Web editor's note: This text is current as January 1996. To determine whether a particular section has been amended since then, consult the printed United States Code with supplements, or go to 49 U.S.C. Chapter 471 at the Web site of the Legal Information Institute (Cornell Law School) and follow the instructions there for "updates".

United State Code



 47101. Policies.
 47102. Definitions.
 47103. National plan of integrated airport systems.
 47104. Project grant authority.
 47105. Project grant applications.
 47106. Project grant application approval conditioned on satisfaction of 
        project requirements.
 47107. Project grant application approval conditioned on assurances
        about airport operations.
 47108. Project grant agreements.
 47109. United States Government's share of project costs.
 47110. Allowable project costs.
 47111. Payments under project grant agreements.
 47112. Carrying out airport development projects.
 47113. Minority and disadvantaged business participation.
 47114. Apportionments.
 47115. Discretionary fund.
 47116. Small airport fund.
 47117. Use of apportioned amounts.
 47118. Designating current and former military airports.
 47119. Terminal development costs.
 47120. Grant priority.
 47121. Records and audits.
 47122. Administrative.
 47123. Nondiscrimination.
 47124. Agreements for State and local operation of airport facilities.
 47125. Conveyances of United States Government land.
 47126. Criminal penalties for false statements.
 47127. Ground transportation demonstration projects.
 47128. State block grant pilot program.
 47129. Resolution of airport-air carrier disputes concerning
        airport fees.
 47130. Airport safety data collection.
 47131. Annual report.

Sec. 47101. Policies

     (a) General. - It is the policy of the United States -

          (1) that the safe operation of the airport and airway system is
          the highest aviation priority;

          (2) that aviation facilities be constructed and operated to
          minimize current and projected noise impact on nearby

          (3) to give special emphasis to developing reliever airports;

          (4) that appropriate provisions should be made to make the
          development and enhancement of cargo hub airports easier;

          (5) to encourage the development of transportation systems that
          use various modes of transportation in a way that will serve the
          States and local communities efficiently and effectively;

          (6) that airport development projects under this subchapter
          provide for the protection and enhancement of natural resources
          and the quality of the environment of the United States;

          (7) that airport construction and improvement projects that
          increase the capacity of facilities to accommodate passenger and
          cargo traffic be undertaken to the maximum feasible extent so
          that safety and efficiency increase and delays decrease;

          (8) to ensure that nonaviation usage of the navigable airspace be
          accommodated but not allowed to decrease the safety and capacity
          of the airspace and airport system;

          (9) that artificial restrictions on airport capacity -

               (A) are not in the public interest;

               (B) should be imposed to alleviate air traffic delays only
               after other reasonably available and less burdensome
               alternatives have been tried; and

               (C) should not discriminate unjustly between categories and
               classes of aircraft;

          (10) that special emphasis should be placed on converting
          appropriate former military air bases to civil use and
          identifying and improving additional joint-use facilities;

          (11) that the airport improvement program should be administered
          to encourage projects that employ innovative technology,
          concepts, and approaches that will promote safety, capacity, and
          efficiency improvements in the construction of airports and in
          the air transportation system (including the development and use
          of innovative concrete and other materials in the construction of
          airport facilities to minimize initial laydown costs, minimize
          time out of service, and maximize lifecycle durability) and to
          encourage and solicit innovative technology proposals and
          activities in the expenditure of funding pursuant to this

          (12) that airport fees, rates, and charges must be reasonable and
          may only be used for purposes not prohibited by this subchapter;

          (13) that airports should be as self-sustaining as possible under
          the circumstances existing at each particular airport and in
          establishing new fees, rates, and charges, and generating
          revenues from all sources, airport owners and operators should
          not seek to create revenue surpluses that exceed the amounts to
          be used for airport system purposes and for other purposes for
          which airport revenues may be spent under section 47107(b)(1) of
          this title, including reasonable reserves and other funds to
          facilitate financing and cover contingencies.

