The National Academies

ACRP 11-01/Topic 11-03 [Final]

Analysis of Laws, Regulations, and Case Laws Regarding Airport Customer Facility Charges
[ ACRP 11-01 (Legal Aspects of Airport Programs) ]

  Project Data
Funds: $75,000
Research Agency: Kaplan, Kirsch, Rockwell LLP
Principal Investigator: Steven Osit
Effective Date: 3/30/2021
Completion Date: 9/19/2022

Many airport proprietors impose a customer facility charge (CFC) upon the customers of rental car companies located at the airport. Typically, the revenue collected from these charges is used by the airport proprietor to pay for the capital and operating costs of rental car facilities at the airport, although CFCs may be used for a range of permissible purposes. In some jurisdictions, for example, CFCs may be applied to certain costs of other facilities, such as roadways or utilities, which support a consolidated rental car facility.

Unlike many other airport-related rates and charges, CFCs are subject to relatively little federal regulatory oversight. A small minority of states regulate CFCs through provisions of state law; however, most CFCs are imposed and implemented through a combination of local municipal acts and/or contractual arrangements. Recently, challenges to the imposition and use of CFCs and other airports fees and charges have been mounted in several states by interested parties. There is only a small universe of emerging caselaw surrounding CFCs, specifically, cases regarding similar charges on ground transportation providers (e.g., access or privilege fees for the use of the airport) that can be instructive for jurisdictions imposing CFCs.

This digest examines the legal issues arising under state and federal law from the imposition and use of CFCs. Applicable state and federal laws and regulations are summarized and includes an inventory of state-level authorizing legislation in those jurisdictions that have adopted state-level regulation of CFCs. Judicial decisions regarding the collection and use of CFCs and related issues are also analyzed.

STATUS: Published as LRD 45

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