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State Block Grant Programs â¢ Michigan Department of Transportation, Office of Aeronautics â¢ Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, Bureau of Aviation â¢ Texas Department of Transportation, Aviation Division â¢ Wisconsin Department of Transportation, Bureau of Aeronautics Airports, Airport Associations, and Airport Advisors â¢ AAAE Finance and Administration Committee â¢ AAAE National Airport Conference â¢ ACI-NA Finance Committee â¢ ACI-NA Legal Steering Committee â¢ ACI-NA Small Airport Committee â¢ Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport â¢ Brunswick Golden Isles Airport/McKinnon St. Simons Island Airport â¢ Castle Airport â¢ Charlottesville Albemarle Airport â¢ Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport â¢ Coastal Carolina Regional Airport â¢ Columbus (Georgia) Airport â¢ Columbus (Ohio) Regional Airport Authority â¢ Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport Authority â¢ Denver International Airport â¢ Des Moines International Airport â¢ Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport â¢ Eastern Iowa Airport â¢ Eugene Airport â¢ General Mitchell International Airport â¢ Kalamazoo/Battle Creek International Airport â¢ Kansas City International Airport/Charles B. Wheeler Downtown Airport â¢ Lincoln Airport Authority â¢ Los Angeles World Airports â¢ Metropolitan Nashville Airport Authority â¢ Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority â¢ Myrtle Beach International Airport/Conway-Henry County Airport â¢ Pensacola International Airport â¢ Philadelphia International Airport â¢ Pittsfield Municipal Airport â¢ Port of Oakland â¢ Port of Portland â¢ Portsmouth International Airport â¢ RenoâTahoe Airport Authority â¢ Rock SpringsâSweetwater County Airport â¢ Santa Barbara Airport â¢ San Francisco International Airport â¢ Sarasota Bradenton International Airport â¢ Spokane International Airport â¢ Tampa International Airport â¢ Tucson International Airport/Ryan Airfield â¢ Wichita Eisenhower National Airport â¢ HNTB â¢ Leiner Aviation, LLC â¢ Spiegel and McDiarmid, LLC â¢ Weir & Partners
Airport Users, Tenants, User Associations, and User Advisors â¢ Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association â¢ National Air Transportation Association â¢ National Business Aircraft Association â¢ Aerolease/Aeroplex Group â¢ AIRSURE â¢ Charlie Bravo Aviation â¢ Francis Aviations â¢ Jet Aviation â¢ Landmark Aviation â¢ McClellan Jet Services â¢ Napa Jet Center â¢ Priester Aviation â¢ Signature Flight Support â¢ Sonoma Jet Center â¢ Universal Weather â¢ Aviation Management Consulting Group â¢ Conklin & de Decker Associates â¢ Zuckert, Scoutt Rasenberger
By Lawrence D.Goldstein Staff Officer Transportation Research Board More than 3,000 airports in the United States have, at one time or another, received an Airport Improvement Program (AIP) grant from FAA for airport planning or development; many of these airports receive grants on a yearly basis. Each AIP grant currently issued by FAA comes with 39 numbered grant assurances, which outline the requirements for project implementation and management. To support this program, a series of products has been published to help airport managers, planners, and operators understand and meet AIP requirements. ACRP Research Report 184 is the executive summary of the Guidebook on Understanding FAA Grant Assurance Obligations (published as ACRP Web-Only Document 44, Volume 1) and explains each of the 39 grant assurances. This summary includes a matrix that outlines major aspects of the program such as duration and applicability, and it provides a list of related assurances. The matrix is included in ACRP Web-Only Document 44, Volume 1, where it includes links to specific sections of the Guidebook that discuss each grant assurance in more detail. The detailed discussions, which include lists of required practices, prohibited practices, permitted practices, and exceptions, are available in additional volumes of ACRP Web-Only Document 44. FAAâs Airport Improvement Program (AIP) provides grants to public agencies and, in some cases, to private owners and entities for the planning and development of public- use airports that are included in the National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems. Eligible projects include improvements that enhance airport safety, capacity, and security, as well as projects that diminish environmental problems and concerns. In general, airport sponsors can use AIP funds on most airfield capital improvements or repairs and, in some specific situations, for terminals, hangars, and non-aviation development. Professional services that are necessary for eligible projectsâsuch as planning, surveying, and design âare also eli- gible. Aviation demand at the airport must justify the projects, which must also meet federal environmental and procurement requirements. It is critical that airport sponsors that accept an AIP grant also accept the conditions and obligations associated with these grants. These conditions and obligations are known as âgrant assurance obligationsâ (https://www.faa.gov/airports/aip/grant_assurances/). Grant assurance obligations include specific requirements to operate and maintain the airport in a safe and serviceable condition, to provide access on reasonable terms and charge reasonable fees, to not grant exclusive rights, to mitigate hazards to airspace, and to use airport revenue properly. Given the competitiveness of the AIP and the complexity of the implementation requirements, airport leaders and other stakeholders have often had difficulty understand- ing the breadth and depth of the associated grant assurance obligations. F O R E W O R D
