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General Aviation Airports

Part 139 Airport Certification

Civilian airports that do not serve scheduled passenger service are typically known as general aviation airports. These airports usually serve private aircraft and small aircraft charter operations.

Part 139 typically does not apply to general aviation airports because they do not serve the air carrier operations specified in the authorizing statute and the revised regulation (scheduled operations and unscheduled operations of air carrier aircraft with more than 30 seats and scheduled operations of air carrier aircraft with 10 to 30 seats). However, if these types of operations are forecasted at a general aviation airport, please contact your Regional Airports Division Office to speak to an Airport Certification Safety Inspector about the certification process.

For airports not required to hold an Airport Operating Certificate, the regulation contains many safety procedures and practices FAA recommends for use at all airports.

General Aviation Airports that Accept Federal Assistance

Operators of general aviation airports that accept Federal grant funds or the transfer of Federal property for airport purposes must agree to certain contractual obligations. These obligations require the airport operator to maintain and operate the airport safely, efficiently, and in accordance with specified conditions, including certain maintenance and operational conditions (many of which are similar to those found in the requirements of Part 139). The FAA ensures airport owners comply with these obligations through its Airport Compliance program.

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