Federal Register: Policy Regarding Airport Rates and Charges

July 14, 2008 at 8:32 am | Posted in Remote Sensing Law Current Events | Leave a comment

by P.J. Blount with the blog faculty

The FAA published a notice on Policy Regarding Airport Rates and Charges in today’s Federal Register (73 F.R. 40430-40445):

SUMMARY: This action amends the Department of Transportation (“Department”) “Policy Regarding the Establishment of Airport Rates and Charges” published in the Federal Register on June 21, 1996 (“1996 Rates and Charges Policy”). This action adopts three amendments to the 1996 Rates and Charges Policy (two modifications and one clarification). These amendments are intended to provide greater flexibility to operators of congested airports to use landing fees to provide incentives to air carriers to use the airport at less congested times or to use alternate airports to meet regional air service needs. Any charges imposed on international operations must also comply with the international obligations of the United States.

and the background on the policy change:

On January 17, 2008, the Department of Transportation published a notice in the Federal Register proposing to amend the Department of Transportation (“Department”) “Policy Regarding the Establishment of Airport Rates and Charges” published in the Federal Register on June 21, 1996, (“1996 Rates and Charges Policy” or “1996 Policy”). (73 FR 3310, January 17, 2008). The comment period on the notice was extended to April 3, 2008. (73 FR 7626, February 8, 2008). The notice proposed three amendments to the 1996 Policy (technically two modifications and one clarification). These amendments were intended to provide greater flexibility to operators of congested airports to use landing fees to provide incentives to air carriers to use the airport at less congested times or to use alternate airports to meet regional air service needs. The notice noted that any charges imposed on international operations must also comply with the international obligations of the United States.

Specifically, the notice first proposed to clarify the 1996 Policy by explicitly acknowledging that airport operators are authorized to establish a two-part landing fee structure consisting of both an operation charge and a weight-based charge, in lieu of the standard weight-based charge. Such a two-part fee would serve as an incentive for carriers to use larger aircraft and increase the number of passengers served with the same or fewer operations. Second, the notice proposed to expand the ability of the operator of a congested airport to include in the airfield fees of a congested airport a portion of the airfield costs of other, underutilized airports owned and operated by the same proprietor. Third, the notice proposed to permit the operator of a congested airport to charge users of a congested airport a portion of the cost of airfield projects under construction. Under the existing policy, costs of new or reconstructed airfield facilities could be included in airfield charges only when the new or reconstructed facilities are completed and in use, unless carriers at the airport agree otherwise. This notice proposed two alternatives for charges for projects under construction. The first would permit the costs to be included in the rate base only during periods when the airport experiences congestion. At some airports, such as Chicago O’Hare or New York LaGuardia, this could occur throughout the normal operating day. The second would permit these costs to be included in the rate base of the congested airport at all times of the day. Because the latter two proposed amendments would apply only at congested airports, the notice proposed to add a definition of “congested airport” in the Applicability section of the 1996 Policy based upon 49 U.S.C. 47175(2).

Leave a Comment »

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at WordPress.com.
Entries and comments feeds.

%d bloggers like this: