Airports face a multitude of issues related to telecommunications, an area that requires airports to have a depth of knowledge of the subject and the relevant regulatory requirements. Technologies include cell phone towers and new 5G small cells, Distributed Antenna Systems (DAS), fiber (for airport use, tenant use and just passing through airport property), and wireless Internet connections. Telecommunications are ever changing and are also growing, especially with the implementation of 5G.
Most airports will face these issues and will benefit from this guidance on how to approach the legal framework to assure compliance. This Digest examines the federal regulatory requirements and best practices for the various aspects of telecommunications at airports, important emerging trends, and current issues. These include, but are is not limited to, regulations implemented by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The digest also describes alternative approaches on interactions with various telecommunications companies and the types of business deals and legal provisions, the interplay with state and local ordinances, and a summary of relevant resources.