U.S. DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION

ORDER
JO 7400.2J
Effective Date:
February 9, 2012
 
     

Subject:  Procedures for Handling Airspace Matters
Includes:  Change 3 effective 8/22/13, Change 2 effective 3/7/13, Change 1 effective 7/26/12 and  Errata effective 2/9/12.

 

Section 2. Processing of Airport Proposals By Regional Airports Offices

11-2-1. PROPOSALS

Airport proposals received by any FAA office must be forwarded to the appropriate Airports Office for initial processing and study.

NOTE-
Notification under part 157 is not required for projects on Federally-assisted airports.

a. General. The Airports Office, after receipt of a proposal, will check the information submitted for correctness, clarity, completeness, and proper detail. The Airports office will verify critical data or require proponents to verify any data deemed critical. The proponent may need to be contacted if insufficient information is submitted or if significant errors appear in the submission. The Airports Office must maintain a record by list, map, or other method so that the status of new proposals may be easily correlated with existing airports, airports under construction, or other airport proposals.

b. Establishment of New Airports. Initial review concerning the proposed construction of new airports must include but is not limited to the following:

1. Determining conformance of the proposal with agency design criteria.

2. Identifying the objects that exceed the obstruction criteria of part 77.

3. Anticipating the operational use of the airport, including the number and type of aeronautical operations and the number of based aircraft.

4. Ascertaining whether the airport is for private or public use.

5. Identifying runway and taxiway layout in relation to compass rose data, existing or proposed obstructions, or other airports.

6. Identifying known or anticipated controversial aspects of the proposal.

7. Identifying potential noise aspects.

8. Identifying possible conflict with airport improvement and/or development or other agency plans. The Airports Division, in the NRA proposal processing, will identify all seaplane bases that may be impacted by part 157 proposals or other development on public use airports. If the airspace study reveals that a seaplane base is adversely impacted, the Airports Division will notify the seaplane base owner of the NRA proposal and the potential conflict.

9. Obtaining runway threshold coordinates and elevations.

c. Alteration of Existing Airports - The nature and magnitude of an existing airport alteration will determine the extent of processing and analysis required. Alteration, such as new runway construction, runway realignment projects, runway extension; runway upgrading, change in status, such as VFR to IFR use, and widening of runways or taxiway/ramp areas normally require the same type of processing and study as that required for new airport construction proposals.

d. Deactivation and Abandonment of Airports:

1. Airport owners/sponsors are required to notify the FAA concerning the deactivation, discontinued use, or abandonment of an airport, runway, landing strip, or associated taxiway. On partial or specific runway deactivation proposals, a description with a sketch or layout plan and the anticipated operational changes should be forwarded together with any other pertinent information needed to update agency records.

2. When it is believed that an airport is abandoned or unreported and appropriate notification has not been received, the Airports Office, after making a reasonable effort to obtain such notification, must advise the air traffic office of the situation by memorandum. The memorandum should contain a statement that the airport is considered either abandoned or unreported. Forward a copy of the memorandum to the airport owner or sponsor, to AIM and to the Airport Safety Data Branch, AAS-330.

e. Construction safety plans are received as appropriate for Airport Improvement Program requests for aid and the Airports Regional Capital Improvement Program.

f. Other Airport Notices - Occasionally, an airport owner/sponsor will make alterations or changes to the airport without filling notice in accordance with part 157. Generally, this information will be obtained through the airport safety data program (FAA Form 5010) and after-the-fact. From a legal standpoint, this constitutes notice to the FAA and appropriate action is necessary. The Airports Office must initiate a study of such information received in the same manner as if the notice had been received under part 157 requirements.

