The National Academies

ACRP 11-01/Topic 12-02 [Active]

Legal Considerations for General Aviation (GA) Development at Airports
[ ACRP 11-01 (Legal Aspects of Airport Programs) ]

  Project Data
Funds: $75,000
Staff Responsibility: Jordan Christensen,
Research Agency: Midwest Airport Consultants
Principal Investigator: Tim Karaskiewicz
Effective Date: 10/1/2022
Completion Date: 9/30/2023

General aviation (GA) users that have leases with commercial service and GA airports include aeronautical service providers (e.g., fixed-base operators (FBOs), flight schools), corporate flight departments and other aircraft owners, and other users (e.g., cargo, charter, and fuel farms). Common issues that arise in drafting and negotiating lease agreements for GA development include the following:

·       Standards for new construction;  

·       Term;

·       Rent and fees;

·       Financing;  

·       Escalation provisions;

·       Maintenance;

·       Turnback standards;

·       Sublease and assignment;

·       Operating restrictions;

·       Environmental compliance;

·       Ingress/egress and other access rights;

·       Use for non aeronautical purposes;

·       Insurance and indemnity;

·       Change in law;

·       Default and remedies, and subordination;

·       Adherence to applicable minimum standards; and

·       Compliance with key grant assurance requirements.  


The objective of this research is to prepare a Legal Research Digest (LRD) that is readable and accessible to airport managers, attorneys, and prospective tenants on the developing and leasing of airport property for GA users at airports of different types and sizes. The required elements of the digest include the following:

·       Short background on relevant legal issues (e.g., airport owner’s authority to contract, application of FAA Grant Assurances, and relationship to existing leases);

·       Inventory of issues that commonly arise in drafting, negotiating, and administering  GA leases (presented as a checklist, table of contents and/or heads of terms);

·       Exemplar lease provisions where such models are available; and

·       Key differences in lease terms based on the type of agreement and user.

The successful proposer will be able to draw on practical experience in addressing common issues. The proposer will also be responsible for presenting an outline and approach for organizing these subjects in a user-friendly and logical manner.
STATUS: Research is underway.


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