Synthesis of Information Related to Airport Practices Topic S01-17. Attracting Investment at General Aviation Airports Through Public-Private Partnerships and Leasing

Many successful general aviation (GA) airports host a mix of aeronautical and non-aeronautical uses through public private partnerships. Each has a complex mix of lease terms to allow for developer return on investment while protecting aviation and complying with Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) requirements. This research focuses on practical business applications to make small airport developments successful. The principal investigator will conduct a literature review, and a screening survey to identify GA airports that have completed or announced large projects within the last 5 years. This may include Sugar Land, Texas; Fort Worth Alliance; Centennial, Colorado. One or two BRAC projects should be included. These will be surveyed and / or interview to gather information on the following: (1) How do the airport owner and project proponent best determine market, logistical and operational feasibility of the proposed project? (2) What are their respective processes for approval of proposed lease terms by their respective governing bodies: do they start with a letter of intent, memorandum of understanding or similar document? Is it fully or partly binding or not? (3) What needs to be in a good lease and how to help the city attorney understand? (4) Do they use a third party construction or project manager and, if so, with whom does the manager contract: the airport or the project sponsor? (5) Do they use the construction manager at risk (CMAR) structure? How do they address: (a) federal, state and local design and building requirements; (b) constraints such as terrain, weather and, particularly in Western states, water rights and/or accessibility; (c) coordination with other tenants and users whose activities might be affected by the construction process and thereafter by the new facility? (6) Do leases address costs if the project is abandoned, especially clean-up and remediation costs if some construction and/or installation work was done? (7) How to structure deals so that a developer wins and airport does not give away the farm? (8) Is there a mix of aeronautical and non-aeronautical development and leasing structures that allows an airport to flourish? (9) How to handle the return on investment (ROI) with financing cheap but construction cost high? and (1) Strong examples that are scalable and show how terms are broken down to get to success. A concise report will be written that summarizes the results of the literature review, survey and interviews. The report will include exemplary practices from the airports studied, as well as gaps in knowledge and recommended research.


  • English


  • Status: Active
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project 11-03, Topic S01-17

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Airport Cooperative Research Program

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC    20001

    Federal Aviation Administration

    800 Independence Avenue, SW
    Washington, DC  United States  20591
  • Project Managers:

    Staba, Gail

  • Start Date: 20161029
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 0
  • Source Data: RiP Project 41203

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01615482
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project 11-03, Topic S01-17
  • Files: TRB, RiP
  • Created Date: Oct 29 2016 1:01AM