Alabama Bills Target Local 'Dromes
What may set the Alabama bills apart (S.B 466 and H.B. 622 -- follow up, here) is that legislators there deal specifically with airport land acquisition. Under the proposed laws, only Class 1 cities, those with a population of 300,000 or more, would have eminent domain rights to buy land needed for airports. The FAA routinely hands out grants for land purchases to improve airport safety and, according to Alabama Aviator, is concerned that local authorities that get this money will have their hands tied by the limitations imposed by the proposed legislation. It wants the communities operating all 90 public-use airports to have those powers. According to Alabama Aviator, the FAA views eminent domain as a last resort for obtaining airport land but it's an option the agency says local governments need to retain to level the playing field with private landowners.