Mammoth seeks FAA approval


Airport Layout Plan under scrutiny

Mammoth Yosemite Airport will have a “conditionally approved” airport layout plan by this summer, the town announced this past month in a news release.

The announcement came in the wake of a meeting among representatives from the Town of Mammoth Lakes, Mammoth Mountain Ski Area and Mammoth Lakes Tourism, who recently met with Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) officials at the FAA Offices near San Francisco to collectively discuss the town’s recent submittal of its Airport Layout Plan (ALP).

“Approval of our ALP is key to the success of our airport, which is broadly seen as a cornerstone to economic development in Mammoth and the Eastern Sierra,” said Public Works and Transportation Director Ray Jarvis.

“We are operating at capacity with the terminal building we have today and need to be able to address this constraint in order to be successful in the future.”

Jarvis said the town has reached an important milestone in the process of updating its ALP and believed that a meeting with the FAA in person would be beneficial to the overall process.

The “meet and greet” was also important because there are new faces from both the FAA and town who are now involved in the ALP update and approval process.

The town is seeking approval from the FAA on its plan for the airport, which includes a new terminal building to replace the building in use today; a former maintenance building that was converted to a commercial aviation terminal in 2008.

An important component of the ALP, Jarvis said, is the Aviation Forecast, which estimates future demand for commercial air service and is significant when considering the design of a new terminal building.

“The FAA is very interested in our aviation forecast and sees it as a critical piece of the airport plan,” said Jarvis. “We now have five years of historical data that we can use in our forecast to help us better understand our future terminal and capacity demands.”

As a result of the meeting, Jarvis said the town expects to make some adjustments to its forecast along with minor plan revisions to facilitate the process going forward. The FAA should take about a month to complete its planning level review then forward the ALP to other FAA service lines, including flight standards.

He said the town would have a conditionally approved ALP this summer.

Both the town and FAA agreed that the airport’s future success lives in resolving the airport’s key constraints and in measured steps, Jarvis said.

“We now have a road map that will help us advance our airport and achieve the positive results we have been looking for,” he said.