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29. GENERAL STATEMENT. The Federal Aviation Act of 1958 and the Federal Airport Act of 1946 place statutory responsibility in the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Agency to provide a system of public airports adequate to anticipate and meet the needs of civil aeronautics, both air carrier and general aviation. There exists a basic system of public and private airports to serve the nation, representing a large investment of public and private funds. Growth in the volume of air traffic, technological developments in the science of aeronautics, shifts in the relationship between the airport and its neighbors, and other factors in this dynamic industry all combine to create a changing aeronautical demand which, in turn, requires that the national system of airports be capable of adapting itself to varying conditions. The primary purpose of the Federal-aid Airport Program will be to assist each community, irrespective of population, which has a substantial aeronautical requirement, in developing new or bringing its existing civil airport(s) to a standard compatible with the present and future needs of civil aeronautics, so that such airport(s) will be part of "a system of public airports adequate to anticipate and meet the needs of civil aeronautics."


Listed below are the statements of philosophy which will serve as guide lines in the administration of the Federal-aid Airport Program:




The object of the Federal-aid Airport Program is to construct
necessary airport improvements.

If a project is not necessary, do not approve it even if unobligated funds are available.

Personnel should actively encourage and stimulate local airport improvements which are most urgently needed to improve the safety and capability of the national system.

d. Personnel should bear in mind at all times that it is the primary
objective of the Airports Service to foster the development of
new airports and the improvement of existing airports in such a
way as to achieve the ultimate goal of establishing a National
System of airports adequate to meet the present and future needs
of civil aviation. As an aid in attaining this goal, the Federal-
aid Airport Program should be widely publicized by FAA personnel
and local public agencies should be encouraged to the fullest extent
possible to take advantage of this financial assistance in
accomplishing needed airport development. Therefore, field personnel



must maintain close contact with potential sponsors and advise them
immediately of the announced period for receipt of Requests for
Aid to be used in formulating the annual program. Field personnel
should also maintain a constant and continuing survey of the airport
development which is needed within their districts and urge and
encourage local public agencies to undertake such development with
or without Federal aid.

FAA has two basic airport programs, Advisory and Federal Aid.
Advisory recommendations do not imply or obligate FAAP participation.
Golf courses or overnight cabins may be sound recommendations, but
not for Federal aid.

f. Limit Federal participation within a project to "necessary work"
not "frills" or monuments to local pride.




FAA personnel should direct all their energies and efforts to the promotion of aviation and the development of airports and the utilization of Federal-aid Airport Program funds to obtain the greatest benefit for aviation. However, this does not mean that personnel should so identify themselves with the sponsor's interests that they would find themselves in a position of recommending the use of Federal funds for development which is not necessary to the accomplishment of the overall program objectives or of searching for loopholes in either the Act or Regulations which would tend to circumvent the stated purposes of the program.

Live by the policy! If it is not good or right, let's take steps
to change it.

Handle Grant Agreements as contracts between the United States and sponsors on which FAA is resident-engineer for the Government. Enforce terms firmly and relentlessly, but diplomatically. Remember our dual character whereby we must act as the Government's representative and also as the sponsor's consultant.

j. Reject a project rather than accept inferior plans, specifications, assurances, etc.

k. Reject inferior construction work even though accepted by sponsor's engineer. Avoid temptation to compromise or accept work for Federal payment simply because sponsor may be obligated to pay the contractor.


If bids or costs of authorized work are below the allocation or
maximum grant, return funds for use of other projects.
look for ways to spend or absorb funds on that project!






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Sponsor must decide and interpret the provisions of its
engineering and construction contracts.

Airport owners should be encouraged to accomplish necessary develop-
ment and all possible assistance within the limits of available
time and personnel will be rendered to airport owners to accomplish
this end. Even though Federal-aid Airport Program funds are not
used in accomplishing airport development, adherence to FAA standards
and specifications is desirable.

