module specification

CA6059 - Airport Planning and Development (2022/23)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2022/23
Module title Airport Planning and Development
Module level Honours (06)
Credit rating for module 15
School Guildhall School of Business and Law
Total study hours 150
9 hours Assessment Preparation / Delivery
105 hours Guided independent study
36 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Oral Examination 20%   A presentation on an airport's catchment area (with individual assessment elements, 20 minutes)
Coursework 80%   Individual report - 2000 words
Running in 2022/23

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Spring semester North Thursday Morning
Spring semester North Friday Afternoon
Spring semester North Friday Morning
Spring semester North Thursday Afternoon

Module summary

The module introduces the key themes and understanding for airport planning and development which is a complex agenda that requires strategic over-sight.  Airports are unique businesses that have many stakeholders and uniquely require local support as well as government support to succeed. They also have a unique relationship with airlines as they are symbiotic operators with airlines. The module aims to provide students with:

  • An understanding of the context for airport planning and development
  • The role of master planning and reasons for this process
  • The importance of stakeholders in the aviation airport planning process

Prior learning requirements



Airline industry outlook:


  • Airport within the context of national and international aviation system
  • Different types of airports – airport roles
  • Airports as a function of catchment areas for air travel
  • Airport characteristics – hub, regional and local airports
  • Airport passenger forecasting techniques



  • The airport planning process – what is an airport master plan
  • What are the features of master plans?
  • Concepts used in master plans
  • Stakeholders in airport master plans



  • Case studies in airport development and master plans
  • The environmental factors for airport development
  • Success factors for airport planning

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

The formal delivery of the teaching and learning will be based on three contact hours per week spread over 12 weeks. The contact hours will be formed of a two-hour interactive session which draws from teaching and learning strategies such as workshops, lectures, guest speakers, case study discussions, panel discussions and debates, videos as well as scenario-based real time activities and simulations.

Peer to peer learning will also feature within the programme as students work together to develop solutions to practically based solutions regarding airport planning and development.

Groupwork will form a large part of the sessions, with student participating in active learning as they disseminate and discuss relative experience and acquired knowledge from lectures and case studies.

The remaining hour of contact time will be a seminar-based approach where students will explore current airport planning and development themes and trends in more detail.

Alumni will also provide a careers perspective for this section of the industry and guest lecturers will provide contextual learning.

Within the module there is significant opportunity to participate in proactive learning activities via the use of Weblearn facilities which promote inter-active discussions between both peers and lecturers and enables learners to share resources and access links to international organisations documents, external journal articles, websites and other sources.

Discussion and debate are actively encouraged both within the classroom context and via Weblearn. Students participating in this degree come from a variety of backgrounds and often have a wealth of industry experience upon which to draw. It is useful to access this via proactive and inter-active classroom management.

Students have a responsibility to prepare for forthcoming lectures so as to ensure that they fully understand the concepts discussed and, so as they can participate fully in debates and discussions. This can be done via accessing the module specifications on-line or via Weblearn, and ascertaining the forthcoming weeks lecture content.

Tutors will provide an indication of forthcoming lecture content at the end of each preceding lecture. The student should then research articles and appropriate readings around these themes so as to contribute fully to discussions and inter-active Question and Answer sessions within the lecture.

Opportunities for reflective learning will be available throughout the module as students are given the opportunity to consider their approach to tasks and discussions whilst simultaneously having the opportunity to reflect upon informal feedback that may be given from lecturers on ideas about airport planning and development concepts spoken of in class and, on assessments submitted.

Learning outcomes

At the end of this module, Students will be able to:
LO1: Evaluate the key drivers of airport development and how airports fit into a national airport system,

LO2: Assess the nature of airport master plans and how they are developed in a timely manner,

LO3: Evaluate the success factors in excellent airport master planning.

Assessment strategy

The assessment of this module will take the form of an individual presentation (individual mark) and a written individual report. 

Assessment 1 – An individual presentation on the development of airport catchment areas.

Assessment 2 – A written report (coursework) on a critical analysis of an airport master plan.


Essential reading:

Graham, A. (2013) Managing Airports: An International Perspective, (4th ed.). Abingdon: Routledge

Recommended readings:

Budd, L. and Ison, S. (2017) (Eds.). Air Transport Management: An International Perspective. Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge

Doganis, R. (2006) The Airport Business (2nd ed.). Abingdon: Routledge.

Holloway, S. (1998). Changing Planes. London: Routledge

Johnson G., Whittington, R., Scholes, K., Angwin, D., Regnar, P.  (2015) Fundamentals of Strategy, (3nd ed.). Harlow: Pearson Education Limited

Prather, C.D. & Steele, R.N. (2015) Airport Management, Aviation Supplies and Academics, Inc.

Price, J. & Forrest, J. (2016) Practical Airport Operations, Safety, and Emergency Management: Protocols for Today and the Future, Butterworth-Heinemann

Taneja, N. (2014). Designing Future-Oriented Airline Businesses. Farnham: Ashgate.

Wensveen, J. (2015/2016). Air Transportation: a Management Perspective. Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge.

Young, S. & Wells, A.T. (2011) Airport Planning and Management, (6th ed.). McGraw-Hill


Journal of Airline and Airport Management
Journal of Air Transport Management
Journal of Air Transportation
Journal of Transport Geography
International Journal of Civil Aviation
International Journal of Transport Management

Industry bodies examples