The Piedmont Triad area doesn’t lead the entire planet in many categories but one that it likely does lead in is creating highly ballyhooed long-term strategic plans that are never looked at again once they’re published.

Guilford County has land use plans that are rarely followed; the cities and small towns have countless long-range strategic plans that have never had any effect in the real world and the area’s plethora of economic development agencies have too many strategic plans to name that are sitting on shelves gathering dust.

However, Koury Corporation President Steve Showfety, the chairman of the Piedmont Triad Airport Authority, is determined to see that that’s not the fate of a 2007 strategic plan created for Piedmont Triad International Airport (PTIA).  Recently, Showfety told his fellow Airport Authority members, along with PTIA staff, that he wants everyone to take a good long new look at the eleven year old plan.

The Piedmont Triad Aerotropolis Plan, created by airport officials working with researchers at the Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, was meant to help guide long-term growth of PTIA.  To that effect, it contained about 30 recommendations for growing the airport and making it a central driver of economic activity in the region.

“The Piedmont Triad Aerotropolis Plan was revised in November, 2008, and it was something that I’ve kept on my desk ever since then,” Showfety said.

He added that he had now made copies of the executive summary of the plan and sent a copy to each Airport Authority member and to airport staff.

“I’m sharing a copy of that executive summary with board members and staff and I think it would be interesting to ask the staff to take a look at that study – which is obviously 10 years old – and authorize, over the next 60 days, a review of that study.”

Showfety said he wants airport officials to determine what in the plan has been accomplished, which goals are no longer applicable and which ones should be refined and pursued.

“It’s an important document that sort of whetted the appetite for us to continue to expand our economic development efforts at the airport,” he said. “I hate the fact that we are well known for developing studies in our region and having consultants, but are less well known for following through on those.”

Showfety added, “By golly, this airport is one of them that is definitely doing it.  We are going to make a bigger difference in this community as an economic development generator and this will be snapshot of where we are.”

He said that reviewing the plan and deliberating on the goals would help him and the rest of the PTIA team “catch up on our score card.”