Your chance to sound on on Through-The-Fence Policy…and help GA

As it sometimes does, Congress tries to force the FAA’s hand on a policy or regulation; these efforts have but mixed results. Sometimes the FAA has no wiggle room — other times, like in this instance, the agency staff not only wants to wiggle away, but effectively reverse Congressional Intent on residential Through-the-Fence agreements (rTTF)

From a close reading of the FAA’s notice of proposed rulemaking to revise FAA policies governing rTTFs, it appears that the FAA — or, more to the point, two FAA staffers — are intent on thwarting the intent of Congress to preserve, allow and allow expansion of residential through-the-fence arrangements between public-owned, public-use airports and the residents — largely aircraft owners and aviation supporters.

This became an issue about five years ago, in the waning months of the last administration, when two FAA staffers in the Washington DC FAA Airports office, Acting Associate Administrator for Airports Katherine Lang and Director of Compliance Randall Fiertz, decided, unilaterally and without citing any credible evidence, that hangar homes were an incompatible use of adjacent airport property.

The two, Lang and Fiertz, cited reasons for their campaign as incongruous as “hangar home owners complain about airport noise” to “hangar homes are harder to condemn” than cemeteries for future airport expansion.

Lang also stated, in written hearing testimony, that “hangar home owners had undue influence on airport boards because they testified at public meetings.”

Wow…how can that be? Actually allowing users and stakeholders a word in the operation and policies of the airport they support with their fees and taxes and fuel purchases!! Wow…who do these FAA people think they represent?

Interestingly, TTF agreements for businesses didn’t face the same hostility from these two FAA people….and that hostility apparently remains since now they’re working to thwart the will of Congress through a proposal that serves only to assure they can be barriers to current rTTF renewals, expansions, and new agreements.

Congress’ rTTF language protects airports from losing airport improvement grant monies from the FAA due to past, current, or future Residential Through The Fence agreements. The FAA’s openly hostile NPRM serves solely to ignore Congress and send the FAA down the ill-advised path these two mistakenly took five years ago.

If you’re interested in preserving airports as viable public utilities, rTTFs help — and attitudes like those represented in the FAA’s NPRM hurt.

Two suggestions: first, catch up here: and be sure you read Brent Blue’s comments…

Second, read the NPRM here …

And third, then if you agree with Dr. Blue, me and a host of others, submit your own comments to the docket and let the FAA know you expect the rule to reflect the intent of Congress and NOT the biases of two bureaucrats who couldn’t leave well enough alone — and got themselves a Congressional comeuppance.

And one last thing: Since a majority of both houses of Congress concurred with Brent Blue and others, make sure you contact your lawmakers — both in the House and the Senate…and make sure you copy the FAA Office of the Administrator…tell ‘em we sent ya…