August 23, 2012
By Dan Namowitz
Aircraft owners and other pilots now have until Sept. 14 to submit formal comments on the FAA’s policy governing access to general aviation airports from residential property.
The FAA published its interpretation of how it would administer the residential-through-the-fence policy July 30, acting under a congressional mandate to maintain access to GA airports from adjacent private property. When the policy was released, AOPA reported to members that the agency’s interpretation of the intent of Congress contained “no surprises.”
Passage of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 in February ended an FAA bid that had been in progress since 2009 to eliminate through-the-fence operations. The reauthorization bill included language inserted by Rep. Sam Graves (R-Mo.), co-chair of the Congressional GA Caucus, assuring that GA airport sponsors could not be deemed in violation of federal grant assurances solely on the basis of entering into through-the-fence agreements.
Members are urged to review the FAA’s policy. Although the original deadline was Aug. 29, the FAA has extended the comment period to Sept. 14. Comments may be submitted citing Docket No. FAA–2012–0754, online or by mail to Docket Operations, U.S. Department of Transportation, West Building, Ground Floor, Room W12–140, Routing Symbol M–30, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590.
Dan Namowitz is an aviation writer and flight instructor. He has been a pilot since 1985 and an instructor since 1990.
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