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The Final Word

By Earl Lawrence, EAA Vice President of Industry and Regulatory Affairs

The FAA released a new Airport Compliance Manual, or Order 5190.6B, this past October. The document went from an original 94 pages to 691 pages! This policy covers the compliance items an airport must meet to qualify for federal funding of airport improvements. This funding comes from fuel taxes paid by pilots and aircraft owners like you.

EAA contends Order 5190.6B was issued without appropriate public input that would have helped facilitate broad community acceptance. Not only was there a lack of public input in the development of the vastly expanded policy, but the FAA also published the revision with an immediately effective date. Knowing the potential damage this policy change will have on thousands of airport managers, business operators, and pilots, EAA believes it’s only proper for the FAA to have a process for public review and comment.

Making the situation worse, the FAA made the statement, “Under no circumstances is the FAA to support any ‘through-the-fence’ agreement associated with residential use…” It made the statement with the knowledge that thousands of pilots and aircraft owners live in homes with TTF access and that the general aviation community is particularly passionate about the dream of living near or with their aircraft. The FAA listed many reasons why it believes you should not have clear access to a public airport, but EAA believes that each issue noted could be easily addressed.

Instead of fighting TTF activities, I think the FAA should actively support such activity and work with communities to develop standardized criteria on how such agreements can be made while protecting the safety and viability of our nation’s public airports.

What do you say? Share your comments in the Hangar Talk forum on www.Oshkosh365.org.

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