Section 3. Processing of Airport Proposals By Regional Flight Standards Offices
The appropriate Flight Standards Office must perform a flight safety review of airport, heliport, and seaplane base proposals to determine whether aircraft operations can be conducted safely. This review will include an assessment of Visual Flight Rules (VFR) traffic patterns and a review of on airport proposals that affect Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) procedures. The Flight Standards Office will review any proposal with runways, taxiways, and/or ramp surfaces underlying threshold-siting surfaces and proposals for declared distance concepts. Upon completion of the review, the appropriate Flight Standards Office must submit its report to the responsible Airports Office. The report must state whether or not safe operations can be conducted or what conditions are needed to ensure safe operations. Information provided by Technical Operations Aviation System Standards may be used when conducting these reviews.
FAA Order 1000.1, Policy Statement of the FAA, states that the agency will pursue a regulatory policy that recognizes the primary right of the individual to accept personal risk. However, the agency balances this right against society's interest in the safety of the individual, and limits the individual's right to incur risk when the exercise of that right creates a risk for others. Therefore, airport aeronautical studies must consider, for example, the proposal's proximity to cities or towns, and its runway alignment with reference to heavily populated areas, schools, hospitals, sports stadiums, and shopping centers, etc.
- Heliports. All proposals for the establishment of heliports must be given an onsite operational evaluation by operations specialists or inspectors, preferably those who are qualified on helicopters. Proposed heliports to be located in congested areas, and/or on a roof-top, should be evaluated by helicopter-qualified operations inspectors. Included in the process is the development of recommendations for assignment of ingress and egress routes, where necessary.
- Non-Federal Agreement Airport Proposal. The Flight Standards Office performing a flight safety review will use information submitted with the FAA Form 7480-1 and any other information as may be available, such as charts, aerial photographs, etc. A flight check or an onsite inspection may be advantageous if the proposal is controversial or additional information is needed.
- Federally Assisted Airport Proposal. The Flight Standards Office should:
- Review the proposal from the standpoint of safety of flight operations.
- Conduct an on-site evaluation.
- Advise the air traffic office when obstructions and/or terrain that prove to cause significant safety problems are identified.
- The FSDO reviews Part 157 seaplane base and heliport proposals.