     (b) National Transportation Policy. - (1) It is a goal of the United
     States to develop a national intermodal transportation system that
     transports passengers and property in an efficient manner. The future
     economic direction of the United States depends on its ability to
     confront directly the enormous challenges of the global economy,
     declining productivity growth, energy vulnerability, air pollution,
     and the need to rebuild the infrastructure of the United States. (2)
     United States leadership in the world economy, the expanding wealth of
     the United States, the competitiveness of the industry of the United
     States, the standard of living, and the quality of life are at stake.
     (3) A national intermodal transportation system is a coordinated,
     flexible network of diverse but complementary forms of transportation
     that transports passengers and property in the most efficient manner.
     By reducing transportation costs, these intermodal systems will
     enhance the ability of the industry of the United States to compete in
     the global marketplace. (4) All forms of transportation, including
     aviation and other transportation systems of the future, will be full
     partners in the effort to reduce energy consumption and air pollution
     while promoting economic development. (5) An intermodal transportation
     system consists of transportation hubs that connect different forms of
     appropriate transportation and provides users with the most efficient
     means of transportation and with access to commercial centers,
     business locations, population centers, and the vast rural areas of
     the United States, as well as providing links to other forms of
     transportation and to intercity connections. (6) Intermodality and
     flexibility are paramount issues in the process of developing an
     integrated system that will obtain the optimum yield of United States
     resources. (7) The United States transportation infrastructure must be
     reshaped to provide the economic underpinnings for the United States
     to compete in the 21st century global economy. The United States can
     no longer rely on the sheer size of its economy to dominate
     international economic rivals and must recognize fully that its
     economy is no longer a separate entity but is part of the global
     marketplace. The future economic prosperity of the United States
     depends on its ability to compete in an international marketplace that
     is teeming with competitors but in which a full one-quarter of the
     economic activity of the United States takes place. (8) The United
     States must make a national commitment to rebuild its infrastructure
     through development of a national intermodal transportation system.
     The United States must provide the foundation for its industries to
     improve productivity and their ability to compete in the global
     economy with a system that will transport passengers and property in
     an efficient manner.

     (c) Capacity Expansion and Noise Abatement. - It is in the public
     interest to recognize the effects of airport capacity expansion
     projects on aircraft noise. Efforts to increase capacity through any
     means can have an impact on surrounding communities. Noncompatible
     land uses around airports must be reduced and efforts to mitigate
     noise must be given a high priority.

     (d) Consistency With Air Commerce and Safety Policies. - Each airport
     and airway program should be carried out consistently with section
     40101(a), (b), (d), and (f) of this title to foster competition,
     prevent unfair methods of competition in air transportation, maintain
     essential air transportation, and prevent unjust and discriminatory
     practices, including as the practices may be applied between
     categories and classes of aircraft.

     (e) Adequacy of Navigation Aids and Airport Facilities. - This
     subchapter should be carried out to provide adequate navigation aids
     and airport facilities for places at which scheduled commercial air
     service is provided. The facilities provided may include -

          (1) reliever airports; and

          (2) heliports designated by the Secretary of Transportation to
          relieve congestion at commercial service airports by diverting
          aircraft passengers from fixed-wing aircraft to helicopter

     (f) Maximum Use of Safety Facilities. - This subchapter should be
     carried out consistently with a comprehensive airspace system plan,
     giving highest priority to commercial service airports, to maximize
     the use of safety facilities, including installing, operating, and
     maintaining, to the extent possible with available money and
     considering other safety needs -

          (1) electronic or visual vertical guidance on each runway;

          (2) grooving or friction treatment of each primary and secondary

          (3) distance-to-go signs for each primary and secondary runway;

          (4) a precision approach system, a vertical visual guidance
          system, and a full approach light system for each primary runway;

          (5) a nonprecision instrument approach for each secondary runway;

          (6) runway end identifier lights on each runway that does not
          have an approach light system;

          (7) a surface movement radar system at each category III airport;

          (8) a taxiway lighting and sign system;

          (9) runway edge lighting and marking; and

          (10) radar approach coverage for each airport terminal area.

