The FAA issued Airport Compliance Manual (ACM) Order 5190.6B (link to entire Order web page) last year. In the details, the FAA has placed airparks (both existing and future) with through-the-fence (TTF) agreements or on premise at publicly-funded or granted airports squarely in its cross-hairs.
ACM 5190.6B Chapter 20, Section 4A, is a horrific statement, “Any residential use existing on the airport or any residential use granting “through-the-fence” access is an incompatible land use.” The FAA is painting the subject with the broadest possible brush.
Same Chapter, Section 3B, “The likelihood that residents of an airpark will seek restrictions on the use of the airport for the benefit of their residential use is very high, whether or not they own aircraft.” The FAA offers no evidence from existing federally-funded airports with airparks that substantiate this assertion.
Chapter 12 has further language pertaining to TTF and incompatible land use, including a response to Sporty’s Pilot Shop owner Hal Shevers in his attempt to encourage the FAA to promote TTF and airparks as a way to save airports across the country. As you might imagine, he was rebuffed.
The federal docket for comments on the ACM is open until March 31, 2010. Now is the time to make your voice heard. Download chapters 12 and 20 or the entire ACM (22MB PDF) and post your comments at this page at regulations.gov by clicking on the top Submit a Comment link (next to the original FAA notice dated 10/7/2009). Should you think this issue does not apply to you, think again. For the FAA to cavalierly state residential use near an airport is an incompatible land use (with no regard to circumstance and no apparent flexibility) is beyond the scope of rational thought.