President's Corner by Jay White

“Reasonable” Airport Rules
Every owner of a public airport has a duty to adopt and enforce rules and regulations for operation of the airport and for those who use it. These rules and regulations may include minimum standards for persons conducting business on the airport. All rules, regulations and minimum standards must be “reasonable.” Therein lies the potential for disagreement between the airport manager, who represents the airport owner, and the airport users. What is “reasonable” will be viewed from each individual’s interest. The airport owner must attempt to reconcile views and interests of all users while complying with FAA requirements that there must be no unreasonable discrimination among users. That does not mean that every airport user must be treated exactly the same as every other user. There is frequently a difference in circumstances making it impossible. So we are back to the question of what is “unreasonable”?

An innovative attempt to cope with that issue is currently being undertaken by Brent Shiner, Manager of the Hayward Airport. He has hired a professional consultant to work with all airport users and business operators to draft rules, regulations and minimum standards that are acceptable by all. This good faith action by Brent bodes well for not only for the current airport users, but for the business operators too. By working together the users and business operators can help in preserving the airport for future generations of Californians as well.

From the Sept/October 2003 Cal Pilots Newsletter