Airport planning is a systematic process that establishes guidelines for the efficient development of airports consistent with local, State and national goals. The FAA establishes standards and provides guidance on national airport layout, master and system planning. A key objective of airport planning is to assure the effective use of airport resources in order to satisfy aviation demand in a financially feasible manner.

Sponsor's Capital Improvement Program (CIP)

Effective airport planning allows the airport owner to identify short term and long term needs of their airport. Airport needs may arise from aviation demand, airport inspections, runway safety recommendations and security recommendations.

Sponsors desiring federal aid must submit their capital improvement plan (CIP) and supplemental documentation to the FAA for review and approval. The sponsor may submit a request-for-aid at any time during the year. However, in order to be included in a specific fiscal year (FY), timely submittal of the request is essential. Typically, Sponsors should submit requests for a particular fiscal year by February 15th of the previous fiscal year.

Sponsors should note that the preparation and submittal of a CIP project does not represent a guarantee that the sponsor will receive Federal funds. The official notice that a sponsor will receive Federal funds is through a Congressional notification for release of funds. The FAA views all Sponros actions and efforts prior to the Congressional release as a sponsor initiative.

FAA Airport Capital Improvement Program (ACIP)

The FAA's Airport Capital Improvement Program (ACIP) serves as the FAA's primary tool for project formulation. The ACIP provides the means to systematically identify, prioritize and assign funds for airport development. The FAA evaluates each proposed project for eligibility, justification, reasonableness of cost, priority assessment, reasonableness of project schedule, and information deficiencies. Projects the FAA deems acceptable are entered into the official ACIP. The FAA relies on the ACIP to serve as the basis for the distribution of limited grant funds under the Airport Improvement Program (AIP).

Developing Your Airport Through Sound Capital Planning Practices (PDF, 9.65 MB) - Central Region Planning Brochure