49 USC 44706 - Airport operating certificates

(a) General.— 
The Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration shall issue an airport operating certificate to a person desiring to operate an airport
(1) that serves an air carrier operating aircraft designed for at least 31 passenger seats;
(2) that is not located in the State of Alaska and serves any scheduled passenger operation of an air carrier operating aircraft designed for more than 9 passenger seats but less than 31 passenger seats; and
(3) that the Administrator requires to have a certificate;

if the Administrator finds, after investigation, that the person properly and adequately is equipped and able to operate safely under this part and regulations and standards prescribed under this part.

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(b) Terms.— 
An airport operating certificate issued under this section shall contain terms necessary to ensure safety in air transportation. Unless the Administrator decides that it is not in the public interest, the terms shall include conditions related to
(1) operating and maintaining adequate safety equipment, including firefighting and rescue equipment capable of rapid access to any part of the airport used for landing, takeoff, or surface maneuvering of an aircraft; and
(2) friction treatment for primary and secondary runways that the Secretary of Transportation decides is necessary.
(c) Exemptions.— 
The Administrator may exempt from the requirements of this section, related to firefighting and rescue equipment, an operator of an airport described in subsection (a) of this section having less than .25 percent of the total number of passenger boardings each year at all airports described in subsection (a) when the Administrator decides that the requirements are or would be unreasonably costly, burdensome, or impractical.
(d) Commuter Airports.— 
In developing the terms required by subsection (b) for airports covered by subsection (a)(2), the Administrator shall identify and consider a reasonable number of regulatory alternatives and select from such alternatives the least costly, most cost-effective or the least burdensome alternative that will provide comparable safety at airports described in subsections (a)(1) and (a)(2).
(e) Effective Date.— 
Any regulation establishing the terms required by subsection (b) for airports covered by subsection (a)(2) shall not take effect until such regulation, and a report on the economic impact of the regulation on air service to the airports covered by the rule, has been submitted to Congress and 120 days have elapsed following the date of such submission.
(f) Limitation on Statutory Construction.— 
Nothing in this title may be construed as requiring a person to obtain an airport operating certificate if such person does not desire to operate an airport described in subsection (a).