Airport Land Acquisition Under the Airport Improvement Program

Land acquisition necessary for Airport Improvement Program (AIP)-assisted airport development or noise compatibility purposes must be accomplished in accordance with Uniform Relocation Assistance and Real Property Acquisition for Federal and Federally Assisted Programs (49 CFR Part 24). This is the implementing regulation for the Uniform Relocation Assistance and Real Property Acquisition Policies Act (Uniform Act). The Uniform Act is the Federal law that provides minimum real property acquisition policies and requires the uniform and equitable treatment of persons displaced as a result of a Federally assisted project. The provisions of the Uniform Act and 49 CFR part 24 apply to all AIP projects in any phase or portion of the project, e.g. the planning, design, land acquisition, or construction phases.

An AIP-assisted airport project or program cannot proceed or receive FAA approval until the airport sponsor provides assurance of conformance to the Uniform Act. Also, for development projects, the sponsor must provide assurance, satisfactory to the Secretary of the Department of Transportation, that good title is held to the landing area of the airport or that the airport will acquire the site. Land Acquisition and Relocation Assistance for Airport Improvement Program Assisted Projects (AC 150/5100-17) provides guidance to assist airport sponsors in meeting these requirements and supporting their assurances to the FAA.

The release of obligated airport property also invokes certain Federal requirements. The airport sponsor must make documentation justifying the reasons for the release available to the FAA for review and approval. If Federal funds were originally used to acquire the land, the FAA must also approve disposition of the Federal share of the sale proceeds.


Last updated: Thursday, August 11, 2022