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Cuyahoga County Airport Master Plan

About the Projects

The goal of the Airport Master Plan Update is to provide guidance for future Airport development that considers the existing and anticipated aviation demand, is technically sound and financially feasible, and that resolves aviation, environmental and socioeconomic issues existing in the community. Specific outcomes and products of the study shall include:

  • A plan that will ensure the reliability and safety of Airport operations;
  • A schedule of priorities and phasing for the various improvements proposed in the plan;
  • Pertinent backup information and data (technical, economic and environmental) which were essential to the development of the master plan update;
  • A description of the various concepts and alternatives that were considered in the establishment of the proposed plan;
  • A concise and descriptive report so that the impact and logic of its recommendations can be clearly understood by local residents and by those authorities and public agencies charged with the approval, promotion, and funding of the improvements proposed in the master plan update.

Within the scope of services for the Master Plan Update is an assessment of methods available to upgrade the Runway Safety Areas (RSA) at County Airport in order to modernize them to current FAA standards. The alternative methods for upgrading the Airport’s RSA will be included in the Alternatives Analysis Task of the Master Plan Update. Additional information on the RSA Assessment Task is as follows:

Runway Safety Area (RSA) Task

This task will assess the condition of the Runway Safety Areas (RSA) for Cuyahoga county Airport Runway 6-24 with regard to current FAA design standards. It will develop and evaluate alternatives for improving the RSA’s and provide an analysis documenting the results and conclusions of the task. The alternatives will be evaluated considering many factors, including safety history, current operations, compliance with federal standards, site constraints, weather conditions, available navigational aids, environmental factors and financial impacts.

Questions and Answers

Who owns and operates the County Airport?
Cuyahoga County owns the airport; Its operation and maintenance is the responsibility of the Department of Development's Airport Division under the auspicious of the County Executive.
What projects are underway?
The County is currently working with airport planning experts to develop a master plan and a runway safety area (RSA) study, as well as maintenance and rehabilitation projects for the airfield and County-owned buildings.
What is the purpose of the Airport master plan and why do it now?
The airport master plan will provide guidance for future airport development that considers the existing and anticipated demands for flight activity. The last airport was prepared in 1977. Major project tasks include:
  • Inventory of facilities;
  • Forecasts of aviation activity;
  • Determining facility requirements;
  • Evaluating alternatives for airport development;
The runway safety area and master plan studies are being conducted jointly so that potential improvements to the airport meet both its present and future needs.
A runway safety area is a defined area surrounding a runway that is prepared or suitable for reducing the risk of personal injury and damage to airplanes in the event that a pilot lands short of the runway, overruns the runway pavement or veers off the pavement to either side. At airports like Cuyahoga County Airport, the RSA is 500 feet in width along the runway, and extends to a point of 1,000 feet beyond the end of the runway or stopway.
What is involved in the runway safety area study?
This part of the study will assess the condition of the runway safety area. Alternatives for improving the RSA will be evaluated using many factors, including safety history, current operations, compliance with standards, site constraints, weather conditions, and available navigation aids. The FAA will require any long-standing issues or non-standard RSA's to be rectified in the master plan that is being developed for Cuyahoga County Airport.
Who is funding the airport master study plan and runway safety area study?
The airport master plan and runway safety area study are being prepared by the Cuyahoga County Department of Development. Cuyahoga County is receiving 95% of the funding (maximum allowable) from the FAA through its Airport improvement Program. The Federal funds come from ticket taxes and other user fees paid by users of the national airport system. The County provides the local match (5% of the study cost).
Why did the County recently purchase 20 acres of land next to the county airport property line?
To comply with Federal standards, the County must monitor uses of land located near the end of the airport runway to make sure it is not used for activities that are potentially incompatible with the needs of the aircraft landing and taking off. A 20-Acre parcel known as the Mayfair property, located on Highland Road directly adjacent to the airports current property, was at risk of being developed for new housing and other types of activities not suited for a site within a half mile of the runway. The FAA directs airport owners like the County to acquire these types of areas whenever possible and affordable, and ensure that no development takes place. The County will secure this property, demolish the existing vacant structure, and keep the are clear of future development.