Legal Aspects of Airport Programs. Topic 05-04. A Guide for Compliance with Grant Agreement Obligations to Provide Reasonable Access to an AIP-Funded Public Use General Aviation Airport

When an airport sponsor applies for and receives grant money from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for an airport project, the airport is obligated to agree to a number of assurances. One assurance is that the sponsor will make the airport available for public use on reasonable conditions and without unjust discrimination. This assurance is intended to ensure fair access to the airport. Many times, whether this assurance applies in a particular situation turns on issues involving airport rules and regulations, negotiating and enforcing lease and rental agreements, fees and approvals to do business at the airport, fees to use the airport, local laws, land uses, financial operations of the airport, and the like. At many smaller general aviation airports, users and airport sponsors are not experienced in interpreting the scope and application of that assurance as it may apply to a situation that arises at their airport. This project would provide practical information about the application of the grant assurance requiring reasonable access to the airport, including the statutory and regulatory language, legislative history (if any), FAA and other guidance, and real-life examples of when a charge of a violation of this assurance was made, or was considered to be made, and how the handling and resolution of those examples may influence another user or airport's consideration of the application of the assurance at their airport. The project should include practical advice on analyzing and resolving a concern over access, whether it be through an informal solution or a legal challenge. And, the project should include strategies for raising the issue and a description of the legal procedure for bringing genuine issues to the proper forum. Such topics to be addressed should include at a minimum: (1) parachute/skydiving activities and clubs; (2) ultralights; and (3) air show events. Interested parties should include their thoughts as to which areas they anticipate focusing in their letter of interest. As noted, the requirement for reasonable access has many aspects. To facilitate use of the project results, the research report should be organized by the issues that typically arise when allegations of a denial of access or unjust discrimination are made. This research will be conducted in four tasks to a firm fixed price agreement. The tasks will be as follows: Task (1) Research Plan and Detailed Report Outline. The consultant will conduct background research and collect relevant data. Based on the initial but complete review of the source material, consultant will propose a detailed report outline. The outline should contain sufficient detail to inform the panel of what the report will contain. This outline should also contain the estimated pagination for each proposed section and/or subsection. This material will be submitted to the Transportation Research Board (TRB) for panel consideration and approval. The author will participate in a conference call with the panel 3 weeks after submission of the plan and outline. Task (2) After TRB approval of the detailed outline, the consultant should conduct additional research, case and statutory/regulatory analysis, and collect additional primary data to the extent necessary. Task (3) Draft report in accordance with the approved outline (including modifications required by TRB). Participate in a conference call with the panel 3 weeks after submission of the draft report. Task (4) Revise report as necessary and provide a red-line and a clean version of the draft final report. The panel will provide written comments to which each comment will need a response point-by-point and the report will need to be revised as appropriate, and submitted as the final report.


  • English


  • Status: Completed
  • Funding: $75000.00
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project 11-01, Topic

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Federal Aviation Administration

    800 Independence Avenue, SW
    Washington, DC  United States  20591

    Airport Cooperative Research Program

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC    20001
  • Performing Organizations:

    Kaplan Kirsch Rockwell

  • Principal Investigators:

    Reimer, Dan

  • Start Date: 20140114
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 20140611
  • Source Data: RiP Project 37778

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01543697
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project 11-01, Topic
  • Files: TRB, RiP
  • Created Date: Nov 20 2014 1:02AM