Airport Attorneys

Airport Operations and Management Projects

Jetlaw’s team has firsthand experience with airport operations and management and airport law. Trust our FAA airport compliance attorneys to handle a comprehensive range of airport sponsor and tenant matters, including:

  • Construction and Modernization Projects
  • Airport Lease and Concession Agreements
  • AIP Grant Applications and Grant Assurance Compliance
  • Environmental Assessments
  • Minimum Standards
  • Complex Tax Matters

Construction and Modernization Projects

Airport construction and modernization projects involve federal, state, and local requirements. In addition to our federal airport practice, our team is experienced working with state and local governments on development projects. We support and guide sponsors through all stages of construction and modernization projects, helping airports ensure that their projects comply with federal, state and local laws.

Hangar Construction and Leasing

We advise our clients on airport hangar and facility construction. For completed projects, Jetlaw’s attorneys are skilled in drafting written lease agreements to manage hangar use and maximize airport efficiency.

Can I Lease Apron Areas?

If you did not use federal funds for the apron construction, sponsors can lease apron and tie-down spaces to aircraft owners and FBOs.

Can I lease facilities (like aprons and hangars) constructed with federal funds?

It depends. Leasing facilities constructed with federal grant money generally violates Grant Assurance 22, Economic Nondiscrimination for activity or use contrary to the Airport Layout Plan (ALP). Any attempt to lease federally constructed space must be pre-approved by the FAA.

I am a general aviation airport. How can I attract an FBO?

The FAA recently clarified that airport operators can charge FBOs reduced startup rates, provided the incentive is explicitly stated in the agreement, it is only offered for a limited time, and the standard rate is pre-specified.

What if I allow the FBO at my airport to provide airport management services?

FBOs undertaking operations like service of aprons, tie-downs, or snow removal must do so according to the sponsor’s reasonable, pre-approved fee structure.

A prospective FBO wants to lease 75% of my apron space, but they only need 50% right now. Can I lease 75%?

No. Sponsors can only lease apron or hangar space FBOs demonstrate immediate need for. This allows airports to have future availability.

Are there examples of prohibited hangar use?

Residential occupancy or storage, limo and auto storage, non-aviation office buildings, long-term antique aircraft storage, and storage of hazardous materials. The FAA frequently finds sponsor violations when the prohibited use disrupts air service. Learn more about the FAA’s policy

Emerging Technology & Engineering

Jetlaw prepares airport clients for airport modernization that aligns with FAA compliance. Our attorneys and experts know the ins and outs of the FAA’s standards on engineering, design, and construction for projects like lighting, paving, marking, signage, deicing, and more. We educate and represent our clients on advanced technology markets, including eVTOL, AAM, UAS, and OEMs.

Environmental Impacts

Preparing for a development project? We are here to advise you to ensure your project complies with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) as well as State, local, and Tribal laws. To avoid potential delays in development, let us work with your regional airport office. We offer an initiative-taking approach to prevent and mitigate environmental constraints on design.

Airport Lease and Concession Agreements

We work with sponsors, operators, and tenants to find business-oriented, grant assurance compliant solutions for lease and concession agreements.

For Airport Sponsors and Operators

Jetlaw’s attorneys have experience helping airports of all sizes handle lease standardization and management projects. Contact Jetlaw for guidance on structuring leasing and concession agreements for new terminals or for updating and standardizing agreements across airport tenants.

For Airport Tenants and Users

Our airport attorneys are experienced with all types and sizes of airport construction projects, from private terminals and FBOs to executive hangar complexes. Our team of attorneys and industry advisers can help you secure financing, negotiate construction agreements with contractors, assist you with airspace and environmental assessment requirements, and negotiate lease agreements with the airport.

AIP Grant Applications and Grant Assurance Compliance

We help federally funded airport sponsors understand key obligations called grant assurances. Together, the thirty-nine assurances ensure airports operate and maintain safe, serviceable conditions free of exclusive rights and airspace hazards.

“Sustaining first-class aeronautical services and fostering business development are essential functions tasked to airport management. The development of minimum standards is rooted in the growth of airports in America.”

Ed Young, Of Counsel, Jetlaw, LLC

AIP Grant Applications

Jetlaw can assist in the integration of FAA obligations in each aspect of the Airport Improvement Program grant application process. The FAA must review sponsor eligibility, project requirements, Airport Layout Plan, insurance requirements, civil rights requirements, and risk levels before awarding grant funds. All aspects of each airport project and the airport’s general policies must comply with a litany of FAA rules and regulations. Our skilled team can review and integrate requirements to avoid project delays. Jetlaw interfaces with the FAA and other federal and state agencies, maximizing your access to federal grant funds.

Your Regulatory Compliance Partner

You can rely on Jetlaw’s attorneys and experts for advice on leasing, revenue use, maintain compliance, and addressing complaints. We navigate the nuanced obligations of each assurance with you and offer solutions to operators’ complex regulatory compliance issues.

Minimum Standards

We advise airport sponsors to draft tailored minimum standards, develop tenant adherence, and periodically reevaluate compliance. The FAA’s Airport Compliance Manual encourages sponsors to craft uniform standards because they help prevent grant assurance violations. Learn more about minimum standards and how Jetlaw can help.

DID YOU KNOW? The Airport Compliance Manual was recently updated. Learn how the changes affect airport operators and users, click here.

✈   Air Carrier Incentive Program
✈   Minimum Standards
✈   Lease of Apron Areas

Exclusive Use Issues

Count on Jetlaw’s team to counsel airport sponsors and users on exclusive use issues. We ensure sponsors promote healthy competition at the airport. Our regulatory compliance experts will make sure the airport is guarantees users a fair economic playing field.

Part 13 and 16 Disputes

Part 13 and 16 complaints are the FAA’s mechanism to review potential airport grant assurance violations. Grant assurance violations can result in the discontinuation of FAA funding for projects and stifle progress. Jetlaw provides practical advice to sponsors and tenants to help avoid grant assurance violations and prevent protracted legal disputes among sponsors, tenants, and the FAA.

Fuel Farms and Fueling Rights

Fuel farms, fuel trucks, and tenant fueling operations trigger compliance with federal and state environmental requirements. Balancing a sponsor’s FAA obligations, environmental protection requirements, and safety create unique sponsor challenges. Jetlaw can help you create or update your fuel storage and fueling policies. 

Complex Tax Matters

Jetlaw’s talented, aviation-specific tax and banking advisors help clients find the most appropriate tax and finance options. We help clients reach a practical understanding of the nuances involved in airport operation, including private financing of improvements on public airports.

Meet Jetlaw’s Airport Practice Team

Our airport practice brings decades of regulatory knowledge and direct aviation experience to your airport projects. Jetlaw’s airport team, led by Ed Young, Kali Hague, and Kent Jackson includes:

  • Experienced regulatory counsel that airport sponsors and users can rely on to navigate complex federal, state, and local challenges. Our team has decades of experience in airport operations, safety, and flight operations.
  • Attorneys and financial advisors experienced in complex airport project financing and grant applications.
  • Extensive drone/AAM/eVTOL experience, including an emerging technologies aerospace engineer.

Kent S. Jackson

Managing Partner

Kali M. Hague

Partner

C. Edward Young

Attorney (of counsel)