a poor location for a fixed base operator, or similar function, that relies on itinerant and local traffic for its business. The area is however suitable for development by a specialized aviation business operation catering to a specific element of general aviation.
The infrastructure currently in the southwest development area, defined as the area both east and west of the Runway Five centerline, is currently limited to serving small general aviation aircraft. The taxiway separation will serve only aircraft in the Design Group I category. It is recommended that development for aviation purposes within this quadrant be limited to serve small general aviation users. Small general aviation aircraft are typically accommodated in T-hangars or small box hangars with less than 20 foot door heights. In addition, taxiway and apron standards are less imposing due to size and weight of the aircraft. This user category is also compatible with the residential neighborhoods contiguous to the property. A decision to provide facilities that could accommodate service to aircraft larger than Design Group I would require relocation of the parallel taxiway to a centerline separation of not less than 240 feet.
The description of the Land Use Plan for the airport’s west side is separated into two distinct and independent parts. The first area to be considered is that portion of the property that has access to the airfield. This area is defined to the west by the Missouri Pacific Railroad Tracks, to the north by Curtis Steinberg Road and the airport property line, east by the airfield surfaces associated with Runway 5-23, and to the south by the Runway 12R-30L RPZ. This property is occupied by a mixture of hangars constructed over seven decades to meet a current demand and located by necessity rather than by the implementation of an overall layout plan. Due to the proximity to Runway 5-23 as well as the existing and anticipated demand for all types of general aviation services the Land Use Plan is based on maximizing the aviation use and on improving ground movement efficiency on the west side of the airport.
The area referred to in this report as the north side development area is bordered on the west and south by the Runway 5-23 and the Runway 12L-30R approach/safety surfaces respectively and on the east by Goose Creek. This property is primarily occupied by General Dynamics, the airport administration and Aircraft Rescue and Fire Fighting (ARFF) facility and a maintenance building for airport equipment. Preferred use areas to serve large corporate aviation functions typically include considerations for entrance roads and auto parking, terminal/office building, fueling facilities, and aircraft hangars and parking aprons. At the present time the airport does not have sufficient land resources that meet airfield and ground access requirements to meet the long-term planning requirements for large general aviation users. These needs can best be accommodated by acquisition and development of land north of the existing airport boundary. Acquisition and development of this property would provide the airport the opportunity to offer corporate tenants the space and ground access needed to develop these facilities. In addition, traversing this property with an access road would provide vehicle access to the remainder of the airport’s north side property previously described.
The St. Louis Downtown Airport utilizes the Bi-State Procurement Office for all Request for Proposals. For more information about the RFP process please visit here.