No FAA representative should depart from the established policy of the FAA which is:

(1) To participate under the Federal Airport Act only in those
items of development which are needed for strictly airport
purposes, and

(2) To exclude from the Federal-aid Airport Program any item of
development that does not meet that test even though it would
foster and encourage the development of civil aviation in other
ways (as, for example, by providing a source of revenues
needed to pay airport operation and maintenance costs or by
increasing public use of an airport for nonaviation purposes).

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The eligibility of public agencies as Sponsors of Projects in the Federal-aid Airport Program is covered by Part 550.2 of the Regulations. This chapter gives further interpretations and policies concerning the points of sponsor eligibility.

PUBLIC AGENCY. A sponsor must be a "public agency," such as the U. S.
Government or an agency thereof; a state, Puerto Rico, and the
Virgin Islands, or an agency of any of them; a municipality or other
political subdivision; or a tax-supported organization.

In addition, the sponsor must be financially able to perform all the
assurances, agreements and obligations of a Grant Agreement, including
the Sponsor's Assurances. In those instances where the proposed sponsor
is an airport authority, which meets the definition of a public agency,
it must be determined that the authority in addition to qualifying as
a public agency also meets all of the other requirements of an eligible
sponsor including financial ability as required by Part 550.2 of the
Regulations. Financial ability of airport authorities should be particu-
larly checked as in many instances these authorities do not have
established credit nor do they have the power to levy taxes or assessments
of any kind. In order for such authority to meet the requirements of
the Act and Regulations, it must be found that there is some reasonable
basis upon which it can be determined that the authority will qualify
as a sponsor from a financial standpoint.

BASIC LEGAL MEMORANDUM. The legal power, authority and eligibility of
public agencies within a state will be determined by the Regional Legal
Office in the Basic Legal Memorandum which is an opinion of a general
nature. The eligibility of sponsors in most instances will be evident
by reference to the Basic Legal Memorandum. If a proposed sponsor is not
clearly one of a class covered by the Basic Legal Memorandum, or if there
is any doubt as to the powers of a proposed sponsor, or if there is a
new or novel question, the Regional Legal Office shall be requested to
make an independent legal review and furnish an opinion as to eligibility
of the specific sponsor. This should be done at the earliest possible
time after an agency indicates a desire to participate in the FAAP.


Where two or more sponsors join in sponsorship of a project, whether they are in the same or in adjoining states, the Regional Legal Office will be requested to make an independent legal review, and furnish an opinion as to the eligibility of each sponsor. Each sponsor shall meet the eligibility requirements of Part 550.2 of the Regulations.


37. SPONSOR'S LEGAL OPINION. An opinion of the sponsor's attorney as to the powers of the sponsor will be required only in cases in which the Regional Legal Office or the General Counsel may feel that the opinion of the sponsor's attorney as to some particular question would assist in determining the eligibility of the sponsor.


AGENCY. If a public agency so desires and such action is required or
permitted under state or local laws, it may, with or without partici-
pating financially, serve as agent of the public agency which is to
own and operate the airport and need not itself become a sponsor of the
project. In all such cases, an agency agreement clearly outlining the
the terms and conditions of the agency and the authority vested in the
agent to act for and on behalf of the sponsor shall have been entered
into, which agreement must be satisfactory to the FAA. A true copy of
the agency agreement shall be submitted with the Sponsor's Project

An agency agreement, in order to be found satisfactory, must be consistent
with the Act and the Regulations and must clearly show the extent of the
agency relationship. If funds are to be channeled through the agent, the
agreement should set up a workable procedure for payment of funds over
to the sponsor or contractor without delay and provide for return of any

39. NATIONAL PARKS, FORESTS, MONUMENTS, ETC. The Act and the Regulations provide that the United States Government, or any agency thereof, may be considered as an eligible sponsor if the project is located in, or in close proximity to, a national park, national recreation area, or national monument, or in a national forest or a special reservation for government purposes. The United States Forest Service can acquire land outside of the designated boundaries of a national forest. The United States Forest Service is not an eligible sponsor with respect to an airport site owned by it but not included in the designated boundaries of a national forest.

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