49 USC 47101 - Policies

(a) General.— 
It is the policy of the United States
(1) that the safe operation of the airport and airway system is the highest aviation priority;
(2) that aviation facilities be constructed and operated to minimize current and projected noise impact on nearby communities;
(3) to give special emphasis to developing reliever airports;

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(4) that appropriate provisions should be made to make the development and enhancement of cargo hub airports easier;
(5) to encourage the development of intermodal connections on airport property between aeronautical and other transportation modes and systems to serve air transportation passengers and cargo efficiently and effectively and promote economic development;
(6) that airport development projects under this subchapter provide for the protection and enhancement of natural resources and the quality of the environment of the United States;
(7) that airport construction and improvement projects that increase the capacity of facilities to accommodate passenger and cargo traffic be undertaken to the maximum feasible extent so that safety and efficiency increase and delays decrease;
(8) to ensure that nonaviation usage of the navigable airspace be accommodated but not allowed to decrease the safety and capacity of the airspace and airport system;
(9) that artificial restrictions on airport capacity
(A) are not in the public interest;
(B) should be imposed to alleviate air traffic delays only after other reasonably available and less burdensome alternatives have been tried; and
(C) should not discriminate unjustly between categories and classes of aircraft;
(10) that special emphasis should be placed on converting appropriate former military air bases to civil use and identifying and improving additional joint-use facilities;

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(11) that the airport improvement program should be administered to encourage projects that employ innovative technology (including integrated in-pavement lighting systems for runways and taxiways and other runway and taxiway incursion prevention devices), concepts, and approaches that will promote safety, capacity, and efficiency improvements in the construction of airports and in the air transportation system (including the development and use of innovative concrete and other materials in the construction of airport facilities to minimize initial laydown costs, minimize time out of service, and maximize lifecycle durability) and to encourage and solicit innovative technology proposals and activities in the expenditure of funding pursuant to this subchapter;
(12) that airport fees, rates, and charges must be reasonable and may only be used for purposes not prohibited by this subchapter; and
(13) that airports should be as self-sustaining as possible under the circumstances existing at each particular airport and in establishing new fees, rates, and charges, and generating revenues from all sources, airport owners and operators should not seek to create revenue surpluses that exceed the amounts to be used for airport system purposes and for other purposes for which airport revenues may be spent under section 47107 (b)(1) of this title, including reasonable reserves and other funds to facilitate financing and cover contingencies.
(b) National Transportation Policy.— 

