Below is the uncorrected machine-read text of this chapter, intended to provide our own search engines and external engines with highly rich, chapter-representative searchable text of each book. Because it is UNCORRECTED material, please consider the following text as a useful but insufficient proxy for the authoritative book pages.
8 Guidebook on Understanding FAA Grant Assurance obligations Of the 33 separate opinions reviewed, 12 resulted in an unambiguous finding of no viola- tion, 13 resulted in a definitive determination of a violation, and 8 had mixed outcomes or a determination could not be readily ascertained from the opinion. Figure ES-2 shows the distri- bution of these results, graphically. The higher rate of violations can be attributed to a number of factors. As shown in Figure A-5 in Appendix A in ACRP Web-Only Document 44, Volume 2, 12 of the 13 findings of violations involved Grant Assurance 25, Airport Revenues. Many opin- ions were provided to airport sponsors before they took a particular course of action. Having received a negative determination, they typically did not proceed with that course of action. This result may reflect no more than the complexity of the requirements for compliance with Grant Assurance 25. One-third of the opinions (33) were issued by OIG, with all of them addressing Grant Assurance 25 in whole or in part. OIG investigations may be started as an independent initiative of the OIG, a Congressional referral, a U.S. DOT or FAA referral, or a referral from another party. OIG, in considering the requirements of Grant Assurance 25, has in some cases applied different interpretations of Grant Assurance 25 than FAA. For example, OIG has inter- preted leasing airport land for nonaeronautical use to a third party at less than fair market value (FMV) to be a violation of Grant Assurance 25. FAA in contrast has found that leasing at less than FMV to a third party to be a violation of Grant Assurance 24, Fee and Rental Structure, but not Grant Assurance 25. When these differences arise, OIG and FAA attempt to resolve any differences through consultation. For this issue, the consultation resulted in OIG agreeing with FAAâs interpretation. If FAA and OIG cannot reach agreement, the matter may be referred to the Assistant Secretary for Administration within U.S. DOT. The opinions and memoranda included in ACRP Legal Research Digest 21 may not have included all determinations resulting from this resolution process. 4.3.3 Data from Judicial Decisions (ACRP Legal Research Digest 13) ACRP Legal Research Digest 13 contains digests of a total of 385 federal judicial decisions that were identified as related to airports. Decisions include suits brought directly in U.S. district courts, appeals of federal agency decisions brought in U.S. district courts, appeals of district No Violation 36% (12) Violation 39% (13) Uncertain/Mixed 24% (8) Figure ES-2. Distribution of determinations in opinion letters and memorandums. (Source: ACRP Legal Research Digest 21)
How Was the Guidebook Developed? 9 court decisions and agency decisions to the U.S. circuit courts of appeal, and cases brought before the Supreme Court. ACRP Legal Research Digest 13 is on a CD-ROM and includes the full text of each decision in PDF. The cases are arranged alphabetically by plaintiff or petitioner. Of the 385 decisions, 316 involved no grant assurance issues. Of the remaining 69 decisions that involved grant assurance issues, the grant assurance requirement was often at issue indi- rectly. For example, a plaintiff may be challenging an access restriction as unreasonable under the commerce clause of the Constitution or under 42 USC Â§1983 (which provides a federal remedy for violations of civil rights). The standards of unreasonableness applied in such actions (when they are considered on the merits) are similar to the standards applied by FAA in evaluat- ing claims that airport access restrictions violate Grant Assurance 22, Economic Nondiscrimina- tion. Similarly, the standards applied to a claim that a rate or fee is unreasonable, and therefore violates the Anti-Head Tax Act, 49 USC Â§40116 (when considered on the merits), are similar to the standards applied by FAA and U.S. DOT in evaluating claims that a rate or fee is unreason- able under Grant Assurance 22. Of the 64 decisions involving grant assurance issues (directly or indirectly), 27 resulted in an unambiguous finding of no violation, 14 resulted in a definitive determination of a viola- tion, and 23 did not result in definitive determinations. The latter group consisted of decisions dismissed for lack of jurisdiction or lack of standing, for the most part. Figure ES-3 shows the distribution of these results, graphically. Violation 22% (14) No violation 42% (27) Indeterminate 36% (23) Figure ES-3. Distribution of judicial decisions related to grant assurances. (Source: ACRP Legal Research Digest 13)
