Through the Fence: You Be the Judge
EAA submits comments on proposed residential TTF policy
October 28, 2010 — In comments submitted to the FAA on Monday, October 25, EAA reiterated its efforts to persuade the FAA that adjacent residential through-the-fence (TTF) agreements will not harm general aviation airport operations; rather, they create an economic stimulus tool that will actually strengthen local community ties to the airport.
After its longstanding policy to approve residential TTF access operations, the FAA announced on September 30, 2009, that commercial TTF access is good but not so much regarding residential TTF access. In its proposed residential TTF policy document, the FAA stated its position against new residential TTF access opportunities at public GA airports is based on guidance found in the National Plan of Integrated Airport System (NPIAS). The key statement within the NPIAS: “…airports should be flexible and expandable, able to meet increased demand, and to accommodate new aircraft types.”
In comments submitted to the FAA this week, EAA examined several airports with residential TFF operations and compared them to airports with commercial TTF operations. Using the FAA’s stated position that the airport “should be flexible and expandable,” you be the judge of the FAA’s position in the following side-by-side comparisons:
Independence State Airport, Oregon - A 200-home airport with TTF access and lots of open land on all sides: Does it meet the FAA test to be “flexible and expandable” per the NPIAS requirements?
Van Nuys, California - One of the busiest general aviation airports in the U.S.; it does not have residential TTF access. There is absolutely no free land in or around this airport. Does Van Nuys meet the same FAA’s “flexible and expandable” test the agency is applying to residential TTF access airports?
Payson Airport, Arizona - Has a small residential TTF operation. With an abundance of open land on all sides, does it meets the FAA test to be “flexible and expandable” per the NPIAS requirements?
Boeing Field, , Seattle, Washington - Does not have a residential TTF operation. There is absolutely no free land in or around this airport. Does it meet the same FAA “flexible and expandable” test the agency is applying to residential TTF access airports?
“EAA’s comments provide an alternative FAA policy that could be applied to public-use airports with commercial TTF operations, residential TTF operations, or both types of operations,” said Randy Hansen, EAA’s government relations director. “The combined policy would meet the needs of all TTF operators while providing local municipalities an economic incentive to grow their airports to be a more productive part of the community.”
During a September 22, 2010, House of Representatives hearing on the residential TTF issue, the Acting FAA Associate Administrator for Airports agreed to come back before the committee to discuss the final policy document before it is released to the public. EAA does not expect that follow-up Congressional meeting to occur for at least 30 days; then expect an additional 30-60 days before the FAA releases the final residential TTF policy document. EAA will continue to monitor these developments to revise the TTF policy.