The FAA’s recent decision to allow existing residential through-the-fence access to continue represented a victory for airport operators, pilots, and AOPA, who fought for that provision. But the new proposed policy misstates AOPA’s stance on future through-the-fence access. The association set the record straight in comments Sept. 17.
The FAA stated that AOPA would accept a policy against establishing new residential through-the-fence (RTTF) access arrangements. In fact, AOPA’s comments on the FAA’s 2009 proposal to eliminate this access clearly stated “that the FAA should not necessarily close the door to future requests but rather establish specific criteria for new RTTF access and not ban it entirely,” wrote Greg Pecoraro, AOPA vice president of airports and state advocacy.
Pecoraro cites two sets of formal comments in which the association explained its position that future residential through-the-fence agreements should be allowed as long as they are held to a high standard for protecting land adjacent to the airport. He emphasized that “AOPA believes that the FAA should consider new RTTF access at airports that can meet very strict criteria the FAA would establish to protect the federal investment in the airport.”