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About the Plan

The concept for the Kentucky Statewide Aviation System Plan (SASP) can be traced back to the Kentucky legislature and governor’s office. Each recognized the significant impact of aviation in the state, both in terms of how transportation capabilities enhance the economy and how aviation industries in the state led the state’s export growth with $5.6 billion worth of exports in 2013.

To capitalize on the strength of aviation in Kentucky, the legislature called for the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet to examine and enhance their existing airport system. As a result, the Kentucky Department of Aviation (KDA), with funding assistance from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), engaged CDM Smith and their partners, Stantec and Connico, Inc., to conduct the Kentucky SASP. The system plan seeks to inventory and categorize the facilities and assets at the state’s 59 airports, and help KDA assess how well the airport system is performing operationally and economically. It also intends to develop recommendations for improving the system so that it can better serve the citizens of Kentucky.

The study involves a large scale survey effort, where the CDM Smith team visits every general aviation airport in the system. The survey gathers information from each airport about its facilities, aircraft activity, environmental compliance, and safety and security aspects of the airport. Additionally, data related to the direct economic impact of each airport will be collected from the airport and associated business tenants.

From this data, the CDM Smith team will analyze individual airports and the airport system as a whole. Each airport will be classified based on the role it serves within the system. This role will aid in identifying beneficial improvements for the airport. Additional analysis will examine the extent to which the airport system provides access to Kentucky citizens and parts of the state. Should there be any gaps in coverage identified, the SASP will make recommendations for bridging those gaps.

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