The Downstate New York General Aviation System Plan was one of the final regional aviation system plans to be undertaken by the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT). The Downstate Region of New York is one of the most populous in the nation encompassing the New York City metropolitan area and a total of 14 counties. General aviation plays a vital role in linking this area to the national air transportation system.
Of particular concern to the NYSDOT is the validity of forecasts from previous studies and applicable master plans. In addition to concerns over forecast validity, other issues that were examined in the study included: ground access, public versus private ownership of airports, land use compatibility, reliever airport designation, adequacy of commuter air service to area airports, environmental concerns and financial feasibility. An overriding concern of Mr. Wiedemann’s was that the study be meaningful in addressing the real concerns of the aviation community and interested general public. Unfortunately, the options available to aviation interests in the region are sharply limited due to the well organized anti-growth factions. These groups limited the recommended plan to essentially an existing system or status quo future.
This study provided a forum where both public and private aviation interests could discuss individual airport needs and aviation-related problems and challenges. Functioning in this manner, the study served to create a general awareness of the need for a systematic approach to air transportation planning. Further, the planning process served to coordinate the efforts of various state agencies, local governments, airport sponsors, and interested aviation groups.