2011 Louisiana Laws
Revised Statutes
TITLE 2 — Aeronautics
RS 2:135.1 — Authority to equip, improve, establish fees and charges, and lease airport facilities


LA Rev Stat § 2:135.1 What's This?

§135.1. Authority to equip, improve, establish fees and charges, and lease airport facilities

A. Airport districts, airport authorities, and other political subdivisions, including the New Orleans Aviation Board, which establish or operate airports or landing fields or which acquire or set apart immovable property for such purpose may:

(1) Construct, equip, improve, maintain, and operate the same or vest authority for the construction, equipment, improvement, maintenance, and operation thereof, in an officer, board, or sponsor of such political subdivision. The expense of construction, equipment, improvement, maintenance, and operation is a responsibility of the sponsor or its vested authority.

(2) Adopt regulations and establish charges, fees, and tolls for the use of such airports or landing fields, fix penalties for the violation of regulations, and establish privileges to enforce payment of the charges, fees, and tolls, except that such authority will not be used to discriminate against the use of such airports or landing fields by any legitimate aviation interest.

(3) Lease to any person, as defined in this Title, areas for operations space, improvements, including industrial development, and equipment on such airports or landing fields; provided that all leases of land, improvements, or equipment, except as hereinafter provided, shall be by public bid under the provisions of the Public Bid Law, R.S. 38:2181 et seq., or under the provisions on leases of public lands, R.S. 41:1211 et seq.

(4) Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary and specifically any provision contained in Paragraph (3) of this Subsection, the governing authority of any airport located in this state which is eligible to receive funding from the Federal Aviation Administration is authorized to lease to any person, as defined in this Title, land, areas for operations space, improvements, including industrial development, and equipment on airports or landing fields provided that any such governing authorities leasing land, improvements, or equipment, except as hereinafter provided, shall charge fair and reasonable prices for airport properties as determined by appraisals and fair market value comparisons in accordance with Federal Aviation Administration guidelines. The appraisals and fair market value comparisons required by this Paragraph shall be conducted and paid for by the governing authority of the airport.

(5) Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary and specifically any provision contained in Paragraph (3) of this Subsection, the governing authority of the Natchitoches Regional Airport is authorized to lease to any person, as defined in this Title, land, areas for operations space, improvements, including industrial development, and equipment on such airport or landing fields provided that the governing authority leasing such land, improvements, or equipment, except as hereinafter provided, shall charge fair and reasonable prices for airport properties as determined by appraisals and fair market value comparisons in accordance with Federal Aviation Administration guidelines. The appraisals and fair market value comparisons required by this Paragraph shall be conducted and paid for by the governing authority of the Natchitoches Regional Airport.

B.(1)(a) The public bid requirement provided for by Paragraph A(3) shall be at the option of the sponsor when such sponsor is leasing operations space of less than two hundred fifty square feet.

(b) The advertisements shall set forth a description of the property to be leased, the time when bids therefor will be received, and a short summary of the terms, conditions, and purposes of the lease to be executed. The public bids provided for in this Part shall be secret, sealed bids and shall be mailed or delivered to the lessor at its domicile address. The advertisements provided for in this Section shall constitute judicial advertisements and legal notices as required in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 5 of Title 43 of the Louisiana Revised Statutes of 1950. At the date and hour mentioned in the advertisement for consideration of bids, the bids shall be publicly opened by the lessor at its office.

(c) The lessor shall accept only the highest bid submitted which yields the greatest benefits to the public in services and financial return to it by a person or persons who meet all of the conditions of this Part. The lessor shall have the right to reject all bids.

(d) The lessor may execute any lease granted under such terms and conditions that it deems proper or as otherwise provided in this Part.

(e) All leases signed by the lessor shall be executed in sufficient counterparts to be disposed of as follows: one copy shall be furnished to the lessee; one copy shall be recorded in the conveyance records of each parish in which the land lies; one copy shall be furnished to the secretary of the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development; and one copy shall be retained in the records of the lessor.

(2) All leases executed under the provisions of this Section shall provide for consideration to be paid annually or monthly as provided for in the lease. All such leases shall be for a period not exceeding ten years, except as follows:

(a) A lessor may grant an option to extend the primary lease for an additional period of not more than ten years to any lessee who leases such land or holds a ten-year lease in full force on or after August 15, 1999, when such lessee has, within the ten-year term of the lease, added or contracted for permanent improvements to be constructed or placed on or made to the land in the amount of not less than twenty thousand dollars, has provided written notification to the lessor of his desire to extend the primary lease, and has provided a proper showing that such improvements have in fact been made or contracted for.

