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Airport Operation

The state can give a local legislature the power to regulate airports and their connected facilities. States may join together to form a regional airport authority to operate an airport. An airport may also be built and maintained by a private party or a corporation, subject to the requirement that use and enjoyment of neighboring landowners' property is not unreasonably disrupted.

Airports that are not properly constructed and operated might amount to nuisances. A private homeowner can sue for damages in the event that an improperly run airport constitutes a nuisance, and can attempt to have the court suspend its operation pursuant to the provisions of an injunction. Notice must be given to the municipality before such a cause of action may be commenced against it. In considering the need for intervention concerning the building and operation of airports, courts examine the interests of the concerned parties in light of prevailing public policy in favor of encouraging quiet use and enjoyment of one's land compared to the interests of society in accessible and convenient air travel.

The creation and maintenance of airports are subject to zoning regulations. In certain jurisdictions a public agency is empowered by the state to adopt zoning laws that limit the use of adjacent property. Such ordinances are designed to reduce interference with the operation of the airport.

The owner of a public airport may arrange leases for its use, and a municipality that owns an airport may charge reasonable fees for the right to do business there. A public airport owner has the power to govern its ground transportation, to give qualified individuals and companies exclusive privileges to transport passengers to and from the airport, and to run an automobile rental company on airport grounds.

Additional topics

Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationFree Legal Encyclopedia: Additional voluntary contribution (AVC) to AirspaceAeronautics - Airspace Rights, Air Transportation Regulation, Certificate Requirements, Airport Operation, Use And Ownership Of Aircraft Vehicles - Regulation on the State and Local Level, Aerospace