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About the Project

What is the CUS?

The NAS Pensacola Compatible Use Study (CUS) was a collaborative planning effort between Escambia County, the City of Pensacola, the City of Gulf Breeze, state and federal agencies, the public, and other interested and affected stakeholders. The CUS addressed land use and other activities that are incompatible with the NAS Pensacola missions and effective environmental stewardship while fostering community growth and economic vitality.

A grant from the Office of Local Defense Community Cooperation, Department of Defense, and contributions by the Study sponsor, Escambia County funded the CUS. The planning effort directly benefits both NAS Pensacola and the surrounding area by:

  • Improving communication and coordination between NAS Pensacola and community leaders for sustained collaborative planning efforts and partnerships;

  • Preserving long-term, compatible resource use between NAS Pensacola and surrounding jurisdictions;

  • Supporting military readiness and the nation’s defense;

  • Enhancing resiliency and preserving environmentally sensitive lands and natural resources;

  • Protecting the health and safety of area residents and workers;

  • Fostering growth and development and the economic vitality of local communities;

  • Providing tools to assist in land use planning and decision-making.

What Are the Goals and Objectives of the CUS?

The CUS emphasizes decreased potential resource conflicts between the installation and surrounding communities, reduced environmental degradation, and identifying recommendations for ongoing collaborative planning and enhancing compatible development opportunities. The CUS was developed following three objectives:


Bring together community and military representatives to discuss compatibility issues in an open forum that considers community and military perspectives and needs.


Encourage cooperative land use and resource planning among the military and surrounding communities to ensure compatible community growth while reducing operational impacts on lands within the
CUS Study Area.


Provide a set of mutually supported tools and procedures through which local jurisdictions, agencies, the military, and other stakeholders can implement appropriate recommendations developed during the CUS.

What Did the NAS Pensacola CUS Assess?

The NAS Pensacola CUS focused on the existing development context, mechanisms for improving planning coordination, and opportunities for mutually beneficial growth. The Study provided project partners, stakeholders, and the public:

  • An assessment of existing land uses, environmentally sensitive areas, potential growth areas, and economic development opportunities around NAS Pensacola;

  • Information to assist surrounding communities in making informed decisions regarding compatible development;

  • Recommendations for promoting compatible land use and environmental preservation near NAS Pensacola and in surrounding communities.

What Is Compatibility?

In relationship to military readiness, compatibility is the balance and/or compromise between community and military needs and interests. The goal of compatibility planning is to promote an environment in which both entities can thrive through mutually beneficial, collaborative, and coordinated planning and resource use. 

Compatibility Factors

Compatibility Factors are general categories, or types, of compatibility issues that can arise from growth and development near military installations. A set of 25 Compatibility Factors were used as a framework for identifying the specific issues impacting NAS Pensacola, surrounding jurisdictions, and/or other area stakeholders and to direct the development of appropriate mitigation strategies. Although issues pertaining to all 25 Factors were not identified in the project Study Area, the approach ensured a comprehensive dialog and assessment of all potential concerns.     

Air Quality

Anti-Terrorism/ Force Protection

Biological Resources

Communication/ Coordination

Cultural Resources


Energy Development

Frequency Spectrum Capacity

Frequency Spectrum Impedance/ Interference

Housing Availability

Infrastructure Extensions

Land Use

Land/Air Space Competition

Legislative Initiatives

Light and Glare

Marine Resources


Public Services

Public Trespassing


Roadway Capacity


Scarce Natural Resources

Vertical Obstructions

Water Quality/Quantity


What Are Compatible Use Recommendations?

The heart of the CUS is a set of consensus-based recommendations in an Implementation Plan. Recommendations range from improving communication and coordination between the military and project partners to mitigate and prevent compatibility issues, to improved public notice of operational changes at NAS Pensacola, to policy and regulatory enhancements in local planning documents.

The Implementation Plan includes these recommendations, as well as suggested lead agencies, potential funding sources, and timelines for implementation. The Implementation Plan is a non-binding, working playbook where project partners can adopt strategies that are practical and meet their needs with confidence in mutual benefits and outcomes.