     (g) Cooperation. - To carry out the policy of subsection (a)(5) of
     this section, the Secretary of Transportation shall cooperate with
     State and local officials in developing airport plans and programs
     that are based on overall transportation needs. The airport plans and
     programs shall be developed in coordination with other transportation
     planning and considering comprehensive long-range land-use plans and
     overall social, economic, environmental, system performance, and
     energy conservation objectives. The process of developing airport
     plans and programs shall be continuing, cooperative, and comprehensive
     to the degree appropriate to the complexity of the transportation

     (h) Consultation. - To carry out the policy of subsection (a)(6) of
     this section, the Secretary of Transportation shall consult with the
     Secretary of the Interior and the Administrator of the Environmental
     Protection Agency about any project included in a project grant
     application involving the location of an airport or runway, or a major
     runway extension, that may have a significant effect on -

          (1) natural resources, including fish and wildlife;

          (2) natural, scenic, and recreation assets;

          (3) water and air quality; or

          (4) another factor affecting the environment.

Sec. 47102. Definitions

In this subchapter -

     (1) "air carrier airport" means a public airport regularly served by -

          (A) an air carrier certificated by the Secretary of
          Transportation under section 41102 of this title (except a
          charter air carrier); or

          (B) at least one air carrier -

               (i) operating under an exemption from section 41101(a)(1) of
               this title that the Secretary grants; and
               (ii) having at least 2,500 passenger boardings at the
               airport during the prior calendar year.

     (2) "airport" -

          (A) means -

               (i) an area of land or water used or intended to be used for
               the landing and taking off of aircraft;
               (ii) an appurtenant area used or intended to be used for
               airport buildings or other airport facilities or rights of
               way; and
               (iii) airport buildings and facilities located in any of
               those areas; and

          (B) includes a heliport.

     (3) "airport development" means the following activities, if
     undertaken by the sponsor, owner, or operator of a public-use airport:

          (A) constructing, repairing, or improving a public-use airport,
          including -

               (i) removing, lowering, relocating, marking, and lighting an
               airport hazard; and
               (ii) preparing a plan or specification, including carrying
               out a field investigation.

          (B) acquiring for, or installing at, a public-use airport -

               (i) a navigation aid or another aid (including a precision
               approach system) used by aircraft for landing at or taking
               off from the airport, including preparing the site as
               required by the acquisition or installation;
               (ii) safety or security equipment, including explosive
               detection devices and universal access systems, the
               Secretary requires by regulation for, or approves as
               contributing significantly to, the safety or security of
               individuals and property at the airport;
               (iii) equipment to remove snow, to measure runway surface
               friction, or for aviation-related weather reporting;
               (iv) firefighting and rescue equipment at an airport that
               serves scheduled passenger operations of air carrier
               aircraft designed for more than 20 passenger seats;
               (v) aircraft deicing equipment and structures (except
               aircraft deicing fluids and storage facilities for the
               equipment and fluids); and
               (vi) interactive training systems.

          (C) acquiring an interest in land or airspace, including land for
          future airport development, that is needed -

               (i) to carry out airport development described in subclause
                   (A) or (B) of this clause; or
               (ii) to remove or mitigate an existing airport hazard or
               prevent or limit the creation of a new airport hazard.

          (D) acquiring land for, or constructing, a burn area training
          structure on or off the airport to provide live fire drill
          training for aircraft rescue and firefighting personnel required
          to receive the training under regulations the Secretary
          prescribes, including basic equipment and minimum structures to
          support the training under standards the Administrator of the
          Federal Aviation Administration prescribes.

          (E) relocating after December 31, 1991, an air traffic control
          tower and any navigational aid (including radar) if the
          relocation is necessary to carry out a project approved by the
          Secretary under this subchapter.

          (F) constructing, reconstructing, repairing, or improving an
          airport, or purchasing capital equipment for an airport, if paid
          for by a grant under this subchapter and necessary for compliance
          with the responsibilities of the operator or owner of the airport
          under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C.
          12101 et seq.), the Clean Air Act (42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.), and
          the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (33 U.S.C. 1251 et seq.),
          except constructing or purchasing capital equipment that would
          benefit primarily a revenue-producing area of the airport used by
          a nonaeronautical business.

