ACRP 11-01/Topic 10-03 [Final]
Legal Issues Relating to Airport Commercial Contracts
[ ACRP 11-01 (Legal Aspects of Airport Programs) ]
| Project Data
||Parker, Poe, Adams & Bernstein LLP|
||Scott A. Burrell|
Airport attorneys spend considerable time drafting and negotiating airport contracts that involve specialized legal and business issues. Some are general commercial issues that aren’t necessarily exclusive to airports, while others are unique to airports. Airports as governmental entities are subject to a variety of governmental law principles that can affect their contracts for commercial services.
ACRP LRD 30: Contract Risk Management for Airports provides a general overview of the types of agreements airports use, but a variety of other government law principles also can affect government contracts for commercial services, such as restrictions on government's ability to "lend credit;" concerns for "void" and "voidable" contracts due to the scope of an airport's authority under state law; separation of powers concerns for contracts that effectively delegate government's responsibilities to private entities; requirements for obtaining value for the use of public assets; antitrust and "market participant" concerns that may apply to government; and the effect of subsequent legislation on an existing contract. State and federal law can regulate commercial contracts in areas such as letters of credit, limitations on indemnification, federally required FAA language, etc. Finally, airport commercial contracts may benefit from a variety of current commercial contracting practices, but those practices may not be fully understood and practices may require adjustment in a government setting.