11-2-2. AIRPORT LAYOUT PLANS (ALP)

ALPs generally show the location, character, dimensions, details of the airport, and the work to be done. The extent of information needed for any specific airport development will vary depending on the scope and character of the project, plus the anticipated role and category of the airport. Detailed information on the development of ALPs is contained in AC 150/5070-6, Airport Master Plans, and AC 150/5300-13, Airport Design.

a. Non-Federally Assisted Airports. Airports personnel will take into consideration an ALP or plan on file in developing a determination with reference to the safe and efficient use of airspace.

b. Federally Assisted Airports. Projects at Federally assisted airports require review based on considerations relating to the safe and efficient utilization of airspace, factors affecting the control of air traffic, conformance with FAA design criteria, and Federal grant assurances or conditions of a Federal property conveyance. The product of this review is derived from analysis of information supplied in the ALP. A formal or tentative determination may be given depending on the complexity of the proposal or the timing of the request. The review and subsequent determination must be made as expeditiously as possible to facilitate processing of the project request. Normally a project is not placed under grant nor Federal property conveyed until a favorable determination is made and the ALP approved.

c. Extent of Review. A review is normally required for all proposals involving new construction or relocation of runways, taxiways, ramp areas, holding or run-up apron projects, airport and runway lighting and marking, fire and rescue building locations, and other projects affecting, or potentially affecting, the movement of aircraft. At all public-use airports, projects which conform to a previously approved non-objectionable airport layout plan for the construction or resurfacing of existing airport paving, site preparation work, or paving to overlie existing unpaved landing strips may be omitted from the normal review process. For an airport that has a construction safety plan, the plan needs to undergo the review process with appropriate FAA offices (see AC 150/5370-2, Operational Safety On Airports During Construction).

11-2-3. NON-PART 157 PROPOSED CONSTRUCTION OR ALTERATION ON NON-OBLIGATED PUBLIC-USE AIRPORTS

Sponsors/proponents of non-part 157 proposals for construction or alteration on public-use airports are required to file notice with the FAA in accordance with part 77.13 (a)(5). The appropriate Airports Office will process these proposals in accordance with procedures established for part 157 proposals. Generally, these proposals will be submitted on FAA Form 7460-1 along with appropriate drawings and necessary supporting documentation. The procedures contained in Part 2. of this order are not applicable to such proposals. However the information contained in Part 2. may be helpful to airports personnel in applying the obstructions standards of Sections 77.23(a)(2), 77.23(a)(5), 77.25, 77.28, and 77.29.

11-2-4. FAA COORDINATION

Upon receipt of a part 157 proposal or a change to an ALP, the appropriate Airports Office must assign an aeronautical study number, ensure that the proposal is complete and correct, review the proposal from an airport's planning viewpoint and the effect on airport programs, enter the proposal into the OE/AAA automation program, and forward a proposal package with comments to the appropriate FAA offices (e.g., air traffic, Flight Procedures Team, Flight Standards, and technical operations services offices) for processing. Other organizations to consider in the review process are (if applicable) the Airport Traffic Control Tower (ATCT), System Management Office (SMO), Security and Hazardous Materials Division, Military representative and Airports Certification Branch. Flight Standards or the Flight Standards District Office (FSDO) will be sent all part 157 proposals for seaplane bases and heliports depending on regional preference. Comments will be provided either to the originating Airports Office or to its respective divisional offices depending on regional procedures. Additional internal coordination must be accomplished, as appropriate, by the responsible division offices.

a. Part 157. Include a copy of the FAA Form 7480-1 and comments on the effect of existing or proposed man-made objects on file with the FAA, plus the effect of natural growth and terrain. Direct particular attention to, and comment on object proposals that would exceed the obstruction standards of part 77. Also, comment if the review indicated a potential noise problem and, if applicable, the effect of the proposal on the safety of persons and property on the ground. Also, enclose, as appropriate, sketches and other data required for the aeronautical study and determination. Include a plot of the proposed runway alignments, associated taxiways or seaplane alignments, and any obstructions on U.S. Geological Survey quadrangle map or equivalent.

b.ALPs. Forward a copy of the ALP and include, when appropriate, an analysis of and rationale for the plan, as well as the various stages of construction, if applicable. Include information on the location of structures that may adversely affect the flight or movement of aircraft, cause electromagnetic interference to NAVAIDs, communication facilities, or derogate the line-of-sight visibility from a control tower. Should review of the plan reveal a potential noise problem, comment to this effect. Comment, as applicable, on the proximity of urban congestion and any potential problem related to the safety of persons and property on the ground. If the layout plan is a revision of one previously approved, summarize the changes for which an airspace determination is required. Also, include comments on objects that would exceed the obstruction standards of part 77 and any other Airports comments that may be appropriate.

