Arizona State Aviation System Plan (SASP) Update

Arizona State Aviation System Plan (SASP) Update

The Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT)’s Aeronautics Group is currently conducting the Arizona State Aviation System Plan (SASP) Update to evaluate the current and future performance of Arizona’s airports. The SASP Update is a key element of ADOT’s long-term planning efforts to provide an integrated framework for the planning, operation, and development of Arizona’s aviation assets.

The results of the study will provide important insight into how Arizona’s airports can remain highly advanced, safe, and responsive to the public’s needs in today’s global economy. The SASP was most recently updated in 2008.

To learn more about the project, visit the Schedule and Process page. The Outreach page provides information how about to participate in the SASP Update. The Documents page provides materials that have already been developed as part of this study, as well as additional background materials addressing the future of aviation in the state

Schedule and Process

The SASP Update will evaluate the current state of the system, define future needs, and develop prioritized recommendations to ensure Arizona’s airports continue to safely and effectively meet the evolving needs of the public today and well into the future. As shown in the process chart below, the project will be delivered through a series of nine interrelated tasks.

SASP Update Study Process

An overview of the primary objectives of each task is provided below.

Tasks one and two are primarily aimed at setting the stage for the study by defining the vision and goals of the State Aviation System; reviewing the policies, issues, and guidelines affecting airports; and identifying the airports that will be included in the analysis. These tasks will also define performance measures that will be used to evaluate the status and performance of Arizona’s airport system.

Task three will include an extensive inventory of all airport assets using existing data and an airport survey with follow-up site visits. A business survey will also be implemented to capture additional data about aviation use in the state. This task will provide important information about system deficiencies, as well as areas where airports are performing well.

Task four will result in aviation forecasts to provide a general understanding of future aviation needs and where growth is most likely anticipated. These insights help ADOT and airport sponsors pinpoint areas where improvements may be most valuable and will guide the decision-making process.

SASP Update Schedule

View Larger Schedule

Task five will analyze the role that each airport plays in the Arizona Aviation System based on the extensive data gathered during tasks one through four. These roles are valuable in determining the level of development needed at each airport. Each facility plays a unique role in the system and must be treated in a way that best reflects the needs of the airport, its users, and other facilities in the surrounding region.

Task six will produce a report card that identifies where the existing airport system is adequate or deficient based on the goals and performance measures established at the start of the project. Airport classifications determined in task five are critical to this task. Solutions, and the party responsible for implementing each solution, will be provided for each deficiency identified during the study process. This report card is a key outcome of the SASP Update and will be used to develop recommendations for the Aviation System.

Task seven will define targets for future system performance and identify the areas where improved system performance would be most valuable.

Task eight will include the development of specific recommendations to achieve the performance improvements identified in task seven. Costs for improving the system will also be determined, and recommendations will be made for funding sources.

Task nine will provide the final recommended SASP Update. This recommended plan will utilize all data gathered in earlier tasks and other additional data sources to provide a list of prioritized strategies for enhancing aviation in the state. The plan will provide guidance on specific, prioritized actions that can be implemented to ensure aviation continues to meet the public’s evolving aviation needs. The task will also consider if there is a need for additional airports to meet capacity deficiencies in certain areas.

Throughout the process, the project team will be working with the public and members of the business and aviation communities for study input. For more information about how to become involved, please visit the SASP Outreach page.

Outreach - SASP Update

The key purpose of the SASP Update is to ensure Arizona’s airports meet the needs of all airport users. The best way for ADOT to understand how the system is performing in light of the evolving conditions affecting aviation is for stakeholders and members of the public to get involved.

Public Comments

SASP Public Meeting Flier

Members of the public are invited to provide input that could help shape the future of the state aviation system. As part of the public involvement process, three public meetings were held in January 2018 in Mesa, Tucson, and Phoenix. The meeting materials are posted here:

Individuals are still able to provide their comments by contacting Project Manager Pam Keidel-Adams from Kimley-Horn by email or by calling 480.207.2670.

Project Advisory Committee

The SASP Update is guided by a Project Advisory Committee (PAC) assembled by ADOT Aeronautics at the beginning of the study. The PAC comprises aviation stakeholders from across the state with a broad range of knowledge and experience in airports, aviation, and other statewide issues impacting the state aviation system. PAC meetings are being held through the course of the study to help guide the development of the SASP Update. To ensure transparency with the public, PAC meeting information and materials are posted here.

Existing Documents

The ADOT Aeronautics Group, regional partners, airport sponsors, municipalities, and other statewide agencies have completed various planning studies to guide transportation development in the state. The SASP Update will be guided by these previous studies to integrate aviation into existing transportation plans to provide a seamless transportation system for all users. The following documents are the most relevant studies that address the future of transportation in Arizona. Working papers developed as part of this study will be posted as available. The 2008 SASP has also been provided.


To learn more about the project or to get involved, contact:

Sonia Pizano
Airpot Grants Manager
MPD/Aeronautics Group
[email protected]

Matt Smith
ADOT Project Manager
Phone: 602.712.7597
[email protected]


Pam Keidel-Adams
Kimley-Horn Project Manager
Phone: 480.207.2670
[email protected]