Legal Aspects of Airport Programs. Topic 1-01. Compilation of Digest-Parts 13 and 16 Determinations and Related Documents

Virtually all U.S. airports with commercial airline service have accepted federal grants under the Airport Improvement Program (AIP) (Title 49, U.S.C., Chapter 471.) In exchange for these grants, airports agree to comply with numerous federal assurances, ranging from requirements that their rates be reasonable to implementation of disadvantaged business enterprise programs. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) adjudicates complaints, brought by FAA or raised by third parties, relating to alleged failures by airports to comply with the AIP grant assurances. Prior to 1996 the FAA's procedures for processing and making determination regarding complaints against Federally-funded airports were set forth in 14 CFR Part 13, a set of regulations applicable to a variety of adversarial proceedings within FAA's jurisdiction. In 1996, the FAA promulgated Part 16, regulations relating to processing complaints against airports specifically. Part 16 includes several stages of FAA review, and therefore multiple decisions may be issued by the FAA in a particular Part 16 proceeding. It is very difficult for attorneys representing airports to find either the older Part 13 decisions relating to airports, or the more recent Part 16 decisions. In addition, airport attorneys are rarely aware of DOT General Counsel opinions or FAA Chief Counsel opinions on airport legal issues. This project would make these materials available. The subcommittee is aware that the LEXIS™ service contains a library of Part 13 and Part 16 decisions. Many airport attorneys, however, use a different online legal research service, and do not have access to LEXIS. In addition, the LEXIS library contains numerous Part 13 decisions that do not relate to airports, and that library, as best we can tell, does not include any DOT General Counsel Decisions or FAA Chief Counsel Decisions. Furthermore, LEXIS does not include a case summary to accompany the text of Part 13 and Part 16 decisions. WESTLAW service contains a similar library, subject to comparable limitations on its usefulness. Part 16 decisions are also maintained on the FAA website. As with other online resources, there is no case summary and no digesting or indexing. Decisions are only searchable by names of party or docket number. Also, DOT General Counsel and FAA Chief Counsel Opinions are not available through this on-line source The object of this project is to make Parts 13 and 16 determinations and related documents, including FAA Chief Counsel and DOT General Counsel's Opinions related to airports, readily and inexpensively available to airport attorneys, the public, and other researchers. Ideally, the product of this research, if all phases are implemented, would be a web-based searchable database containing the full text of each document as well as a short summary of the outcome. The database should allow searches by topic, date, author (where applicable), type of proceeding, FAA region, and by individual word or words (i.e., Boolean searches). FAA airport compliance staff and attorneys will also benefit from the searchable data base as they assist airports and users with informal resolutions, evaluate complaints and prepare decisions.


  • English


  • Status: Completed
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project 11-01, Topic

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Federal Transit Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  USA  20590

    Airport Cooperative Research Program

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC    20001
  • Project Managers:

    Chisholm-Smith, Gwen

  • Performing Organizations:

    John J. Corbett, Spiegel & McDiarmid

  • Principal Investigators:

    McDaniel, James

  • Start Date: 20061201
  • Actual Completion Date: 20080501
  • Source Data: RiP Project 18097

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01462597
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project 11-01, Topic
  • Files: TRB, RiP, USDOT
  • Created Date: Jan 3 2013 2:06PM