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Project Development Considerations 53 of based aircraft, types of commercial activity, and level of air service. The airports being com- pared should have similar levels of amenities as well; air traffic control, instrument approaches, lighting, security, and hours of operation all affect access by the aviation community, and, there- fore, value of the property on that facility. There are several real estate appraisal certifications; perhaps the most widely recognized in the commercial real estate arena is the MAI or Member of the Appraisal Institute designation. MAI appraisers are qualified to perform both residential and commercial property appraisals, and they routinely stay current in their discipline through trade association involvement. As discussed above, the challenges of appraising airport property include an understanding of the unique attributes of an airport, the federal obligations that the airport sponsor must follow, and the allow- able uses of the property when establishing market value. Identifying an individual that is versed in airport real estate is every bit as important as a certification, so the airport sponsor should look for both experience and credentials when choosing someone to appraise airport property. 4.5.2 Comparable Sales Approach The most common form of valuation is the identification of relatively similar land and the assessment of the established value. From this information, the similar land can serve as a bench- mark to determine valuation based on a measurement metric such as cost per square foot. This approach involves determining the lease rates at comparable sized airports offering similar lev- els of services and using the findings to establish lease rates. In order to account for varying regional real estate values, lease rate data should be acquired from competing airports within the same market area. Market area, size of airport, and demographics of region should all be con- sidered when establishing comparables, as well as the number of based aircraft, size of based air- craft, and indicators of traffic volume such as fuel-flow volumes. 4.5.3 Cost Approach When comparable sales are lacking, another valuation method may be implemented. The sec- ond valuation approach identifies the cost of replacing all existing facilities and improvements. The cost of such replacements--less depreciation--can serve as a basis for setting a value on developed land only. 4.5.4 Income Approach This approach identifies the possibilities for development of the land to produce and gener- ate revenues or other values when the land is used to its highest and best use. This method proves more difficult to quantify due to the fact that the income or value must be estimated for a point in the future. Also, determining the "best use" may change as the land or surroundings change. It is best not to attempt to actively valuate property unless aware of and educated on the var- ious valuation processes. If valuation is needed, an experienced individual should be used to apply the most appropriate valuation method, thereby ensuring that lease rates are realistic. 4.6 Airport Revenue Maximization Airport revenue maximization should be a key goal for the airport sponsor and must be a pri- mary consideration when entering a lease agreement. The FAA, through its grant assurance doc- uments, requires airports to establish fair and reasonable fees without discriminating against a specific aeronautical user. The FAA also recommends that airports maintain a fee and rental