(b) When a lease provides for the addition or construction of improvements on or to the land to a value in excess of sixty thousand dollars for non-air carrier airports or one hundred thousand dollars for air carrier airports, and further provides that such improvements will become the property of the lessor without any cost to the lessor, the lessor may grant an option to the lessee to extend the primary term of the lease for an additional ten-year period, or part thereof, for each sixty thousand dollars of improvements or additions for non-air carrier airports or one hundred thousand dollars worth of improvements or additions for air carrier airports made on or to the land, not to exceed a maximum term of one hundred years.

C. Where private property adjoining an airport is acquired by a public body pursuant to provisions of Section 133 of this Title, leases may be entered into between the airport owner and the owner of said property without advertising or competitive bidding, the terms of which shall be determined by the appraised value of the land and/or buildings so acquired in relation to the lease periods described in Subsection B of this Part.

D. Where the lessor has constructed or contemplates the construction of a building or other improvements in order to expand the services of the airport, the lessor may execute a lease for a period not to exceed twenty-five years and provide for a monthly or annual rental, payable monthly or annually in advance, and advertise in accordance with Subsection A, such lease may provide for the option to renew on stipulated conditions, without further advertising or competitive bidding, for periods not to exceed an additional twenty-five years.

E.(1) It having been determined that the financial stability of the state's air carrier airports is dependent upon the ability to enter into long-term lease agreements with air carriers and fixed base operators in order to assure the resources necessary for the financing of improvements for, and the maintenance of, such airports and that the nature of the lease arrangements customarily entered into with such air carriers and fixed base operators at air carrier airports makes it unnecessary and undesirable that such lease agreements be subject to advertisement and competitive bidding because leased premises or improvements normally are constructed to the individual specifications of the air carriers and fixed base operators with the lease payments being designed to cover the cost of such premises or improvements, and it having been determined that public convenience and necessity so requires, it hereby is provided that, notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, leases of airport operational space, facilities, equipment, and other airport land and improvements at airports may be entered into with air carriers and fixed base operators for initial terms of up to thirty years, and optional extension terms of up to an additional twenty-five years, without advertising or competitive bidding.

(2)(a) The term "air carrier" as used herein means a party certificated under state or federal law to provide scheduled air transportation of persons, property or mail.

(b) The term "fixed base operator" or "FBO" means an individual or a firm operating at an airport and providing general aircraft or air cargo services including but not limited to maintenance, storage, repair, and ground and flight instructions.

(c) The term "air carrier airport" means a facility served by an air carrier certificated by the Civil Aeronautics Board under Section 401 of the Federal Aviation Act of 1958 (as amended) or by an air carrier operating under an exemption to Section 401 of the Act granted by the Civil Aeronautics Board for scheduled commuter airline service.

F. Notwithstanding any provisions of law to the contrary, no municipality, parish, airport district, airport authority, or other political subdivision may grant a lease of an entire airport nor may the public be deprived of its rightful, equal, and uniform use of the airport or landing field or portion thereof, except at such times as may be required in the interest of public safety and no exclusive concession, license, or lease agreement may be made relative to the business of servicing, repairing, or furnishing of supplies for aircraft, or the sale, rental, or leasing of aircraft or flight instruction. Prospective lessees providing such services must have complied with the minimum aeronautical standards established by the lessor and approved by the office of aviation of the Department of Transportation and Development.

G. Lease agreements entered into with fixed-base operators prior to June 22, 1978, may be amended so as to provide for an initial or primary term of up to thirty years and optional extension terms of up to an additional twenty-five years without advertising or competitive bidding, with the terms, conditions, fees, and rentals in such lease agreement to be agreed upon by the authority and the fixed-base operator.

H. The provisions of this Section shall not apply to the Department of Military Affairs of the state of Louisiana when leasing airport space at a publicly-owned airport for military purposes.

I.(1) The Acadiana Regional Airport is the site of a former United States naval air station, now owned by Iberia Parish by deed from the United States, consisting of facilities conducive to use in heavy aircraft maintenance to, severally and singularly, manufacture, store, maintain, retrofit, or repair aircraft in excess of eighty-eight thousand pounds commonly used in the air carrier industry. Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, leases of airport operational space, facilities, equipment, and other airport land and improvements at Acadiana Regional Airport may be entered into with persons engaged in the manufacture, storage, maintenance, retrofitting, repair, or maintenance of aircraft in excess of eighty-eight thousand pounds used by the military services of the United States or any state, or private person engaged in air carrier operations, or scheduled commuter operations, or nonscheduled charter of persons, or property, or mail, for initial terms of up to thirty years, and for optional extension terms of up to an additional twenty-five years, without advertising or competitive bidding. Any lease undertaken under the provisions of this Subsection shall provide conditions to assure that the area of the lease shall be suitably maintained in a safe and serviceable condition; that services shall be provided on a fair, equal, and not unjustly discriminatory basis; and that charges for services shall be fair, reasonable, and not unjustly discriminatory.

