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Aviation Office / Programs & Services / Public-Use Airports
DefinitionsPursuant to Section 330.27, FS, the following definitions apply to this section:
“Airport” means an area of land or water used for, or intended to be used for, landing and takeoff of aircraft, including appurtenant areas, buildings, facilities, or rights-of-way necessary to facilitate such use or intended use.
“Public airport” means an airport, publicly or privately owned, which is open for use by the public.
You may contact the Airport Inspection and Safety Manager for additional information.
Eight Steps to Building a New AirportBecause airports provide vital services and can be powerful economic engines for the surrounding communities, new airports are sometimes proposed by communities that lack those elements in reasonable proximity. To be included in the Florida Aviation System Plan (FASP), and thereby eligible for public funding, an airport must be sponsored by a grant-eligible public agency. A grant-eligible agency is a Florida unit of local government (i.e. a city or a county) or an authority defined in Florida law. In most cases, a new airport proposed for the FASP will be new construction, but a proposed public airport may also be an existing airport to be purchased by or conveyed to an eligible sponsor. To provide guidance to the sponsors of prospective public airports, FDOT developed the Eight Steps to Building a New Airport document, and is considered the standard process for gaining acceptance into FASP. The eight steps detailed in the document are sponsorship by a grant-eligible public agency, conduct a feasibility study, determine qualification for acceptance into FASP and the National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems (NPIAS), site selection and preliminary environmental planning, facility planning, local government planning, an environmental impact analysis, and airport construction.
You may contact the Aviation System Manager for additional information. You may also download the Eight Steps to Building a New Airport document.
Site ApprovalPursuant to Section 330.30(1), FS, the owner or lessee of any proposed public aviation facility must receive written approval from FDOT prior to site acquisition, construction, or establishment of the facility. A site approval is subject to any reasonable conditions necessary to ensure safety for aircraft and protect public health, safety, and welfare. A public aviation facility applicant will submit a Public Airport Site Approval Application along with all required supporting documentation detailed on the application, to the department for review and approval.
Site approval is granted only after it has been determined that all requirements set forth in Section 330.30(1), FS and Section 14-60.005, Florida Administrative Code (FAC), have been met. Site approval is valid for two years after the date of issue, unless revoked or a public aviation facility license is issued. The FDOT may revoke a site approval based on occurrences such as facility abandonment or the site becomes unusable for aviation purposes.
LicensingPursuant to Section 330.30(2), FS, a public aviation facility must be issued a license from FDOT prior to the operation of aircraft to or from the facility to ensure safety for aircraft and protect public health, safety, and welfare. A license is issued after it is determined that the facility is in compliance with all requirements set forth in Section 14-60.007, FAC, and may be subject to any reasonable conditions that FDOT deems necessary to ensure safety for aircraft and protect public health, safety and welfare. Each license issued shall expire no later than one year after the effective date of the license except when certain criteria are met. FDOT may revoke any license based on occurrences such as facility abandonment or the site becomes unsafe or unusable for flight operations.
Pursuant to Section 330.30(2)(b), FS, FDOT may issue a “special” license to a facility that does not comply with all requirements only if it is determined that such exception is justified by unusual circumstances or is in the interest of the public convenience and does not endanger public health, safety or welfare.
Pursuant to Section 330.27(4), FS, public airports may also be defined as “limited” in use. These facilities may be issued a “limited airport” license, restricting use of the facility to conditions stated on the site approval order by FDOT to protect public health, safety, and welfare.
InspectionPursuant to Section 330.30(2), FS, FDOT inspects public aviation facilities prior to licensing or license renewal. These facilities are inspected annually by the FDOT Central Aviation Office located in Tallahassee. However, the FDOT may choose to accept the annual inspections performed by FAA Southern Region personnel at facilities having a FAA Part 139 Certificate.
Public aviation facilities are inspected based on requirements set forth in Section 14-60.007, FAC. These requirements ensure safety for aircraft and protect public health, safety, and welfare.
Florida Department of Transportation
Safety, Innovation, Mobility, Attract, Retain & Train