Duluth has always been first in air travel.
The Lark of Duluth made the maiden flight by an airline back in 1913. Much about aviation has changed in over 100 years, but one constant remains true: Air travel is about where you’re headed. The Duluth Airport Authority has the opportunity to lead the way. We are completing a Master Plan to help guide us in meeting our region’s aviation needs for the next 20 years.
Taxiway A prior to taxiway relocation and runway reconstruction in the summer of 2019
We have the chance to lead the way.
A thriving airport means a thriving community, and the work has already begun. A new terminal, a growing aviation sector and plenty of space for expansion mean the next twenty years can transform our region. The Master Plan development began in 2019 and will continue through 2022 and will identify projects, which may be implemented at varying times as needed in the 20-year planning term.
Your input can help guide the future of the airport, and ultimately our region. We welcome and look forward to the public’s involvement in this process. Project public open houses and events will be posted on the project webpage.
Through a shared vision for 2040, we can help our region chart a clear course to a better future.
Vision 2040: Master Plan Fact Sheet
Project documents will be uploaded as they become available on this page.
Throughout the project, several informational flyers, or fact-sheets, will be developed. All flyers are posted below. Check back throughout the project for updated information.
Sign up to receive project newsletters! Links to past project newsletters are included below.
No draft documents are available at this time
Make Your Voice Heard
Public Involvement Plan
The DAA wishes to provide the opportunity for all stakeholders to participate and be heard throughout the Master Plan process. A Public Involvement Plan (PIP) was developed to document how the Duluth Airport Authority (DAA) will engage with project stakeholders to inform, educate and solicit feedback throughout the Master Plan process. The PIP will be updated as needed throughout the project as needs and situations dictate.
- Vision 2040 Public Involvement Plan (June 2019)
- Updated Vision 2040 Public Involvement Plan (August 2020)
Master Plan Advisory Committee (MPAC)
A Master Plan Advisory Committee (MPAC) has been developed to serve in an advisory role throughout the Master Plan process and represent a wide array of stakeholders, including local government representatives, airport users, the business community and economic development organizations. This committee will serve several important functions including representing the broad range of stakeholder groups; reviewing, understanding and sharing project updates; and providing input on the project while serving as a voice of key stakeholders.
The MPAC includes representation from these stakeholders.
MPAC Meeting #1 – June 17, 2019:
MPAC Meeting #2 – December 18, 2019:
MPAC Meeting #3 – June 17, 2020:
MPAC Meeting #4 – December 16, 2020:
MPAC Meeting #5 – June 30, 2021:
MPAC Meeting #6 – October 20, 2021:
Technical Advisory Committees
Topic-specific working groups or technical advisory committees will be established for various topics throughout the project. These groups will gather as needed to discuss specific topics and alternatives at a technical and detailed level. Some topic groups may meet more than once while other topics may only necessitate one topic-specific meeting. These meetings are meant to be technical. Invitees for each topic will include stakeholders that may be affected or could provide technical information on a specific topic.
Technical Advisory Committees created so far in the Master Plan process include:
Runway 3/21 Technical Advisory Committee (TAC)
The Runway 3/21 TAC includes representation from these stakeholders.
Runway 3/21 TAC Meeting #1 – July 25, 2019:
Runway 3/21 TAC Meeting #2 – October 4, 2019:
Runway 3/21 TAC Meeting #3 – June 21, 2021:
Taxiway Technical Advisory Committee (TAC)
The Taxiway Network TAC includes representation from these stakeholders.
Taxiway Network TAC Meeting #1 – December 3, 2019:
Taxiway Network TAC Meeting #2 – March 9, 2020:
Taxiway Network TAC Meeting #3 – June 30, 2020:
Taxiway Network TAC Meeting #4 – August 12, 2020:
Taxiway Network TAC Meeting #5 – December 2, 2020:
Taxiway Network TAC Meeting #6 – June 28, 2021:
Taxiway Network TAC Meeting #7 – October 13, 2021:
Economic Development Technical Advisory Committee (TAC)
The Economic Development TAC includes representation from these stakeholders.
Economic Development TAC Meeting #1 – April 9, 2020:
Economic Development TAC Meeting #2 – September 22, 2020
Economic Development TAC Meeting #3 – September 10, 2021
Air Traffic Control Tower Technical Advisory Committee (TAC)
Air Traffic Control Tower TAC Meeting #1: Remote Air Traffic Control Tower Panel Discussion – August 11, 2020:
Air Traffic Control Tower TAC Meeting #2: Remote Air Traffic Control Tower Follow-up – August 31, 2020
Air Traffic Control Tower TAC Meeting #3 – November 12, 2020
Several public meetings including Open Houses will be held throughout the project to serve as a way to provide project information and solicit feedback from our community and project stakeholders. The meetings will include a mix of project materials and project presentations. The project team will be available at each meeting to answer your questions.
Additionally, the project team will attend other stakeholder hosted or community events to provide updates throughout the project.
This section will be updated throughout the project as meetings are scheduled. Meeting materials from past meetings will also be posted.
Public Open House #1 – September 17, 2019:
Public Open House #2
Your Questions, Answered
Community involvement is the key to the success of this long-range plan. If you have questions or concerns, we want to address them. We’ve compiled the answers to frequently asked questions, but please reach out using the form below if these FAQs don’t address what’s on your mind.