(1) It is a goal of the United States to develop a national intermodal transportation system that transports passengers and property in an efficient manner. The future economic direction of the United States depends on its ability to confront directly the enormous challenges of the global economy, declining productivity growth, energy vulnerability, air pollution, and the need to rebuild the infrastructure of the United States.
(2) United States leadership in the world economy, the expanding wealth of the United States, the competitiveness of the industry of the United States, the standard of living, and the quality of life are at stake.
(3) A national intermodal transportation system is a coordinated, flexible network of diverse but complementary forms of transportation that transports passengers and property in the most efficient manner. By reducing transportation costs, these intermodal systems will enhance the ability of the industry of the United States to compete in the global marketplace.
(4) All forms of transportation, including aviation and other transportation systems of the future, will be full partners in the effort to reduce energy consumption and air pollution while promoting economic development.
(5) An intermodal transportation system consists of transportation hubs that connect different forms of appropriate transportation and provides users with the most efficient means of transportation and with access to commercial centers, business locations, population centers, and the vast rural areas of the United States, as well as providing links to other forms of transportation and to intercity connections.
(6) Intermodality and flexibility are paramount issues in the process of developing an integrated system that will obtain the optimum yield of United States resources.
(7) The United States transportation infrastructure must be reshaped to provide the economic underpinnings for the United States to compete in the 21st century global economy. The United States can no longer rely on the sheer size of its economy to dominate international economic rivals and must recognize fully that its economy is no longer a separate entity but is part of the global marketplace. The future economic prosperity of the United States depends on its ability to compete in an international marketplace that is teeming with competitors but in which a full one-quarter of the economic activity of the United States takes place.
(8) The United States must make a national commitment to rebuild its infrastructure through development of a national intermodal transportation system. The United States must provide the foundation for its industries to improve productivity and their ability to compete in the global economy with a system that will transport passengers and property in an efficient manner.
(c) Capacity Expansion and Noise Abatement.— 
It is in the public interest to recognize the effects of airport capacity expansion projects on aircraft noise. Efforts to increase capacity through any means can have an impact on surrounding communities. Noncompatible land uses around airports must be reduced and efforts to mitigate noise must be given a high priority.
(d) Consistency With Air Commerce and Safety Policies.— 
Each airport and airway program should be carried out consistently with section 40101 (a), (b), (d), and (f) of this title to foster competition, prevent unfair methods of competition in air transportation, maintain essential air transportation, and prevent unjust and discriminatory practices, including as the practices may be applied between categories and classes of aircraft.
(e) Adequacy of Navigation Aids and Airport Facilities.— 
This subchapter should be carried out to provide adequate navigation aids and airport facilities for places at which scheduled commercial air service is provided. The facilities provided may include
(1) reliever airports; and
(2) heliports designated by the Secretary of Transportation to relieve congestion at commercial service airports by diverting aircraft passengers from fixed-wing aircraft to helicopter carriers.
(f) Maximum Use of Safety Facilities.— 
This subchapter should be carried out consistently with a comprehensive airspace system plan, giving highest priority to commercial service airports, to maximize the use of safety facilities, including installing, operating, and maintaining, to the extent possible with available money and considering other safety needs
(1) electronic or visual vertical guidance on each runway;
(2) grooving or friction treatment of each primary and secondary runway;
(3) distance-to-go signs for each primary and secondary runway;
(4) a precision approach system, a vertical visual guidance system, and a full approach light system for each primary runway;
(5) a nonprecision instrument approach for each secondary runway;
(6) runway end identifier lights on each runway that does not have an approach light system;
(7) a surface movement radar system at each category III airport;
(8) a taxiway lighting and sign system;
(9) runway edge lighting and marking;
(10) radar approach coverage for each airport terminal area; and
(11) runway and taxiway incursion prevention devices, including integrated in-pavement lighting systems for runways and taxiways.
(g) Intermodal Planning.— 
To carry out the policy of subsection (a)(5) of this section, the Secretary of Transportation shall take each of the following actions:
(1) Coordination in development of airport plans and programs.— 
Cooperate with State and local officials in developing airport plans and programs that are based on overall transportation needs. The airport plans and programs shall be developed in coordination with other transportation planning and considering comprehensive long-range land-use plans and overall social, economic, environmental, system performance, and energy conservation objectives. The process of developing airport plans and programs shall be continuing, cooperative, and comprehensive to the degree appropriate to the complexity of the transportation problems.
(2) Goals for airport master and system plans.— 
Encourage airport sponsors and State and local officials to develop airport master plans and airport system plans that
(A) foster effective coordination between aviation planning and metropolitan planning;
(B) include an evaluation of aviation needs within the context of multimodal planning; and
(C) are integrated with metropolitan plans to ensure that airport development proposals include adequate consideration of land use and ground transportation access.
(3) Representation of airport operators on mpo’s.— 
Encourage metropolitan planning organizations, particularly in areas with populations greater than 200,000, to establish membership positions for airport operators.
(h) Consultation.— 
To carry out the policy of subsection (a)(6) of this section, the Secretary of Transportation shall consult with the Secretary of the Interior and the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency about any project included in a project grant application involving the location of an airport or runway, or a major runway extension, that may have a significant effect on
(1) natural resources, including fish and wildlife;
(2) natural, scenic, and recreation assets;
(3) water and air quality; or
(4) another factor affecting the environment.