OLR Bill Analysis
AN ACT CREATING A WORKFORCE TO MAKE IMPROVEMENTS AROUND CONNECTICUT'S PUBLIC AIRPORTS
Current law authorizes several initiatives for preserving the state's licensed, privately-owned airports that have paved runways and conduct at least 5,000 operations per year. The initiatives include establishing an airport zoning category for Federal Aviation Administration- (FAA) defined “imaginary surfaces,” areas that extend upward and outward from runways where obstructions deemed hazardous to navigation are prohibited.
This bill requires proposed developments in these zones to be assessed for their environmental effects, as defined by FAA regulations and federal Environmental Protection Agency standards. In addition to the law's ban on constructing objects in the zones that are hazardous to navigation, the bill requires environmental compatibility planning to address land use actions needed to mitigate adverse environmental impacts.
EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2012
Private Airport Preservation Initiatives
Besides establishing an airport zoning category for FAA-defined imaginary surfaces, the law:
1. gives the state a right of first refusal to purchase, for fair market value, any airport solely to preserve it if threatened with sale or closure;
2. authorizes the Department of Transportation to acquire an airport's development rights for fair market value as long as the airport remains open to the public; and
3. authorizes 90% state funding for eligible capital improvements at private airports, as determined by the transportation commissioner.