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6 Guidebook for Managing Small Airports Communication and Coordination with Airport Owners and Boards Communication and coordination with the airport owner and governing board is one of the airport manager's key roles. The manager serves as the airport's representative on site and to the public at large. The owner and governing board assign the manager's responsibilities, and he or she reports back to them. A good working relationship is required for smooth operations. Typically, the manager performs the day-to-day functions of the airport owner or authority, acting for the board members or commissioners as necessary to maintain efficient operations. In doing so, it is the manager's responsibility to keep commissioners or board members informed of activities that may reflect upon them. The airport manager may also benefit from advocating for the airport at the state or national level. To advocate for an airport at this level, it helps to know the role of state legislative commit- tees, how the legislature is structured, strategies for communicating with local boards and com- missions, and how to package requests effectively. At the state level, typical committees with jurisdiction over airport issues are the transportation policy, transportation finance, and state and local government operations committees. A primary goal of any advocate is to get noticed and get his or her message out to policy makers, whether at the local, state, or federal level. One strategy is to quantify needs and costs and make this quantification known to policy mak- ers. In addition, the airport manager should explain why airports are important and why policy makers should care about their health and future. Finally, the airport manager should get to know policy makers before needing them. He or she should know who represents the airport at all lev- els, and then work on building a relationship with them. The time immediately following elec- tions is a good time to contact lawmakers since they are not as busy then. Regulatory Compliance Federal Regulations Publicly owned airports are subject to a variety of federal regulations, as specified in Title 14 U.S. Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Chapters I and II, Federal Aviation Regulations (FARs). These regulations regulate aircraft, airmen, airports, and the national airspace system. Many of the FARs apply to small airports, and as with any legislation, the FARs may change. The current aviation reg- ulations, as well as additional standards and guidance in the FAA Advisory Circular 150 series, are accessible online through the FAA website ( The primary FARs that apply specifically to general aviation airports include the following: FAR Part 77, Objects Affecting Navigable Airspace. Part 77 establishes standards for determining obstructions in navigable airspace; outlines the requirements for notifying the FAA of certain proposed construction or alteration; provides for aeronautical studies of obstructions to air navigation in order to determine their effect on the safe and efficient use of airspace; and provides for public hearings on the hazardous effect of proposed con- struction or alteration on air navigation. Section 77.25 of this part establishes imaginary surfaces around airport runways, approach zones, and navigable airspace in the vicinity of the airport. FAR Part 139, Certification of Airports. Part 139 prescribes rules governing the certification and operation of land carriers that are conducted with an aircraft having a seating capacity of more than 30 passengers. It includes provisions describing the contents, preparation, and main- tenance of an airport certification manual.