To meet this demand for detailed explanations of grant assurances, ACRP Web-Only Document 44: Understanding FAA Grant Assurance Obligations reviews recommended prac- tices and common questions and, where available, presents examples of airport actions considered in violation or compliance with the grant assurance requirements. Its technical appendices include lists of resource and reference materials for each grant assurance and an extended list of examples of actions considered to violate or comply with the grant assur- ances in a question and answer format. Volume 1 of ACRP Web-Only Document 44 is the actual Guidebook, which includes this executive summary. Volume 1 describes all requirements and the applicability of each of the requirements as well as the consequences of noncompliance. Volume 2 contains the techni- cal appendices, supplemental information for airport staff and others to enhance under- standing of each of the grant assurances. Volume 3 is the research report, discussing the research efforts involved in preparation of the Guidebook. Volume 4 is a model MicrosoftÂ® PowerPoint presentation for sharing content with airport managers, planners, and opera- tors. Interested parties can tailor this presentation to meet the specific needs of airport staff for briefing materials. Staff can use these materials for training new airport employees, as well as to prepare briefing materials for airport governing bodies, local officials, and other stakeholders. Airport managers can also use the materials to confirm that airport actions and policies comply with federal requirements. Failure to understand and carry out the requirements of these grant assurances can have serious consequences for an airport. A violation that is not corrected through voluntary action can lead to a loss of funding for an individual project, the loss of eligibility to receive future grants, or even civil enforcement action. It is, therefore, important for airport man- agement and staff, the officials of an airportâs governing body, and other local officials whose actions could affect an airportâs compliance status to have at least a basic understanding of the grant assurance requirements. This Guidebook and supporting materials are designed to help airport managers and operators make sure that they remain in full compliance of all aspects of the AIP. ACRP Web-Only Document 44 is available on the TRB website (www. trb.org) by searching for âACRP Web-Only Document 44.â
1 Section 1 What Is the Guidebook About? 2 Section 2 Why Was the Guidebook Written? 3 Section 3 Who Should Understand and Use the Guidebook? 3 3.1 Airport Management and Staff 3 3.2 Airport Users and Tenants 3 3.3 Airport Governing Bodies 4 3.4 Local Communities Neighboring the Airport 4 3.5 Other Stakeholders 5 Section 4 How Was the Guidebook Developed? 5 4.1 The Research Process 6 4.2 Research Results: Stakeholder Outreach 6 4.3 Understanding Grant Assurance Requirements: Scope of the Problem 10 Section 5 How Is the Guidebook Organized? 12 Section 6 How Are the Grant Assurances Summarized? 25 Section 7 Consequences of Noncompliance C O N T E N T S
1 More than 3,000 airports in the United States have received, at one time or another, an Air- port Improvement Program (AIP) grant from FAA for airport planning or development, and many of these airports received grants on a yearly basis. Each AIP grant currently issued by FAA comes with certain requirements that must be met. The 39 numbered requirements, called âgrant assurances,â cover a broad range of topics, from construction wages paid on an AIP- funded project to fees charged for the use of an airport. To complicate the issue, many of these 39 grant assurances themselves contain multiple requirements. Complying with each require- ment can be challenging for airports, especially small airports with minimal staff, but failure to comply can disqualify airports from federal funding. The Guidebook on Understanding FAA Grant Assurance Obligations (the Guidebook)âpublished as ACRP Web-Only Document 44, Volume 1âis intended to provide a comprehensive summary of all requirements included in the 39 grant assurances applicable to airport sponsors (owners or operators of the airport that execute the AIP grant agreements containing the grant assurances). The Guidebook describes the requirements, identifies actions that are required and those that are prohibited, identifies exceptions, describes the duration and the applicability of the require- ments, and discusses the potential consequences of noncompliance. The technical appendices in Volume 2 of ACRP Web-Only Document 44 are intended to provide supplemental information that may assist airport staff and other stakeholders in understanding which grant assurances apply to a particular situation and what is required to achieve or maintain compliance. Airport sponsors are not the only entities that receive AIP grants. Planning agencies also receive grants, and jurisdictions adjacent to airports may receive noise compatibility grants. The Guidebook does not address the grant assurances associated with these categories of sponsors. In addition, federal obligations may be imposed on airport sponsors through donation of federal land to the airport. The Guidebook does not address the obligations associated with donations of federal land. S e c t i o n 1 What Is the Guidebook About?