10 The Guidebook (ACRP Web-Only Document 44, Volume 1) consists of this summary and two chapters. This summary is being made available in printed form and as part of a web-only document. The Guidebook and the technical appendices are available exclusively as volumes of ACRP Web-Only Document 44. â¢ Executive Summary. Sections 1 through 4 of the summary discussed the purpose of this Guidebook and its target audience and provided brief summaries of the research process and research results. Section 6 provides, in table form, a matrix of high-level information about the grant assurances, such as duration and applicability. The table is presented in the sequential order that the grant assurances appear in grant agreements. The table includes references to the sections in the remaining chapters of the Guidebook, which link directly to those sections when viewed in electronic form. Additional information on the format and structure of the table is included in Section 6. â¢ Section 7 describes the consequences if FAA determines that a sponsor has not complied with one or more grant assurance requirements. The grant assurances fall into two broad categories: (1) grant assurances generally applica- ble to airport operations, management, or finance and (2) grant assurances applicable to the planning or the implementation of AIP-funded projects (project-specific requirements). The remaining chapters each address one of these two categories. â¢ Chapter 1 presents the summaries for generally applicable grant assurances relating to airport operations, management, or finance. The organization and content of the summaries are described in more detail in the Introduction to Chapter 1. â¢ Chapter 2 presents the summary pages for project-specific grant assurances relating to plan- ning, design and implementation of projects. ACRP Web-Only Document 44, Volume 2, consists of technical appendices that provide more detailed information on the grant assurance requirements and resource material available to assist in understanding the grant assurance requirements. It includes six appendices, as follows: â¢ Appendix A provides data on the frequency with which individual grant assurance require- ments were addressed in the determinations and opinions discussed in Section 4.3. â¢ Appendix B provides the full text of the current version of the grant assurances as they appear in grant agreements. â¢ Appendix C lists the resources and references identified for each grant assurance. The appendix pre sents first the resources and references for generally applicable grant assurances, in numerical order, and then the resources and references for project-specific grant assur- ances, also in numerical order. However, the resources and references for Grant Assurance 1, S e c t i o n 5 How Is the Guidebook Organized?
How is the Guidebook organized? 11 General Federal Requirements, are presented in the tables addressing Grant Assurance 1 in each of the two chapters described above. â¢ Appendix D lists airports determined by FAA to be grandfathered under Grant Assurance 25, Airport Revenues. â¢ Appendix E presents an expanded list of questions and answers (Q & As), with more entries than are included in the individual grant assurance summaries. The expanded list includes issues that rarely arise and is intended for airport staff facing an unusual issue that may have arisen before. The expanded Q & As are based on the review of the administrative determina- tions, agency opinions, and judicial decisions described in Section 4.3. â¢ Appendix F presents a synopsis of resources and references listed in Appendix C. Appendix F is organized by the source of the resource or reference.
12 This section presents a matrix that summarizes information for each grant assurance require- ment, including applicability (generally applicable or project-specific), project type (e.g., con- struction or equipment acquisition), duration, related grant assurance requirements, and a cross-reference to the section of the Guidebook where the requirement is discussed. In ACRP Web-Only Document 44, Volume 1, the cross-reference provides a link to the text of the refer- enced Grant Assurance Summary. The matrix is presented in the same order as the grant assurances themselves; however, the grant assurance summaries for generally applicable grant assurances are presented in ACRP Web- Only Document 44, Volume 1, Chapter 1, and project-specific grant assurances are presented in Chapter 2. Moreover, in Chapter 1, the generally applicable grant assurances are grouped into five subject areas, plus Grant Assurance 1, General Federal Requirements. The generally appli- cable Grant Assurance 1 requirements are further grouped into two subject areas. The matrix rows for generally applicable grant assurances are color-coded to these seven subject areas. Fig- ure ES-4 provides the key to the color-coding scheme for the generally applicable requirements. The project-specific grant assurance requirements presented in Chapter 2 are grouped into four subject areas, plus Grant Assurance 1. Project-specific Grant Assurance 1 requirements are further grouped into seven subject areas. The matrix rows for project-specific grant assurances are color-coded to these 11 subject areas. Figure ES-5 provides the key to the color-coding for the project-specific requirements. There are two exceptions to this color-coding system. Title 49, Subtitle VII, in Grant Assur- ance 1 covers most, if not all, subject areas included in both the generally applicable require- ments and the project-specific requirements. Therefore, that subtitle is not shaded. Grant Assurance 37, Disadvantaged Business Enterprises, includes both generally applicable require- ments and project-specific requirements. The row is split with the appropriate color-coding for each category of requirement. As a further guide to how the grant assurance requirements were sorted into categories, Tables ES-1 and ES-2 list (for generally applicable grant assurances and project-specific grant assurances, respectively) the grant assurances included in each subject area (using the same color-coding), except for Grant Assurance 1, General Federal Requirements. The summary matrix is presented in Table ES-3. The information in the matrix is also pre- sented in the individual grant assurance summaries in Chapters 1 and 2 of ACRP Web-Only Document 44, Volume 1. S e c t i o n 6 How Are the Grant Assurances Summarized?