c. Federally Assisted Airport Proposals. Transmit by letter a description of the work to be done in the proposed project. If the project is in conformance with an approved ALP, comment to this effect. If the project is at variance with the ALP, comment accordingly and forward a proposed revision to the ALP or an appropriate programming sketch that depicts the location and nature of the proposed work. Also, in the latter event, or if it is a new proposal, forward information on the appropriate items set forth in subparagraph b. above.

d. Disposal or Conveyance of Federal Surplus or Non Surplus Property. Process proposals by public agencies to acquire property interest in land owned and controlled by the United States for public airport purposes as set forth in subparagraph c.

NOTE-
Military representative notification - The military representative may review all new landing area proposals (airports/heliports/seaplane bases), all proposals that have changes to existing landing areas, and all ALPs. Normally, the notification will be through the OE/AAA computer program, unless the military representative requests a hard copy. The military will review proposals, indicated by Airports for review, to determine impacts on military training routes (MTR), MOAs, and restricted areas.

11-2-5. NEGOTIATION WITH SPONSOR

a. During the course of a study, the Airports Office may find it necessary to negotiate with the sponsor to change a proposal. This may be due to a safety problem, efficient use of the airport, etc. After coordination by and agreement with the interested FAA offices (e.g., air traffic, Flight Procedures Team, Flight Standards, and technical operations services), military representatives negotiate with the sponsor for changes to the proposal as necessary. Advise interested FAA offices of the results of the negotiation.

b. When an airport proposal poses a problem with respect to the safe and efficient use of airspace by aircraft or with respect to the safety of persons and property on the ground, negotiate with the sponsor to revise the proposal, if feasible, so as to resolve the problem. Should a case involve a proposal for a new airport that would create problems not resolved by revisions to the proposal, negotiate with the sponsor for a relocation of the proposal to a new site to resolve the problem.

11-2-6. CIRCULARIZATION

The Airports Office should circularize airport proposals in accordance with nonrulemaking procedures as necessary to obtain comments from aeronautical interests, municipal, county and state groups, civic groups, military representatives, and FAA facilities and offices on proposals located within their areas of responsibility. All controversial proposals and those that have a potential adverse effect on the users of the airspace should be included in the circularization process. However, do not circularize a proposal that may compromise the sponsor's position in land acquisition negotiations.

11-2-7. EVALUATE COMMENTS AND AERONAUTICAL EFFECT

The Airports Office must examine comments received in response to coordination and evaluate their validity as related to the safe and efficient use of airspace and to the safety of persons or property on the ground. If the Airports Office's determination contains additional items and/or alterations of the responses previously received from the other FAA offices, request the appropriate air traffic, Flight Procedures Team, Flight Standards, and technical operations services offices to assist in evaluating the validity of the determination. The guidelines in Chapter 12 will assist in evaluating the aeronautical effect of airport proposals.

11-2-8. INFORMAL AIRSPACE MEETINGS

The appropriate Airports Office, with the assistance of the air traffic office, may convene an informal airspace meeting with interested parties as set forth in Part 1. of this order. The informal airspace meeting provides the opportunity to gather additional facts relevant to the aeronautical effect of the proposal, provides interested persons an opportunity to discuss aeronautical objections to the proposal, and provides the FAA with the opportunity to negotiate a resolution to objectionable aspects of the proposal.

11-2-9. ISSUE DETERMINATION

Upon completion of the airspace study, the Airports Office must develop and issue the FAA determination by letter to the airport sponsor in accordance with the guidelines in Chapter 12. Disapprove the request if a previous airport study determination was objectionable and remains uncorrected, or if the determination listed provisions that have not been complied with by the airport owner or sponsor. The FAA determination does not constitute a commitment to provide Federal financial assistance to implement any development contained in the proposal. Also, if the proposal is not objectionable but would exceed part 77 obstruction standards, notify the sponsor of what obstruction marking and lighting would be required or recommended. Additionally, advise the sponsor that a separate notice will be required for any construction equipment, such as temporary cranes, whose working limits would exceed the height and lateral dimensions of the proposed object.

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