FAA Adopts Final Policy On Residential Through The Fence Access

FAA Adopts Final Policy Statement On Residential TTF Access – GA Airports Allowed To Enter Into TTF Agreements Under Certain Conditions

The FAA has issued a final policy statement concerning residential Through-The-Fence (TTF) access agreements for general aviation airports.

In the final policy, the FAA states that commercial airports will still be prohibited from entering into TTF agreements, however Section 136 of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 permits general aviation airports, as defined by the statute, to enter into residential through-the-fence agreements with property owners or associations representing property owners. This must be a written agreement that requires the property owner to:

  • Pay access charges that the sponsor determines to be comparable to those fees charged to tenants and operators on-airport making similar use of the airport.
  • Bear the cost of building and maintaining the infrastructure the sponsor determines is necessary to provide access to the airfield from property located adjacent to or near the airport.
  • Maintain the property for residential, noncommercial use for the duration of the agreement.
  • Prohibit access to the airport from other properties through the property of the property owner.
  • Prohibit any aircraft refueling from occurring on the property.

The final policy states that airport sponsor complies with the requirements of section 136 of P.L. 112-95 and the grant assurances. In addition, Grant Assurance 29, Airport Layout Plan, was amended to require all proposed and existing access points used to taxi aircraft across the airport property boundary be depicted on the airport layout plan (ALP).

The FAA said it received 84 comments from individuals, including private homeowners with current through-the-fence access to an airport, industry associations, companies, a state aviation department, a county airport manager, and a state legislator. Half of the comments submitted expressed generally negative views about FAA’s proposed interpretation of the law, but were not specific and did not recommend any changes for FAA to consider. Instead, these comments discussed what the submitters described as benefits of having aircraft owners live near airports.

Approximately 21 commenters raised objections to what they perceived as a 20-year limit on the duration of residential through-the-fence access agreements at general aviation airports, and FAA’s requirement that airport sponsors demonstrate evidence of compliance prior to entering into new agreements. Two commenters shared their positive experiences as residential through-the- fence users. Two commenters expressed support for the interpretations made by FAA, especially with regard to self-fueling.

The FAA acknowledges that its approach to sponsors with existing residential through-the-fence access agreements will be different than the posture to be taken with sponsors of general aviation airports proposing to establish new or add new residential through-the-fence agreements. This is because airport sponsors with existing agreements may have ceded important rights and powers through the execution of these existing agreements, and their ability to comply with the terms and conditions of the law may be severely hampered. The FAA intends to address such situations on a case-by-case basis, assist these airport sponsors in the development of appropriate mitigations when possible, and report these issues to interested Congressional Committees. Going forward, FAA expects sponsors of general aviation airports proposing to establish new or add new residential through-the-fence agreements to comply with the terms and conditions of the law.

The FAA will not waive these terms and conditions for new agreements.

FMI: Final Policy