New Guidance on Oil and Gas Extraction at Federally Obligated Airports

Friday, June 3, 2016

The FAA today posted an advisory circular (AC) on oil and gas extraction on airport property. The AC does not create new requirements, but describes how existing statutory and regulatory requirements apply to proposed oil and gas extraction on or beneath airport property at federally-obligated airports.

As the number of airport sponsors interested in allowing oil and gas extraction activities on airport property continues to grow, the FAA wanted to provide this guidance for airport sponsors that have federal obligations.

The FAA understands that many airport sponsors want to utilize oil and gas extraction as a source of airport revenue. Sponsors must ensure proposed mineral extraction activities do not violate any of their obligations and requirements.

Some of these FAA requirements, outlined in the new AC, include seeking and receiving FAA approval of Airport Layout Plan changes for on-airport development before drilling begins; ensuring the extraction does not create a hazard or conflict with current or planned aviation purposes; getting fair market value payments for the oil and gas lease and use of airport land; and using the revenue as outlined in the FAA’s revenue use policy and grant agreements.

As with any proposed change in airport land use, the AC urges airport sponsors to contact the appropriate FAA Airports District Office or Regional Office as early as possible in the process.