Update #5

The SDSASP project team is excited to announce the conclusion of the 2020 South Dakota State Aviation System Plan and Aviation Economic Impact Study (2020 SDSASP and AEIS)! The final findings of the 2020 SDSASP and AEIS were presented to the South Dakota Aeronautics Commission in June. The Commissioners, the South Dakota Department of Transportation (SDDOT), and the general public were in attendance at the meeting and had an opportunity to ask questions and discuss the findings during the presentation.

Since then, the project team has completed and delivered all final products, including a web-based data management and mapping tool designed to support continuous planning efforts. The SDDOT Office of Aeronautics will use this tool to make informed decisions about their aviation system using real-time data. The tool tracks current performance and analyzes progress towards the future performance targets established in the 2020 SDSASP. In addition, the 2020 SDSASP and AEIS technical report was produced and is available to review here, along with the executive summary that highlights the major findings of the study.

The 2020 SDSASP and AEIS will support the efforts of the Office of Aviation to efficiently and effectively plan for the next 20 years of airport maintenance and development. The technical report, in conjunction with the web-based tool, will help identify opportunities for improvements within the aviation system to “move the needle” to achieve system goals. These deliverables will also aid in estimating potential funding needs, and will be used to increase stakeholder awareness and emphasize the importance of continued financial support from local, state, and federal agencies.

On behalf of the entire project team, THANK YOU to all who have participated throughout this process and provided meaningful input to make this study a success!

Update #4

The SDSASP Project Team is excited to share some of the great progress made on the 2020 SDSASP since the last update in November 2019. Upon completion of initial system performance findings, the Project Team hosted the final Project Advisory Committee (PAC) meeting in Pierre. The PAC meeting provided an  opportunity to engage with key project stakeholders to determine appropriate future performance targets for the system. These targets were set for each of the performance measures (PM) and help to identify strengths and weaknesses in the system based on the findings of the initial system analysis. They also demonstrate SDDOT’s commitment to achieving and maintaining a safe and efficient aviation system for all users. The Project Team is working closely with SDDOT to determine the improvement projects recommended upon study completion. In addition to finalizing project recommendations, the Team is considering alternative scenarios that could impact South Dakota’s aviation system over the planning period.

The aviation economic impact study (AEIS) continues to progress with careful consideration of all study inputs to develop realistic findings of the impact that aviation activity has on the local, regional, and state economies. The AEIS strives to demonstrate, in a transparent way, how everyday aviation activity and unique events (such as the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally) generate economic benefits within South Dakota.

The Project Team is looking forward to presenting study findings-to-date at the upcoming 2020 South Dakota Airports Conference in March. Presentations on the system plan and the AEIS will be shared, and preliminary airport-specific AEIS findings will be provided to airport sponsors for final input.

Check out the most recent project document, Chapter 4. Forecast of Aviation Activity and System Demand, on the Study Documents page and check back often as updates are posted and study documents are uploaded. As always, please reach out to the team via the Contact page with any questions or comments.

Update #3

The SDSASP project team has been busy completing several components of the 2020 SDSASP since the last update in July. With input from SDDOT, the FAA, the Project Advisory Committee (PAC), and other stakeholders, Chapter 2: Inventory of Existing Conditions and Chapter 3: Airport Roles were finalized and are available on the Study Documents page! Preliminary forecasts of aviation activity have been developed and the analyses of system performance have been initiated. The team is looking forward to presenting the system performance findings at the second PAC meeting in early December. The results of the system analysis and input from the PAC will be used to determine future performance targets for the system and identify recommended projects to meet those targets.

Economic impact data collection has been completed, and economic modeling is underway to determine the economic impacts of aviation in South Dakota. The economic impact study will use data gathered from airports, tenants, reliant businesses, and visitors to determine total impacts. Special activities including South Dakota’s pheasant hunting and agriculture industries and the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally will be highlighted as they generate additional unique impacts through their reliance on air transportation.

Check back often as updates are posted and study documents are uploaded! As always, please reach out to the team via the Contact page with any questions or comments.

Update #2

The SDSASP project team has made great progress since our last update in February. Thanks to the input from the Project Advisory Committee, the team developed and refined the system goals and performance measures that are guiding the development of the 2020 SDSASP. In addition, the team completed a comprehensive inventory effort, collecting and analyzing the data collected from the 56 system airports.  The collected data is being used to draft the Inventory Chapter of the plan and the database will be used throughout the project for subsequent analysis purposes. In addition to the inventory, the project team has been working closely with SDDOT to begin the assessment of airport roles and criteria. The airport roles analysis is a crucial step in the system planning process because it distinguishes the different types of service levels that system airports provide.  Most recently, effort has gone into formulating and distributing surveys for the associated economic impact study. Contact information collected during the inventory effort is being used to survey airport tenants, businesses with based aircraft at system airports, and businesses who rely on system airports. Visitor spending surveys are being collected from visitors of Rapid City Regional Airport, Sioux Falls Regional Airport and other system airports, with over 400 survey responses already received. Web links to the economic impact surveys can be found on the Study Documents page!

Update #1

The SDSASP project team is excited to announce we are well under way with the 2020 SDSASP project! We held a kickoff meeting with SDDOT mid-December and just completed the first Project Advisory Committee Meeting on February 6th. We had a great turnout by the PAC with over 20 attendees representing key aviation stakeholders in the state. The project team presented draft goals and performance measures for PAC discussion and input. A variety of interactive exercises were used to prioritize the measures most pertinent and impactful to aviation system users. Click here to view the PAC meeting presentation.