General Aviation Airports: Oversight and Funding.
GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE WASHINGTON DC RESOURCES COMMUNITY AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT DIV
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All FAA field offices rely primarily on third-party complaints to identify airports noncompliance with allowable uses. Only 4 of FAAs 23 field offices monitor general aviation airports to ensure that they comply with federal requirements to use airport land only for airport purposes. To do this, these four field offices rely on the airports self-certifications that they are in compliance. Relying on airports self-certifications and third-party complaints is not sufficient. Without monitoring, airports unauthorized use of land has gone uncorrected-in some cases for over a decade. For example, airport land has been inappropriately used for mobile home parks little league baseball fields dog pounds duck-hunting blinds and city police, fire, and vehicle maintenance facilities. Unauthorized land use has resulted in the loss or diversion of millions of dollars in airport revenues from general aviation airports, which are typically owned by local governments. In some cases, increased risks to aviation safety also resulted. For example, FAA determined that birds attracted by an unauthorized landfill on an airport posed a possible danger to aircraft. If and when FAA becomes aware that an airport is not complying, ft has a variety of statutory and administrative alternatives. However, FAA has generally chosen not to use them, preferring to address noncompliance through negotiation and settlement, an approach that has not always been effective in resolving airports noncompliance. Our report included recommendations designed to address these problems.
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