Over time, federal, state, and local governments have gradually increased the regulatory requirements on U.S. airports. The costs associated with incorporating ongoing regulations in a wide array of subject areas have steadily added to airport operating costs. There is a growing concern for small and nonhub airports that have limited staff and financial resources with which to fulfill their regulatory responsibilities. For many small airports, lower passenger enplanements limit their ability to raise revenue or cut costs significantly to make up for the financial requirements of increased regulation. With budgets already stretched by operating costs and capital expenditures, many small airports are struggling to absorb compliance costs associated with the cumulative regulatory requirements. While government agencies provide some funding for new regulatory initiatives, costs attributed to ongoing compliance remain unfunded.
The objective of this research is to identify and quantify (cost) the cumulative effects of regulatory compliance requirements at small and nonhub airports. The research analyzed each requirement from initial implementation through ongoing maintenance, and estimated its associated costs. Each requirement was matched up to the funding sources (if any) associated with that particular regulatory requirement. The report provides airport operators and others with an understanding of the cumulative effects of regulatory compliance requirements.