AOPA: Through-The-Fence Access Changes Loom

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Existing airport community homeowners might enjoy continued "through the fence" access to their associated runways, but things may be very different for similar communities in the future, according to AOPA. In 2009, the FAA sought to eliminate through-the-fence access to airport taxiways and runways for aircraft based on adjacent private property. That general layout is popular at many airport community neighborhoods. AOPA says the FAA is now leaning toward a more considered approach for those airports that currently include, or were largely built around, a through-the-fence concept. At those airports, AOPA says the FAA may avoid broad-stroke regulation and apply a case-by-case approach. But looking forward, there's still a chance that airports seeking to provide those access privileges in the future may simply be out of luck.

Those airports that currently allow through-the-fence operations may "be certified as compliant with their grant obligations" by the FAA, provided they meet conditions that would dictate how they manage airport access, says AOPA. But presently, "the FAA plans to eliminate future residential through-the-fence access." AOPA says such operations are essential to the vitality of some airports and it will continue to work with the agency in an effort to insure that "future opportunities for access at other airports" will exist. The FAA has yet to release a final decision on the matter, which, it seems, may have a direct effect on future airport home projects and existing airport home pricing.