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FAA Issues Draft Residential Through-the-Fence Policy


August 6, 2012 - The FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 signed into law last February included authorization for GA airports to enter into access agreements with residential property owners adjacent to or near the airport - Residential Through-the-Fence (RTTF). This past week, the FAA published a RTTF revision that complied with the new law and addressed two specific sections for which EAA sought clarification from the FAA Airports Division:

  • "(2)(B)(iii) To maintain the property for residential, non-commercial use for the duration of the agreement"; and
  • "(2)(B)(V) To prohibit any aircraft refueling from occurring on the property."

EAA successfully fought to ensure that RTTF homeowners would continue to have the same rights as on-airport aircraft owners, including self-fueling and self-maintaining their aircraft, and contracting with any repairman, A&P, or other aircraft maintenance experts to maintain their aircraft in the safest condition possible.

This win for GA airports was the result of a three-year effort by EAA and the RTTF Airport Working Group it organized to ensure that pilot homeowners could continue to have access to the GA airport they live on or adjacent to. The new policy will allow for single- or multi-family dwellings; duplexes; apartments; primary or secondary residences even when co-located with a hangar, aeronautical facility, or business; hangars that incorporate living quarters for permanent or long-term use; and time-share apartments for variable occupancy of any term to have controlled direct access to the airport for flying.

EAA was extremely pleased to see that the FAA Airports Division understood that need, worked with Congress, and provided clarifying language in this new DRAFT policy, which fully allows all aspects of self-maintaining one's aircraft. The release of this DRAFT policy fulfills the promise acting FAA Administrator Huerta made to EAA members at his AirVenture forum on July 26.

EAA and the RTTF Airport Working Group is now working to develop and submit comments on the revision. Members may comment on this new FAA Airports policy by following the guidelines contained within the new policy. The commenting deadline is August 29, 2012.


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