Aviation Business Journal 1st Quarter 2013 - 19

Walk a Mile in My Shoes
Continued from page 17

Airports (AC-6) provides more information on exclusive
rights.

Airport Assurance 22. Economic Nondiscrimination
This assurance states that the sponsor “will make the
airport available as an airport for public use on reasonable
terms and without unjust discrimination to all types, kinds
and classes of aeronautical activities, including commercial
aeronautical activities offering services to the public at the
airport.” Further, it states that “The sponsor may establish
reasonable, and not unjustly discriminatory, conditions to
be met by all users of the airport as may be necessary for the
safe and efficient operation of the airport.”
Order 6B states:
“The airport owner may establish reasonable
standards... However… it may not refuse to negotiate
for the space and facilities needed to meet such
standards by an activity willing and qualified to
provide aeronautical services to the public.” [Order
6B, 9.6.h.(2)] and “The assurance federally obligates
the sponsor to make available suitable areas or space
on reasonable terms to those willing and qualified to
offer aeronautical services to the public...” and “This
means… the sponsor has a duty to negotiate in good
faith for the lease of premises available to conduct
aeronautical activities. [Order 6B, 9.7.]
Therefore, while Order 6B requires a sponsor to
make suitable areas or space available to willing and
qualified commercial aeronautical entities, the sponsor
must accomplish this on reasonable and not unjustly
discriminatory terms and conditions.

Airport Minimum Standards
Beyond “leveling the playing field” and “promoting fair
competition,” minimum standards are one of the best tools
sponsors can use to help maintain compliance with the
assurances while also ensuring that businesses provide
quality products, services, and facilities to airport customers
in a safe, secure, and efficient manner.
With regard to minimum standards, Order 6B states:
“The FAA strongly recommends developing
minimum standards because these standards
typically: a. Promote safety in all airport activities

Aviation Business Journal | 1st Quarter 2013	

and maintain a higher quality of service for airport
users, b. Protect airport users from unlicensed and
unauthorized products and services, c. Enhance
the availability of adequate services for all airport
users, d. Promote the orderly development of airport
land, and e. Provide a clear and objective distinction
between service providers that will provide a
satisfactory level of service and those that will not. f.
Prevent disputes between aeronautical providers and
reduce potential complaints” [Order 6B, 10.4.].
Well-written minimum standards provide a fair and
reasonable opportunity for applicants to qualify to occupy
available property and engage in authorized commercial
aeronautical activities at an airport. By providing consistent
threshold requirements for engaging in activities, minimum
standards provide the basis for the fair, equitable, and
uniform treatment of businesses (existing and new). Once
adopted, minimum standards need to be consistently
(objectively and uniformly) applied and enforced. If a
business does not meet the airport’s minimum standards,
the sponsor can deny access without violating the assurances
[Order 6B, 10.2.].
Advisory Circular 150/5190-7, Minimum Standards for
Commercial Aeronautical Activities (AC-7) provides more
information on the development and implementation of
minimum standards. In this AC, the concept of protecting
existing businesses from unreasonable competition is
addressed. It states that considerations [for applying
minimum standards] may include:
“Ensure [that] standards… reasonably protect
the investment of providers of aeronautical
services to meet minimum standards
from competition not making a similar
investment.” [AC-7, 1.2 d (3)] Bold for author’s
emphasis.
Without minimum standards that protect the investment
of an existing business from unreasonable competition, a
sponsor choosing to solicit competition could be subject to
the filing of a complaint by an existing business under 14
CFR, Part 16.

Continued on page 21

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Aviation Business Journal 1st Quarter 2013

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Aviation Business Journal 1st Quarter 2013

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