The FAA's Airport Compliance Program ensures airport sponsors comply with the Federal obligations they assume when they accept Federal grant funds or the transfer of Federal property for airport purposes. The program serves to protect the public interest in civil aviation and ensure compliance with applicable Federal laws, FAA rules, and policies.

Sources of Obligations

When airports receive Federal assistance, their owners or sponsors accept certain obligations and conditions, which may be incurred by contract or by restrictive covenants in property deeds. This generally involves the following:

  • Grant agreements (Grant Assurances) issued under Federal grant programs
  • Instruments of approved property transfers
  • Deeds of conveyance

When Airport owners and operators accept Federal grants, they agree to preserve and operate their facilities in a safe and efficient manner and comply with certain conditions and assurances. These obligations can span different airport development grant programs, including the Federal Aid to Airports Program (FAAP), the Airport Development Aid Program (ADAP), and the Airport Improvement Program (AIP). Airports owners should be aware that obligations incurred under each program or conveyance document vary.

Major Obligations

The following list includes some of the major obligations an airport owner can incur when accepting a Federal airport development grant.

  • Prohibition of exclusive rights
  • Use of airport revenue
  • Proper maintenance and operation of airport facilities
  • Protection of approaches
  • Keeping good title of airport property
  • Compatible land use
  • Availability of fair and reasonable terms without unjust discrimination
  • Adhering to the approved airport layout plan
  • Self-sustainability
  • Sale or disposal of Federally acquired property
  • Preserving rights and powers
  • Using acceptable accounting and record-keeping systems
  • Compliance with civil rights requirements

The FAA encourages airport owners to review each agreement and conveyance document to ensure that they understand their obligations. Keeping good records will allow them to quickly reference incurred obligations. Further, annual reviews of all agreements will aid efforts in complying with incurred Federal obligations.