Airports are governed by federal laws defining their financial and economic parameters, particularly regarding revenue diversion. At the same time, airports are prominent members of their local communities. Airports are viewed as economic engines, and as a result local communities expect airport operators to participate in airport-related economic efforts that benefit the wider community. Additionally, airport operators need economic development entities and community partners to develop air service.
The objective of this digest is to conduct a review of federal laws, FAA Orders, policies, guidance, and any case law on the permitted extent of airport involvement in economic development efforts with respect to off-airport, general community economic development and/or air service development. This digest will answer questions such as, What may airports do? What may they not do? How can airports balance compliance with their legal obligations with their communities’ desire for their active participation in economic development? What is the airport’s proper role in such efforts, and how can the airport best participate in such efforts?
Status: Research is underway.