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US updates airport plans.

According to the US Transportation Department's updated National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems 20052009, nearly $40 billion of infrastructure development will be needed throughout the States over the next five years to meet the coming needs of both civil and commercial aviation. This is $6.6 billion, or 15% less, than the last such report issued in 2002. The reduction has been brought about mainly by changing traffic patterns, caused by a decline in the activity levels of legacy carriers at hub airports and an increase in those of regional jet operators and budget airlines.

The NPIAS report identifies 3,344 existing airports that will now be eligible for grants under the FAA's Airport Improvement Programme (ALP). Spending on large-scale passenger facility charge-funded capital projects over the period will fall by almost a third ($7.3 billion), while around half of the new lower estimate of future airport development is accounted for by project deferrals beyond 2009.

Of the 3,344 airports identified for AIP funding, 24% are made up of non-primary commercial service, reliever or general aviation airports, many of the latter having carried out master plans for the first time in the wake of the events of September 11, 2001. Over 70% of the spend at the 76% of scheduled service airports will be used to bring existing airports up to current design standards, add capacity at those already congested, or will be spent on landside terminal extension/replacements.

Although the report is very much focused on the domestic aspect --concerning capacity forecasts it predicts that several factors "including the increased range and reduced size of aircraft" will combine to bring more international passengers to more US airports--it says that no additional hub airports are expected over the next five years. The study cites JFK, Chicago-O'Hare, Miami, Anchorage and LAX as all warranting improved cargo facilities to keep pace with international cargo traffic growth. It adds that 28 surplus military airbases can expect to be converted for public use.

A copy of the new report can be found on our website www.airportsint.com
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Title Annotation:Americas; united states, National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems
Comment:US updates airport plans.(Americas)(united states, National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems)
Publication:Airports International
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Dec 1, 2004
Words:346
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