(2) Any construction projects undertaken under the provisions of this Subsection shall be performed in accordance with the provisions of R.S. 38:2211 et seq.

J. All leases with a term of five years or more shall contain a provision for periodic adjustments based on a recognized economic index.

K. Public-use areas such as airport taxiways shall not be included in the lease area. If public fueling facilities are included within the area to be leased, provisions must be made for right of public access. Nothing in the lease shall authorize the use of the lease area to block access to any other area or any public fueling service of the airport facility.

L.(1) Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, leases of public airport operational space, facilities, equipment, and other airport land and improvements at any air facility may be entered into with persons engaged in the manufacture, storage, maintenance, retrofitting, repair, or maintenance of aircraft in excess of eighty-eight thousand pounds commonly used by the military services of the United States or any state, or private person engaged in air carrier operations, or scheduled commuter operations, or nonscheduled charter of persons, or property, or mail, for initial terms of up to thirty years, and for optional extension terms of up to an additional twenty-five years, without advertising or competitive bidding.

(2) Any lease shall provide conditions to assure that the area of the lease shall be suitably maintained in a safe and serviceable condition; that services shall be provided on a fair, equal and not unjustly discriminatory basis; and that charges for services will be fair, reasonable, and not unjustly discriminatory.

M.(1) The lease shall preclude the lessee fixed-base operator from requiring the users of other leased areas to secure goods and services exclusively from such fixed-base operator. In no case shall a fixed-based operator be leased more apron space than that for which an immediate demonstrated need has been shown. Sponsors shall ensure that apron space not necessary to current operations shall be available upon request to future tenants. Therefore, where there is only one fixed-base operator on an airport and there is more apron space than required for the operation of such operator, only that space actually required for such operation shall be leased to the existing fixed-based operator.

(2) The lessor may designate within a lease agreement the time limit within which construction of a fixed-based operation facility shall begin.

N.(1) The obligation to make a public airport available for the use and benefit of the public does not impose any requirement to permit access from adjacent property or through-the-fence operations as defined in R.S. 2:1(26). The sponsor of a public airport is entitled to seek the recovery of initial and continuing costs of providing a public use air operation area from all users including those operating from off-airport property. The development of an aeronautical enterprise on land uncontrolled by the sponsor of the public airport can result in competitive advantage for the through-the-fence operator to the detriment of the airport and on-airport operators. Therefore, the airport sponsor shall obtain from the off-airport user fair market value. A through-the-fence lease agreement shall be fair, nondiscriminatory, and in compliance with on-airport lease agreement provisions.

(2) The governing authority of a public airport may require any person or legal entity proposing to engage in through-the-fence air operation area operations to enter into an airport user agreement prior to the commencement of said operations. The user agreement may include a fee schedule, user fee, and other terms and conditions for the use of the airport by the through-the-fence operator. Such user agreement shall be fair, reasonable, and nondiscriminatory.

(3) The provisions of this Subsection shall not apply to the activities of aerial applicators which shall be in compliance with and controlled by the provisions of R.S. 2:135.3.

O. Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, airport districts, airport authorities, airport sponsors, and other political subdivisions which establish or operate airports or landing fields or which acquire or set apart immovable property for such purposes may lease lands of which they have title, custody, or possession on a share basis for the agricultural purpose of planting, cultivating, growing, and harvesting any agricultural crops with the terms, conditions, fees, and rentals in such lease to be agreed upon by the lessor and the agricultural tenant provided such agreement is commensurate with agricultural standards within the geographic area.

P. The provisions of this Section shall have no effect on the provisions of R.S. 33:130.351 through 130.359.

Added by Acts 1978, No. 78, §1, eff. June 22, 1978. Amended by Acts 1980, No. 181, §1; Acts 1983, 1st Ex. Sess., No. 26, §1, eff. Jan. 19, 1983; Acts 1984, No. 340, §1, eff. July 2, 1984; Acts 1989, No. 670, §1, eff. July 7, 1989; Acts 1990, No. 280, §1; Acts 1991, No. 478, §1; Acts 1993, No. 760, §2, eff. June 22, 1993; Acts 1999, No. 836, §1; Acts 2003, No. 404, §1; Acts 2003, No. 1174, §1; Acts 2005, No. 360, §1; Acts 2005, No. 390, §1, eff. July 1, 2005; Acts 2005, No. 478, §1, eff. July 1, 2005.

Disclaimer: These codes may not be the most recent version. Louisiana may have more current or accurate information. We make no warranties or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained on this site or the information linked to on the state site. Please check official sources.