          (G) acquiring land for, or work necessary to construct, a pad
          suitable for deicing aircraft before takeoff at a commercial
          service airport, including constructing or reconstructing paved
          areas, drainage collection structures, treatment and discharge
          systems, appropriate lighting, paved access for deicing vehicles
          and aircraft, but not including acquiring aircraft deicing fluids
          or constructing or reconstructing storage facilities for aircraft
          deicing equipment or fluids.

     (4) "airport hazard" means a structure or object of natural growth
     located on or near a public-use airport, or a use of land near the
     airport, that obstructs or otherwise is hazardous to the landing or
     taking off of aircraft at or from the airport.

     (5) "airport planning" means planning as defined by regulations the
     Secretary prescribes and includes integrated airport system planning.

     (6) "amount made available under section 48103 of this title" means
     the amount authorized for grants under section 48103 of this title as
     reduced by any law enacted after September 3, 1982.

     (7) "commercial service airport" means a public airport in a State
     that the Secretary determines has at least 2,500 passenger boardings
     each year and is receiving scheduled passenger aircraft service.

     (8) "integrated airport system planning" means developing for planning
     purposes information and guidance to decide the extent, kind,
     location, and timing of airport development needed in a specific area
     to establish a viable, balanced, and integrated system of public-use
     airports, including -

          (A) identifying system needs;

          (B) developing an estimate of systemwide development costs;

          (C) conducting studies, surveys, and other planning actions,
          including those related to airport access, needed to decide which
          aeronautical needs should be met by a system of airports; and

          (D) standards prescribed by a State, except standards for safety
          of approaches, for airport development at nonprimary public-use

     (9) "landed weight" means the weight of aircraft transporting only
     cargo in intrastate, interstate, and foreign air transportation, as
     the Secretary determines under regulations the Secretary prescribes.

     (10) "passenger boardings" -

          (A) means revenue passenger boardings on an aircraft in service
          in air commerce as the Secretary determines under regulations the
          Secretary prescribes; and

          (B) includes passengers who continue on an aircraft in
          international flight that stops at an airport in the 48
          contiguous States, Alaska, or Hawaii for a nontraffic purpose.

     (11) "primary airport" means a commercial service airport the
     Secretary determines to have more than 10,000 passenger boardings each

     (12) "project" means a project, separate projects included in one
     project grant application, or all projects to be undertaken at an
     airport in a fiscal year, to achieve airport development or airport

     (13) "project cost" means a cost involved in carrying out a project.

     (14) "project grant" means a grant of money the Secretary makes to a
     sponsor to carry out at least one project.

     (15) "public agency" means -

          (A) a State or political subdivision of a State;

          (B) a tax-supported organization; or

          (C) an Indian tribe or pueblo.

     (16) "public airport" means an airport used or intended to be used for
     public purposes -

          (A) that is under the control of a public agency; and

          (B) of which the area used or intended to be used for the
          landing, taking off, or surface maneuvering of aircraft is
          publicly owned.

     (17) "public-use airport" means -

          (A) a public airport; or

         (B) a privately-owned airport used or intended to be used for
          public purposes that is -

               (i) a reliever airport; or
               (ii) determined by the Secretary to have at least 2,500
               passenger boardings each year and to receive scheduled
               passenger aircraft service.

     (18) "reliever airport" means an airport the Secretary designates to
     relieve congestion at a commercial service airport and to provide more
     general aviation access to the overall community.

     (19) "sponsor" means -

          (A) a public agency that submits to the Secretary under this
          subchapter an application for financial assistance; and

          (B) a private owner of a public-use airport that submits to the
          Secretary under this subchapter an application for financial
          assistance for the airport.

     (20) "State" means a State of the United States, the District of
     Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, American Samoa, the
     Northern Mariana Islands, the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands,
     and Guam.