2 Failure to understand, and carry out, properly the requirements of these grant assurances can have serious consequences for an airport. A violation that is not corrected through volun- tary action can lead to a loss of funding for an individual project, the loss of eligibility to receive future grants, or even civil enforcement action. It is, therefore, important for airport manage- ment and staff, the officials of an airportâs governing body, and other local officials whose actions could affect an airportâs compliance status to have at least a basic understanding of the grant assurance requirements. For airport staff in particular, a more in-depth understanding is crucial. It is also important for airport users to understand the grant assurance requirements, so that they can readily determine whether an airport action that adversely affects them qualifies as a violation of a grant assurance requirement, justifying intervention by FAA. Much information that is available to airport staff and airport usersâincluding FAA orders, FAA advisory circulars, FAA compliance guidance letters, and ACRP publicationsâdescribes the grant assurance requirements. The volume of this guidance material itself, as well as the multiplicity of sources, can present an impediment to identifying grant assurance requirements and applying them to a particular situation for airport staff and other stakeholders with limited time and limited understanding of these requirements. The Guidebook is intended to provide a single, comprehensive, and flexible reference tool for both an overview of grant assurances and in-depth information on particular requirements or issues. In addition, an accompanying Microsoftï PowerPoint presentation was developed for use by airport staff when briefing interested stakeholders, such as governing bodies and other local officials. The PowerPoint presentation can be tailored to meet the purpose of a briefing, or the needs of a particular audience. S e c t i o n 2 Why Was the Guidebook Written?
3 Airport users and tenants include â¢ Air carriers, â¢ FBOs, â¢ Banner towing and aerial spraying providers, and â¢ Specialized aviation services operations. The Guidebook has been designed to be used as a reference by various groups interested in understanding the grant assurance requirements, including the following: â¢ Airport management and staff, â¢ Airport users and tenants, â¢ Airport governing bodies, â¢ Local communities neighboring the airport, and â¢ Other stakeholders. The Guidebook is designed primarily for individuals who have not had extensive exposure to the subject of the grant assurances and their compliance requirements, although the supple- mentary information in Volume 2: Technical Appendices may be useful to more knowledgeable or experienced individuals dealing with a specific issue. 3.1 Airport Management and Staff The Guidebook is intended to be used by all levels of airport management and staff. It can be used by those seeking a general understanding of the grant assurance requirements and by those trying to address or resolve a particular issue or concern. 3.2 Airport Users and Tenants Airport users include air carriers, air taxis, and air charter operators; individual and corpo- rate aircraft owners and operators; providers of specialized commercial aviation activities, such as aerial spraying, banner towing, or commercial skydiving operations; fixed-base operators (FBOs), providing a full range of services to the public and other aviation entities at the airport; and specialized aviation services operations, which provide limited services, or even single ser- vices, for example, engine maintenance and repair and aircraft leasing. Airport users can employ the Guidebook to obtain a general understanding of the grant assur- ance requirements and to identify the particular grant assurance requirement that may govern a sponsor action of concern to the user and, once identified, to obtain a full understanding of the airportâs obligations and responsibilities, including any prohibited actions. 3.3 Airport Governing Bodies Airports have a variety of governance structures, including direct city/county ownership, state ownership, single-purpose authority ownership, and multipurpose authority ownership. The level of sophistication and understanding of airport operations and obligations can vary widely in governing bodies and in individual governing body members. S e c t i o n 3 Who Should Understand and Use the Guidebook?