The National Academies

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

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

  Project Data
Funds: $75,000
Contract Time: 12 months
Staff Responsibility: Jordan Christensen,

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.
This research will be conducted in two phases and four tasks in a firm fixed-price agreement. At the conclusion of Phase I, ACRP will make a determination whether to proceed with Phase II. The tasks will be as follows.
Phase I
Task 1a. Kick-off call.  Participate in a call with the panel to discuss the scope of work.
Task 1b. Conduct background research and collect relevant material. Based on the initial but complete review of the source materials, submit a detailed report outline. The outline should contain sufficient detail to describe what a report of appropriate length will contain. This outline should also contain the estimated pagination for each proposed section and/or subsection. This material will be submitted for ACRP consideration and approval. Participate in a conference call with the ACRP panel 3 weeks after submission of the outline.
Phase II
Task 2. After ACRP approval of the detailed outline, conduct additional research, and case and statutory/regulatory analysis. Collect additional primary data to the extent necessary.
Task 3. Submit an initial draft report in accordance with the approved outline (including any modification required by ACRP). Participate in a conference call with the ACRP panel 3 weeks after submission of the initial draft report.
Task 4. Revise the initial report as necessary and provide a red-line and clean version of the draft final report (DFR). The ACRP will provide written comments, each of which will need a point-by-point response. The report will be revised as appropriate and submitted as the final report.
FUNDING: $75,000
25% paid upon submission and approval of the Task 1 Outline
50% paid upon submission and approval of the Task 3 Report
25% paid upon submission and approval of the Task 4 Final Report
STATUS: Proposals have been recieved in response to the RFP. The project panel will meet to select a contractor to perfrom the work.


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