When an airport sponsor applies for and receives grant money from the Federal Aviation Administration 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 provides 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.