Caltrans Releases 2011 California Airport Land Use Handbook


This updated Handbook includes technical updates that respond to regulatory changes since the previous 2002 edition.

ESA Airports led the consultant team that prepared the recently released 2011 California Airport Land Use Handbook, now available on the Caltrans Division of Aeronautics website. The new Handbook includes numerous technical updates that respond to regulatory changes that have occurred since the 2002 edition. The Handbook has also been reformatted to provide readers with a chronological discussion of the overall airport land use planning process beginning with the statutory background behind this process including the formation and responsibility of airport land use commissions (ALUCs), the required and recommended steps that need to be taken when preparing an airport land use compatibility plan (ALUCP), the factors that should be considered when preparing an ALUCP, how to develop compatibility policies for airports, the responsibilities of local agencies once an ALUCP has been adopted, and how an ALUC should use an ALUCP post-adoption.

The safety zone discussion has been improved by combining the previously separate tables and text regarding compatible land uses and their associated density/intensity criteria. The geometry of the safety zones has not changed, and this is validated by analysis of accident data since the 2002 Handbook was prepared. However, recommended intensities (persons per acre) have changed slightly, and in many cases increased, to better reflect the realities of development that is, and has long been, considered compatible with particular safety zones.

In addition, land use commissioners and staff can look forward to new content, including an expanded discussion of the California Environmental Quality Act, an overview of the Next Generation Air Transportation System, a compact checklist of commissioner roles and responsibilities, and new forms and templates for use by ALUC staff.

Caltrans expects the new Handbook will be used to guide the development of ALUCPs in California for years to come. Contact Brian Grattidge at bgrattidge [at] esassoc [dot] com (subject: Caltrans%202011%20Handbook)   or 916.564.4500 for more information about this project or airport land use compatibility planning.