Airport Nondiscrimination Compliance (Title VI, LEP, EJ)
Recipients of federal financial assistance from the FAA, such as airport sponsors and State Departments of Transportation (State DOTs), must comply with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended (42 U.S.C. § 2000d). Title VI prohibits discrimination on the grounds of race, color or national origin (including limited English proficiency). Title 49 of the U.S.C. section 47123, "Nondiscrimination" (49 U.S.C. § 47123), further prohibits FAA recipients from engaging in discrimination based on sex and creed (religion). Additionally, the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, as amended (42 U.S.C. § 6101), prohibits discrimination against FAA program beneficiaries based on age. Finally, Title 49 CFR part 21 requires the FAA to ensure that FAA recipients provide equal opportunity and access in all programs and activities.
Under these authorities, recipients are required to take affirmative action to ensure nondiscrimination in all of their operations, including but not limited to:
- The recipients' obligation to address Limited English Proficiency (LEP) and Environmental Justice (EJ) in their planning and operations
- The recipients’ requirement to conspicuously display nondiscrimination posters at their airports, notifying the flying public of their rights
- Local, state and Federally assisted contracts
- Federal financial assistance primarily used to provide employment
- The benefits and services provided by their tenants, air carriers, concessionaires, and fixed based operators.
Additionally, FAA is responsible for:
- Conducting Title VI compliance reviews of airport sponsors and other FAA recipients
- Working with external customers to provide oversight and technical assistance with regard to Title VI programs, goals, accomplishments and training
- Investigating complaints of discrimination against recipients of Federal financial assistance in FAA programs.
To review the Title VI Pre-Grant Award Checklist, click here.
To review the FAA Title VI Plan Template, click here.
To review the FAA Community Participation Plan Template, click here.
Under Executive Order 13166, signed on August 11, 2000, the FAA is responsible for ensuring that limited English proficient (LEP) individuals have meaningful access to the benefits and services of FAA offices and recipients of FAA financial assistance. DOT requires that FAA offices and recipients identify the languages of LEP populations in their service and project areas, and determine the frequency of contact with LEP individuals. These factors and other “reasonable steps” are used to determine the level of language assistance that must be provided.
Addressing LEP is of particular importance to FAA given the likelihood that airports will encounter international and foreign travelers who might have a limited ability to read, write, speak or understand the English language. Failing to provide meaningful access to LEP individuals is grounds for a complaint under Title VI’s prohibition against national origin discrimination.
Executive Order 12898, signed on February 11, 1994, requires Federal agencies to achieve EJ by identifying and addressing disproportionately high and adverse human health and environmental effects, including interrelated social and economic effects, of their programs, policies, and activities on minority populations and low-income populations.
Order 5610.2, EJ for Minority Populations & Low Income Populations, describes the process for incorporating EJ principles into all FAA programs, policies, and activities. By extension, airport sponsors and other recipients must take into consideration EJ impacts to surrounding populations concerning noise, construction, or other adverse human health and environmental effects.
- Public Involvement Guidelines
- FAA Airport Environmental Program
- FAA Order 1050.1F, Environmental Impacts: Policies and Procedures
- 1050.1F Desk Reference (Chapter 12: Socioeconomics, Environmental Justice, and Children's Environmental Health and Safety Risks)
- Environmental Protection Agency
- Title VI Pre-Award Checklist
Any person who believes he or she has been subjected to discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin (including LEP), age, creed/religion, or sex (including sexual orientation and gender identity) has the right to file a complaint with the FAA’s Airport Nondiscrimination Compliance Program (ANCP). Complainants may also file a discrimination complaint with the airport or State DOT where the alleged discrimination occurred.
The Department of Transportation also prohibits federal agencies and recipients of federal financial assistance from intimidating or retaliating against anyone because he or she acts to secure rights protected by civil rights laws.
Complaints of discrimination, intimidation or retaliation must be filed within 180 days of the last date of the prohibited act(s).