In 2014, the City Commission of the City of Winter Haven authorized an Airport Master Plan Update to be prepared to provide long-range airport improvement strategies that respond to the projected future demand for aviation and aviation related services at Winter Haven Municipal Airport – Gilbert Field. Funding for this project has been received from the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) Airport Improvement Program (AIP), the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) Aviation and Spaceports Office, and the City of Winter Haven.

The FAA requires airports receiving AIP funding to conduct periodic updates of their planning document. The last Master Plan for the Winter Haven Municipal Airport – Gilbert Field was completed in September 2004 and since then a number of changes have taken place on the Airport.

This study considers future airport improvements for a 20-year period of 2014 to 2033. This period will be broken into three phases over which airport improvement projects will be undertaken. Short-term (2014-2018), Mid-term (2019-2023), and Long-term (2024-2033). This project provides an update to the previous Master Plan, which provided a basis for some information in this study. Use of the current versions of FAA Advisory Circular (AC) 150/5070-6B, Airport Master Plans, AC 150/5300-13, Airport Design, FDOT regulations, and local laws provided guidance in decision making during this study. Local, state, and federal agencies have been coordinated with throughout this Master Plan Process.

The Master Plan Process identifies the existing facilities and their condition. Current and future aviation activity demands are also identified. Facility requirements are developed to meet the aviation activity demands. This Master Plan Update provides guidance for future development over the planning period that will satisfy the demand in an efficient, safe, and financially feasible manner, as well as serving as a guide for the City, the Airport Advisory Committee, and the funding agencies. This Master Plan addresses the following:
  • Updates the 2004 Master Plan
  • Identifies the location and types of facility improvements needed
  • Provides a capital improvement plan that addresses project phasing and financial needs
  • Develops an Airport Layout Plan (ALP) that graphically depicts existing and future developments
The steps in the typical master planning process are shown in Figure 1-1 below:

These steps build one upon another to identify a clear action plan that can be used by the City to guide financial and development decisions. This process leads to the production of two key documents –the ALP and the Master Plan Update report. The development of an approved ALP is a requirement for public use airports that receive federal AIP funding and FDOT aviation development funds. The Master Plan Update report describes and justifies the proposed improvement concepts included in the ALP.