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Airport Owner/Sponsor Role 45 resources because they often have so many facets and areas of influence. Having a college and/or university within the community is a tremendous benefit, for a variety of reasons, but within the context of aviation, and specifically airport development, a college or university may have an avi- ation curriculum or even operations at the airport itself. Flight training, airframe and powerplant, and air traffic control are examples of curricula that the college or university may offer or that they could potentially expand. Also, the movement of sports teams, and the seminars and conferences that a college or university may be engaged in, may present opportunities for the airport sponsor to consider. And finally, the ability for a college or university to provide research, or to have a relation- ship on a research and development level with potential tenants, should not be overlooked. The involvement of university/college stakeholders in the airport development process can be powerful because, as is the case of many large organizations, their connectivity or lack of con- nectivity to the world affects their effectiveness in carrying out the various missions with which they are tasked. The local college or university may be critical in demonstrating demand for a service or new tenant, especially in the arena of air-service development. And examples do exist where universities and colleges have provided financial support for airport development. In any event, the local college or university is another prominent stakeholder that can provide support, or if handled poorly, be a powerful adversary to accomplishing a needed development project. 3.5.6 State Government The state government is often responsible for assisting in the development of a system of air- ports to support the state's aviation needs. The state government also has a vested interest in pro- moting statewide economic development and activity, thus providing the airport sponsor and potential tenant with a venue for state assistance. Funding for airport development may be pro- vided by the state through transportation user fees, general funds, or in the case of state block grants, the state may allocate federal funds to airports throughout the state, often accompanied by state funds. These funds are typically granted to the airport sponsor for use on designated proj- ects and may or may not benefit a specific project, lease, or tenant. Development of airport infra- structure, such as taxiways, ramps, roadways, or utilities, may play an important role in an airport development project and often relieves the project of the fiscal burden of these required attrib- utes. States sometimes have the flexibility to move grant funds from one project to another or adjust priorities in order to facilitate a valued airport development project that will bring jobs and economic activity to the airport. Additional funds and incentives applicable to airport projects are available through direct fund- ing and grants, as well as through tax abatement and credits for employment generation. These incentives may be directed to the airport sponsor or the potential tenant depending on whether the activity generated meets the defined criteria. These incentives vary state by state but typically can be applied to airport development projects, both aeronautical and nonaeronautical. 3.5.7 Federal Government When it comes to airport development in the United States, the federal government may not be involved in day-to-day airport operations but very involved with policy direction and system planning. The federal government assists in the development of state aviation plans and provides funding for airport improvement projects through the FAA's Airport Improvement Program (AIP). The AIP is funded from aviation user fees deposited in the federal aviation trust fund for the purpose of improving the nation's aviation infrastructure. Publicly-owned airports that receive federal AIP grants must sign and abide by federal grant assurances, which specify, among other things, that the airport will charge fair and equitable rates