What is a Master Plan?
A Master Plan is a comprehensive study of an airport that describes short-, medium- and long-term development plans. The main goal of a Master Plan is to provide the framework necessary to guide future development that will cost-effectively satisfy aviation demand, while considering potential environmental and socioeconomic impacts. The existing and proposed conditions are graphically represented on the Airport Layout Plan (ALP) that accompanies the Master Plan.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Advisory Circular 150/5070-6B Airport Master Plans provides guidance for the preparation of airport master plans.
Why is the Airport completing a Master Plan?
Work on the previous Master Plan was largely completed between 2009 and 2012. The FAA recommends that airports similar to Duluth prepare a new Master Plan roughly every 7-10 years or as aviation or local conditions change. The Duluth Airport Authority (DAA) wishes to complete a Master Plan update to ensure that the airport continues to operate in a safe and efficient manner while consideration is given to inclusive and comprehensive long-term planning.
Specific objectives of the DAA for this Master Plan update include the following:
- Anticipate the evolving demand for air service and aviation in our region
- Better respond to the needs of general aviation
- Provide opportunities for businesses to grow or relocate to Duluth
- Improve agility in responding to tomorrow’s opportunities and challenges
- Maintain the DAA’s financial sustainability
- Complement its neighboring communities
What are the components of a Master Plan?
The Master Plan process includes the following major components:
- Inventory of existing conditions
- Aviation activity forecasts
- Demand/capacity analysis
- Identification of facility requirements
- Alternatives analysis and selection of preferred development alternatives
- Environmental overview
- Airport Layout Plan (ALP)
- Implementation Plan including Capital Improvement Plan
The deliverables of the Master Plan include:
- Master Plan Report – The report documents the analysis and conclusions reached during the planning process. The FAA accepts the Master Plan and has approval authority over the forecasts contained within.
- Executive Summary Report – The executive summary is a concise summary of the analysis, recommendations and decisions made in the planning process.
- Airport Layout Plan (ALP) – A scaled graphical depiction of the existing and proposed airport development included in the Master Plan. In addition to the DAA, the FAA and MnDOT Office of Aeronautics also have approval authority over the ALP.
- Website and outreach materials – A project webpage will be used to share project information with the public. Additionally, flyers, newsletters, a blog and other material will be developed and shared throughout the project.
What are the key focus areas of this Master Plan?
While the entire airfield and corresponding components will be evaluated in the Master Plan, the DAA has identified some key focus areas. They include:
- Runway 3/21 – The existing north-south Runway 3/21 (the smaller of the two runways) may not adequately meet the needs of existing and future users. The Master Plan will evaluate if Runway 3/21 should be improved, and if so, what the best alternative for improvement may be. Potential improvements that will be evaluated may include runway length and width, instrument approach procedures, runway lighting, navigational aids, and other related infrastructure.
- Air Traffic Control Tower – The existing air traffic control tower is nearing the end of its useful life. Alternatives for tower replacement and relocation will be evaluated.
- Taxiway network planning – Taxiways help aircraft move from the terminal, hangars and other landside facilities to and from the runways. The existing and future needs of the taxiway network, its size and its layout, will be evaluated. Alternatives to meet the needs will be evaluated.
- Building area development and redevelopment – Several areas on the airfield may be suitable for hangar (aircraft storage) and other aviation development. This may include expansion by existing tenants or new tenants and airport users. Additionally, some of the existing building areas are nearing the end of their useful life and/or may not currently be used by the highest and best use. Redevelopment opportunities in the existing building areas will also be explored in the Master Plan.
How can I learn more and get involved?
Project information and updates will be provided throughout the project on a dedicated project webpage on the Duluth Airport website (DuluthAirport.com/Vision2040). Project updates, meeting agendas and minutes, newsletters, an events calendar, blog and review documents will all be posted on this site throughout the project. Additionally, please consider signing up on the website to receive email project updates.
We welcome and look forward to the public’s involvement in this process. Project public open houses and events will be posted on the project webpage (DuluthAirport.com/Vision2040). Additionally, several committees will be formed throughout the project. If you have an interest in participating in a committee, please contact the DAA at DAA@dultuhairport.com.
How can I comment on the Master Plan?
Comments on the Master Plan are welcome throughout the project. Comments can be e-mailed to DAA@duluthairport.com. All comments will be reviewed and considered. Additionally, the public will have the opportunity to provide comments at several open houses held throughout the Master Plan process. The first of these meetings is expected to occur in late summer/early fall of 2019. Please check the project website for information on upcoming Public Open Houses.
How is this project funded?
The project is being 90% funded by the FAA Airport Improvement Program (AIP) which provides grants to airport sponsors, like the DAA, for planning and development of public-use airports. MnDOT Office of Aeronautics is contributing 5% of the project costs through the State Airports Fund. The DAA is covering the remaining 5% of project costs.
When will the projects identified in the Master Plan be implemented?
The Master Plan will identify projects which may be implemented at varying times as needed over the 20-year planning term. Prior to implementation, each project must undergo additional analysis including environmental review through the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). For some projects, additional environmental permitting may also be needed. Additionally, project funding must be secured for each project prior to implementation. Funding sources may include FAA, MnDOT, the Duluth Airport Authority and other sources.
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