Sec. 47103. National plan of integrated airport systems

     (a) General Requirements and Considerations. - The Secretary of
     Transportation shall maintain the plan for developing public-use
     airports in the United States, named "the national plan of integrated
     airport systems". The plan shall include the kind and estimated cost
     of eligible airport development the Secretary of Transportation
     considers necessary to provide a safe, efficient, and integrated
     system of public-use airports adequate to anticipate and meet the
     needs of civil aeronautics, to meet the national defense requirements
     of the Secretary of Defense, and to meet identified needs of the
     United States Postal Service. Airport development included in the plan
     may not be limited to meeting the needs of any particular classes or
     categories of public-use airports. In maintaining the plan, the
     Secretary of Transportation shall consider the needs of each segment
     of civil aviation and the relationship of each airport to -

          (1) the rest of the transportation system in the particular area;

          (2) forecasted technological developments in aeronautics; and

          (3) forecasted developments in other modes of intercity

     (b) Specific Requirements. - In maintaining the plan, the Secretary of
     Transportation shall -

          (1) to the extent possible and as appropriate, consult with
          departments, agencies, and instrumentalities of the United States
          Government, with public agencies, and with the aviation

          (2) consider tall structures that reduce safety or airport
          capacity; and

          (3) make every reasonable effort to address the needs of air
          cargo operations, Short Takeoff and Landing/Very Short Takeoff
          and Landing aircraft operations, and rotary wing aircraft

     (c) Availability of Domestic Military Airports and Airport Facilities.
     - To the extent possible, the Secretary of Defense shall make domestic
     military airports and airport facilities available for civil use. In
     advising the Secretary of Transportation under subsection (a) of this
     section, the Secretary of Defense shall indicate the extent to which
     domestic military airports and airport facilities are available for
     civil use.

     (d) Publication. - The Secretary of Transportation shall publish the
     status of the plan every 2 years.

Sec. 47104. Project grant authority

     (a) General Authority. - To maintain a safe and efficient nationwide
     system of public-use airports that meets the present and future needs
     of civil aeronautics, the Secretary of Transportation may make project
     grants under this subchapter from the Airport and Airway Trust Fund.

     (b) Incurring Obligations. - The Secretary may incur obligations to
     make grants from amounts made available under section 48103 of this
     title as soon as the amounts are apportioned under section 47114(c)
     and (d)(2) of this title.

     (c) Expiration of Authority. - After September 30, 1996, the Secretary
     may not incur obligations under subsection (b) of this section, except
     for obligations of amounts -

          (1) remaining available after that date under section 47117(b) of
          this title; or

          (2) recovered by the United States Government from grants made
          under this chapter if the amounts are obligated only for
          increases under section 47108(b)(2) and (3) of this title in the
          maximum amount of obligations of the Government for any other
          grant made under this title.

Sec. 47105. Project grant applications

     (a) Submission and Consultation. - (1) An application for a project
     grant under this subchapter may be submitted to the Secretary of
     Transportation by -

          (A) a sponsor; or

          (B) a State, as the only sponsor, for an airport development
          project benefitting 1 or more airports in the State or for
          airport planning for projects for 1 or more airports in the State
          if -

               (i) the sponsor of each airport gives written consent that
               the State be the applicant;
               (ii) the Secretary is satisfied there is administrative
               merit and aeronautical benefit in the State being the
               sponsor; and
               (iii) an acceptable agreement exists that ensures that the
               State will comply with appropriate grant conditions and
               other assurances the Secretary requires. (2) Before deciding
               to undertake an airport development project at an airport
               under this subchapter, a sponsor shall consult with the
               airport users that will be affected by the project. (3) This
               subsection does not authorize a public agency that is
               subject to the laws of a State to apply for a project grant
               in violation of a law of the State.

     (b) Contents and Form. - An application for a project grant under this
     subchapter -

          (1) shall describe the project proposed to be undertaken;

          (2) may propose a project only for a public-use airport included
          in the current national plan of integrated airport systems;

          (3) may propose airport development only if the development
          complies with standards the Secretary prescribes or approves,
          including standards for site location, airport layout, site
          preparation, paving, lighting, and safety of approaches; and

          (4) shall be in the form and contain other information the
          Secretary prescribes.