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FAA Releases Interim Residential TTF Policy

March 17, 2011 — The FAA Airports Division announced at a Thursday meeting the long-awaited residential through-the-fence (TTF) access agreements policy that will help standardize how such agreements are approved across the country. It will be issued as an interim policy due to be published in the Federal Register on Friday, March 18, and will be in effect until the FAA Airports Division undertakes a policy review in 2014.

Prior to September 2009, the FAA policy was that GA public-use airports receiving federal AIP grants could enter into residential TTF access agreements based on the needs of their community and pilot population.  Under the interim policy no new residential TTF access agreements will be permitted.

EAA’s long-standing position is that FAA should allow local airports to make the decision regarding residential TTF access agreements based on local conditions, the community, and projected funding received from the homeowners. EAA argues that the 2014 FAA policy review will be missing key decision factors if it’s based solely on existing access agreements. “To be a successful policy review, the FAA must accept a small but reasonable number of new residential TTF access applications from airports and work those applications for TTF access approval through the entire acceptance and approval process,” said Randy Hansen, EAA government relations director.

The new interim policy outlines specific timetables for airports with existing residential TTF access agreements to be formally grandfathered under the program. 

  • The FAA Airport District Offices (ADO) will, after being trained on the new approval process, have 30 days to implement the new policy in their geographic regions.
  • After implementation, they will have 45 days to notify airports in their geographic areas of the need to become certified as existing residential TTF access airports.
  • After notification these airports have 90 days to submit their certification paperwork to the FAA. 
  • The airports will then be required to submit a TTF access plan by the start of fiscal year (FY) 2013 (October 1, 2012) if applying for federal Airport Improvement Plan (AIP) funding for that FY, or as an absolute deadline, if not applying for FY 2013 AIP funds, no later than the start of FY 2014 (October 1, 2013).
  • The FAA will review the certification paperwork on a case-by-case basis as each airport is unique.

“EAA finds the terms and conditions in the interim policy to be fair and reasonable for the existing airports and those homeowners who have current through-the-fence agreements,” Hansen added.

The term residential TTF access means access to the airport from a hangar/home on a property immediately adjoining the airport and hangar homes located on airport property.

This new policy does not restrict recreational aircraft owners who live away from the airport and trailer that aircraft to the airport, going through an existing airport access gate in order to go flying. This type of aeronautical activity is not considered to be a residential TTF access agreement issue.

The meeting was also attended by AOPA, NASAO (National Association of State Aviation Officials), NATA (National Air Transportation Association), AAAE (American Association of Airport Executives), and ACI-NA (Airports Council International-North America). 

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