The Tucson Airport Authority Board of Directors recently approved the 2009 Ryan Airfield (RYN) Master Plan update, which calls for $80 million in improvements over the next 20 years.
Ryan Airfield is a general aviation airport located approximately 12 miles west of Tucson International Airport (TIA). It was created in 1942 by the Ryan School of Aeronautics as a civilian school to train pilots for World War II. The state began operating the airport in 1951. In 1960, the state deeded the airfield to the city of Tucson.
Updated approximately every five to seven years, the Master Plan is a 20-year blueprint that guides the development of new or expanded facilities, according to airport officials, who explain the update is used to evaluate the airport’s capabilities, infrastructure needs and role in the economy in relationship to forecasted aviation activity. The update also provides recommendations for ensuring compatible land uses surrounding the airport.
Components of the Ryan Airfield Master Plan Update include:
Forecast: The economic downturn resulted in the closure of Ryan’s flight school, reducing the level of aircraft operations considerably compared to two years ago (167,952 in 2008 compared to 246,423 in 2007). The updated forecast anticipates a slow growth cycle through 2017, but assumes the return of a flight school in the mid-term, and the continuation of the historical average annual growth rate of 2.2% through the long term for both based and aircraft operations.
Capital Improvement Program (CIP): The CIP focuses on maintenance of existing resources, enhancement of safety and security infrastructure, and a gradual increase in capacity to bolster economic development opportunities. The 20-year CIP calls for $80 million in improvements, of which 80% are eligible for federal funding. Long-term projects (after 2020) represent 60% of the total outlay and include the extension of Runway 6R-24L. Intermediate term (2015-2020) projects include: Extending Runway 6L-24R to 5,005 feet; renovating the air traffic control tower; construction of hangar facilities; pavement preservation; expanding apron capacity; extending Runway 15-33 to 4,800 feet; and building a heliport facility on the north side of the airfield.
A copy of the plan is available here.
For more information: 520-573-5115 or TucsonAirport.org.