Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

As defined by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), an airport master plan is a comprehensive study of the airport and typically describes short-, medium-, and long-term development plans and capital improvement projects. The goal of a master plan is to provide the framework needed to guide future airport development that will cost-effectively satisfy aviation demand, while considering potential environmental and socioeconomic impacts. 

The VNY Vision Study (Study) will analyze existing on-airport land uses and explore options for future land use arrangements in consultation with key stakeholders, including the surrounding community.  Unlike an airport master plan, no future airport development layout plan, which requires FAA review and approval, is being proposed with the VNY Vision Study.  The Study will share a preferred land use alternative with the community and the City Planning Department as a roadmap for the City’s community plan update efforts and potential Airport Plan update.  The update of the Airport Plan is under the jurisdiction of the City Planning Department and subject to their approval to move forward, however, LAWA is committed to work collaboratively with LACP and community stakeholders to update the Airport Plan and guiding future development procurements at VNY.

In 1992, the City Council called for LAWA and LACP to prepare a long-range plan for VNY, and in 1996, LACP/LAWA completed a Final EIR for a series of Land Use Plans for VNY Airport.  In 2005, BOAC, City Planning Commission and City Council approved the “Alternative J” land use map.  In 2006, City Council adopted the VNY Airport Plan, which is commonly referred to as the “Van Nuys Master Plan” and created a new zoning ordinance and updated the community plan. Today, the Van Nuys Airport Plan is a local overlay tool under the jurisdiction of the Los Angeles City Planning Department and not LAWA.  The Plan was designed to promote an arrangement of airport land uses, circulation, and services and contribute to the economic, social, health, safety, welfare, and convenience within the larger framework of the San Fernando Valley.  The 2006 Plan projected anticipated land uses for 20 years and was always intended to be reviewed and amended periodically to ensure that land use projections remain consistent with the City General Plan and Zoning Code Standards. Now, as the City’s Planning Department is updating the Southwest Valley Plans, LAWA would like to re-evaluate the current land uses and work with the local community to address emerging issues and concerns, and advance LAWA’s sustainability goals at VNY. 

The current land uses at VNY were specified with the adoption of the Airport Plan in 2006 by City Council.  As mentioned above, the Airport Plan is a long-range plan with a twenty-year planning horizon from 2006-2026.  As 2026 approaches, LAWA, as the airport owner, has the opportunity to re-evaluate the existing land uses and provide to LACP a comprehensive land use vision for VNY over the next twenty years.

LACP is also currently updating three Southwest Valley Community Plans: Canoga Park – Winnetka – Woodland Hills – West Hills, Encino – Tarzana, and Reseda – West Van Nuys – Lake Balboa.  The plans constitute the Land Use Element of the General Plan, the long-range planning document that presents the City’s vision for the future of its neighborhoods.  Van Nuys Airport is currently located in all three community plans and the VNY Vision Study will help inform the comprehensive planning efforts that are underway by LACP.  Subject to LACP’s approval, the VNY Airport Plan will be replaced with a new Plan that will reflect the VNY Vision Study alternative.

No, environmental analysis pursuant to the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) is not required because the Study is only intended to serve as a comprehensive roadmap and framework for the City Planning Department’s consideration as part of their larger community plan update effort and will help guide future development procurements at VNY.  Under CEQA Section 15262, a project involving only feasibility or planning studies for possible future actions which the agency, board, or commission has not approved, adopted, or funded does not require the preparation of an EIR or Negative Declaration but does require consideration of environmental factors. Therefore, no CEQA analysis is required for the Study.  However, LACP will embark on CEQA review as part of their updates.

Please see the VNY Noise management webpage for more detailed information. 

The VNY Vision Study will help inform the Department of City Planning with their comprehensive planning efforts to update three Southwest Valley Community Plans: Canoga Park – Winnetka – Woodland Hills – West Hills, Encino – Tarzana, and Reseda – West Van Nuys – Lake Balboa, and will provide a framework for a future effort to update the existing Airport Plan that was adopted in 2006.

Community and stakeholder participation is essential for the VNY Vision Study. LAWA is interested in reflecting the needs of our stakeholders and neighbors through the Study.  LAWA plans to provide regular updates to the VNY Citizens Advisory Council, who hold meetings every first Tuesday of the month, and the Van Nuys Airport Association, who hold meetings every first Tuesday of the month.  LAWA also intends to hold a virtual open house to introduce the Study and an in-person open house focused on on-airport land use alternatives for the future arrangement of the airport.  Information on upcoming events is available at    

LAWA would be happy to hear comments and answer questions. Please email us at [email protected].


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