Through The Fence Agreement

In the mid-2000s, the Airport Compliance Division responded to several proposals from airport sponsors and promoters at the airport. In view of the national policy of building and operating aeronautical facilities aimed at minimizing the current and projected noise effects on the surrounding municipalities, as well as the Authority`s experience in noise control and falling housing, the residential development agreements by the fence were found to be contrary to the compatible land use policy. We responded to each request, referring to actual and possible breaches of sponsorship guarantees that might arise as a result of these plans. In 2007, we issued a director`s provision that established that residential construction next to the airport grounds is an incompatible use of land. We have also begun to train our local staff on the need for better training of airport sponsors and the mitigation of problems across the country. Unfortunately, the end result was mixed. Some airport sponsors followed our advice, others did not, and some FAA regional offices tried to identify and mitigate all existing access agreements for housing, while others decided to wait for a real aid violation to be compromised. Currently, there are several airports that, under the Closure Regulations, have agreements that are not respected for certain financial aid violations. To date, we have not put sponsors in non-compliant status simply because they have a closing agreement. This proposed policy will not have a significant impact on the eight non-compliant sponsors. They must continue to work with local FAA staff to develop a corrective action plan to address their financial assistance deficiencies. As soon as the FAA accepts this corrective action plan, it will become its residential access plan to cross the barrier. When these inconsistencies became apparent, we realized that a more comprehensive approach was warranted.

At that time, we were updating our airport compliance manual and we took this opportunity to clarify our housing policy agreements through the fence. Under the new Regulation 5190.6B, « under no circumstances is the FAA required to support a « closure » agreement on the use of housing, as this measure is inconsistent with the federal obligation to ensure compatible use of land next to the airport. While this regulation is only internal to FAA staff, we recognize that this is a widespread reference within the airport community.