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Legal Considerations in the Funding and Development of Intermodal Facilities at Airports (2018)

Chapter: II. THE FEDERAL POLICY SUPPORTING THE DEVELOPMENT OF INTERMODAL FACILITIES

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Suggested Citation:"II. THE FEDERAL POLICY SUPPORTING THE DEVELOPMENT OF INTERMODAL FACILITIES." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. Legal Considerations in the Funding and Development of Intermodal Facilities at Airports. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25250.
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4 in 1998 in the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21).14 But it was not until enactment of the Wendell H. Ford Aviation Investment and Reform Act for the 21st Century (AIR21) in 2000 that Congress extended federal intermodalism policy to airports.15 As a result of ISTEA, TEA-21, and AIR21, funding for airport intermodal facilities comes from a variety of sources and has become significantly more complicated. It is, therefore, important to understand that there are a number of federal (and state) programs supporting the development of intermodal facilities on airports and that state and local funds can and must be used to match and sup- plement federal funds.16 A. Intermodal Transportation Policy Generally17 ISTEA is one of the first explicit federal legisla- tive statements of the importance of considering various modes of transportation as an inter-con- nected system rather than individual standalone resources that also contained statutory program requirements. It was thought that connecting air and ground transport at an intermodal facility would reduce airport congestion and create 14 23 U.S.C. § 101. 15 The 2007 report of the National Surface Transporta- tion Policy and Revenue Study Commission follows these legislative policies and supports the development of a transportation system for the United States that ensures projects are designed, approved and completed quickly; fully integrate different transport mode; emphasize modal balance and options; are environmentally sensitive; mini- mize energy use; and eliminate wasteful delays. NatioNal Surface traNSportatioN policy report at xvi. The Com- mission further recommended that federal transportation funding focus on congestion relief and that public trans- portation remains the best solution to congestion relief because it moves large volumes of passengers quickly and efficiently. NatioNal Surface traNSportatioN policy report at 9, 11. 16 Congress appropriates funds for federal transporta- tion grant programs and the DOT, through the FAA and FTA, administers the programs according to the specified statutory requirements and established agency policy. Congress, for example, has authorized airports to collect PFCs. The FAA supervises the collection of PFC funds and regulates the use of the funds. michael SargeNt, eNd of the ruNway: rethiNkiNg the airport improvemeNt program aNd the federal role iN airport fuNdiNg, 3 (The Heritage Foundation, Nov. 12, 2016), available at https://www. heritage.org/transportation/report/end-the-runway- rethinking-the-airport-improvement-program-and-the- federal [hereinafter Federal Role in Airport Funding]. 17 The term “intermodal facility” as used in this digest does not include fixed guideway systems designed for the purpose of transporting airport passengers between ter- minals, concourses, and other airport facilities. A. What Is an Intermodal Facility?7 An intermodal facility is a place where passen- gers may transfer from one transportation system to another. A multimodal facility is one that serves multiple modes of transportation. Intermodal is a more comprehensive term because, when it is used to describe a single facility, the term implies a high degree of intentional connectivity between the vari- ous modes of transport represented at the facility.8 Thus, for example, the transfers between modes have been planned to feel “seamless.”9 So, it may be more clear and more precise to talk about transpor- tation “networks” as multimodal (an airplane link- ing to an automated people mover (APM) linking to a light rail system) and as transportation “facilities” as intermodal (a place where such links are made possible). No trip ever ends at an airport. Airports and rail stations have always existed as nodes—a place of exchange to go somewhere else. Perhaps most importantly, though, intermodal facilities pro- vide efficiencies that do not otherwise occur when transport modes are separated.10 Such facilities increase the number of passengers who are able to reach an airport, and, by diverting traffic, relieve congestion and pollution.11 II. THE FEDERAL POLICY SUPPORTING THE DEVELOPMENT OF INTERMODAL FACILITIES Congress first expressed an interest in intermo- dalism in the 1970s, but it was not until the passage of the Intermodal Surface Transportation Act of 1991 (ISTEA)12 that Congress actively encouraged intermodalism as a mechanism for increasing effi- ciency, environmental and energy conservation and addressing urban congestion.13 The generalized encouragement of intermodalism was followed with more specific programmatic statutory requirements 7 The term “intermodal facility” as used in this digest does not include fixed guideway systems designed for the purpose of transporting airport passengers between ter- minals, concourses, and other airport facilities. 8 florida departmeNt of traNSportatioN, tampa iNt’l multimodal Study at 5-6. 9 Id. at 5. 10 Paul Dempsey, The Law of Intermodal Transporta- tion: What It Was, What It Is, What It Should Be, 27 traNSp. l. J. 367, (2000) [hereinafter Intermodal Trans- portation]. 11 iNtegratiNg aviatioN aNd paSSeNger rail plaNNiNg, acrp 118, 9, 17, 35, (Transportation Research Board, 2015) (explaining airport catchment areas increased by rail service). 12 49 U.S.C. § 101 (1991). 13 Intermodal Transportation, supra note 10 at 17 & n. 17.

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TRB's Airport Cooperative Research Program (ACRP) Legal Research Digest 35: Legal Considerations in the Funding and Development of Intermodal Facilities at Airports provides background on multimodal or intermodal facilities, funding challenges, and a review of the guidance and decisions the Federal Aviation Administration has made pertaining to intermodal facility development at airports.

As surface transportation congestion increases, cities have looked to intermodal facilities at airports to ameliorate ground access crowding. With that, airports are under pressure to site and fund multimodal projects to connect passengers to road, transit, rail, and other transportation systems. Funding for on-airport and airport-adjacent projects involve a complex interplay of federal programs and federal requirements for use of airport land and airport funds.

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