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11 tal and operating costs of competing fixed-base opera- Approximately 58 percent of those interviewed tors."53 stated that FAA policies, practices, and decisions were Two-thirds of those interviewed recognized that not very reflective of the market-based realities of some commercial aeronautical activities should be pro- commercial aeronautical activities at airports; however, hibited in the interest of aviation safety. Several others approximately 63 percent of those interviewed believed indicated that it may be appropriate to restrict commer- that the Sponsor Assurances, as currently interpreted cial aeronautical activities if aviation safety is compro- and enforced by the FAA, were "about right" in terms of mised. finding the balance between airports and commercial Roughly one-half of those interviewed believed aeronautical operators. that Minimum Standards should be reviewed and up- The vast majority of those interviewed, regardless dated every 5 years. of position, recognized the need for (and the important Just over 90 percent of those interviewed believed purposes served by) Minimum Standards. that sufficient resources and guidance exist to develop, update, implement, and enforce Minimum Standards. However, some individuals felt that there were some V. COMPENDIUM OF COMPARATIVE MINIMUM limitations (e.g., the airport sponsor may not know STANDARDS about the resources or guidance, the resources or guid- ance may be difficult to find or understand, and it may According to the Problem Statement, one purpose of be hard to apply resources or guidance under particular this project was to develop a "compendium of compara- circumstances). tive minimum standards applicable to commercial aeronautical activities that are customary at airports (occurring with a frequency of 25 percent or greater)." The compendium is provided in Appendix D. A threshold task in developing the compendium was to determine which commercial aeronautical activities occur with a frequency of 25 percent or greater. The questionnaire results revealed the following informa- tion regarding the frequency of specific commercial aeronautical activities at the 99 respondent airports. The horizontal line represents 25 percent. 100% 90% 80% 70% Percentage 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% Activity 53 Director's Determination, The Aviation Ctr., Inc. v. City of Ann Arbor, FAA Docket No. 16-05-01, at 27 (Dec. 16, 2005), http://part16.airports.faa.gov/pdf/16-05-01b.pdf.

OCR for page 11
12 In rank order by frequency, the customary commer- with which airports prescribe specific or numerical cial aeronautical activities are: standards for each topic. This is true for each of the customary commercial aeronautical activities. For ex- 1. FBO. ample, while commercial general liability insurance is 2. Aircraft storage. commonly prescribed, there is considerable variability 3. Aircraft maintenance. in whether policy limits are prescribed for other insur- 4. Flight training/instruction. ance products (e.g., business automobile liability, han- 5. Aircraft rental. gar keeper's legal liability, aircraft passenger and liabil- 6. Aircraft charter. ity, students and renters, and environmental). 7. Avionics/Instruments. There is great variability in the numerical values 8. Aircraft refurbishment. prescribed for most topics. Here too, insurance re- 9. Aircraft sales. quirements provide an illustrative example. There is a 10. Aircraft management. broad range between the low and high values for most 11. Agricultural operations. insurance requirements. Similarly, there is a broad range between the low and high values for minimum The compendium in Appendix D identifies the mini- leased space. While certain low and high values may mum standards that apply to these customary commer- constitute outliers, thorough analysis of the data con- cial aeronautical activities. To develop the compendium, firmed a high degree of variability. 39 airport Minimum Standards (subject documents) While the subject documents reflect considerable obtained from the respondent airports were reviewed. variability in the frequency of specific or numerical Minimum Standards have been categorized by type of standards for each topic, the subject documents exhibit commercial aeronautical activity and subject area. As greater consistency in other areas. The following are stated in the Introduction, this information is not in- some common features of the subject documents: tended to serve as a recommendation as to any particu- In approximately 82 percent of the subject lar airport's Minimum Standards. documents, key terms are defined. In approximately The review of the subject documents yielded the fol- 94 percent of the subject documents that define key lowing information and findings: terms, the definitions of the key terms are consolidated in a separate section of the document. There is considerable variability in the frequency Approximately 85 percent of the subject of airport Minimum Standards addressing the custom- documents contain a separate section that outlines or ary commercial aeronautical activities. For example, identifies the general standards that apply to all com- 87 percent of the subject documents contain Minimum mercial aeronautical operators. When included in the Standards for FBOs, which exist at roughly 80 percent document, this section typically outlines or identifies a of the respondent airports. However, only 25 percent of variety of general requirements such as applicability, the subject documents address aircraft storage opera- application, agreement/permit, experience/capability, tors, which is the second-ranked commercial aeronauti- payment of rents/fees, hours of activity, insurance, mul- cal activity, occurring at more than 70 percent of the tiple activities, and grounds for denial. respondent airports. None of the subject documents In approximately 56 percent of the subject prescribe standards for aircraft refurbishment, which documents, an agreement is required to engage in occurs at more than 30 percent of the respondent air- commercial aeronautical activities at the airport. A ports. It appears that many airports have Minimum permit is required in approximately 44 percent of the Standards for commercial aeronautical activities that subject documents. In nearly every case (approximately are not occurring at the airport, and that many airports 97 percent), an agreement is required to lease land or lack minimum standards for activities that are occur- improvements at the airport. ring at the airport. In approximately 74 percent of the subject In the majority of the subject documents, specific documents, the airport sponsor requires that any entity or numerical standards are prescribed relating to com- desiring to engage in commercial aeronautical activities mercial aeronautical activities. For example, more than at the airport complete and submit an application for 50 percent of the subject documents that address FBOs approval prior to the airport sponsor entering into specify whether Jet A and Avgas fueling is required; agreement with or granting a permit to the commercial provide numerical standards for minimum leased space aeronautical operator. (land, ramp, hangars, and other buildings); provide In approximately 48 percent of the subject numerical standards for Jet A and Avgas fuel storage documents, the application criteria are specified. Ap- capacity; prescribe minimum hours and days of opera- proximately 24 percent of the subject documents refer tion; and prescribe numerical standards for commercial to a separate application that is not part of the Mini- general liability insurance and hangar keeper's liability mum Standards. Approximately 24 percent of the sub- insurance. ject documents outline or identify the application crite- Notwithstanding these commonly-prescribed stan- ria or provide the application as part of the Minimum dards, there is considerable variability in the frequency Standards.