Code Section Group

Public Utilities Code - PUC

DIVISION 9. AVIATION [21001 - 24451]

  ( Division 9 added by Stats. 1953, Ch. 151. )

PART 1. STATE AERONAUTICS ACT [21001 - 21709]

  ( Heading of Part 1 amended by Stats. 1961, Ch. 2071. )

CHAPTER 4. Airports and Air Navigation Facilities [21601 - 21690.29]

  ( Chapter 4 added by Stats. 1953, Ch. 151. )

ARTICLE 4. Aeronautics Fund [21680 - 21688]
  ( Heading of Article 4 amended by Stats. 1970, Ch. 1417. )

21680.
  

(a) The Aeronautics Fund is hereby continued in existence as the Aeronautics Account in the State Transportation Fund. The moneys deposited to the credit of the account are continuously appropriated for expenditure by the board and the department as provided in this article.

(b) Any reference in any law or regulation to the Airport Assistance Revolving Fund, the Airport Assistance Fund, or the Aeronautics Fund shall be deemed to refer to the Aeronautics Account in the State Transportation Fund. As used in this article, “fund” shall be deemed to refer to the Aeronautics Account in the State Transportation Fund.

(Amended by Stats. 1971, Ch. 1243.)

21681.
  

As used in this article, the following terms have the following meanings:

(a) “Own and operate” means that the public entity shall own the property in fee simple or by a long-term lease of a minimum of 20 years, unless otherwise approved by the department, and shall maintain dominion and control of the property, except that the public entity may provide by contract with a person for the operation and management of an airport otherwise meeting the requirements of this article. Operations of the airport shall be for, and on behalf of, the public entity. All leases to the public entity of property are required to be approved by the department. A lease of the property by the public entity to an agent or agency other than to a public entity does not meet the criteria for participation in airport assistance funds.

(b) “Matching funds” means money that is provided by the public entity and does not consist of funds previously received from state or federal agencies or public entity funds previously used to match federal or state funds. This definition shall be retroactive to July 1, 1967.

(c) “General aviation” means all aviation except air carrier and military aviation.

(d) “Public entity” means any city, county, airport district, airport authority, port district, port authority, public district, public authority, political subdivision, airport land use commission, community services district, or public corporation and the University of California.

(e) “Public agency” means the various agencies of the State of California and the federal government.

(f) “Airport and aviation purposes” means expenditures of a capital improvement nature, including the repair or replacement of a capital improvement, and expenditures for compatible land use planning in the area surrounding an airport, for any of the following purposes:

(1) Land acquisition for development and improvement of general aviation aircraft landing facilities.

(2) Grading and drainage necessary for the construction or reconstruction of runways or taxiways.

(3) Construction or reconstruction of runways or taxiways.

(4) Acquisition of “runway protection zones” as defined in Federal Aviation Administration Advisory Circular 150/1500-13.

(5) Acquisition of easements through, or other interests in, airspace as may be reasonably required for safeguarding aircraft operations in the vicinity of an aircraft landing facility.

(6) Removal of natural obstructions from runway protection zones.

(7) Installation of “segmented circle airport marker systems” as defined in current regulations of the Federal Aviation Administration.

(8) Installation of runway, taxiway, boundary, or obstruction lights, together with directly related electrical equipment.

(9) Installation of minimum security fencing around the perimeter of an aircraft landing facility.

(10) Grading and drainage necessary to provide for parking of transient general aviation aircraft.

(11) Construction or reconstruction of transient general aviation aircraft parking areas.

(12) Servicing of revenue or general obligation bonds issued to finance capital improvements for airport and aviation purposes.

(13) Air navigational facilities.

(14) Engineering and preliminary engineering related directly to a project funded under this article.

(15) Other capital improvements as may be designated in rules and regulations adopted by the department.

(16) Activities of an airport land use commission in connection with the preparation of a new or updated airport land use compatibility plan pursuant to Section 21675. Expenditures that cannot be clearly identified as capital improvements shall be submitted to the department for consideration and approval.

(17) Airport master plans and airport layout plans.

(g) “Operation and maintenance” means expenditures for wages or salaries, utilities, service vehicles, and all other noncapital expenditures that are included in insurance, professional services, supplies, construction equipment, upkeep and landscaping, and other items of expenditure designated as “operation and maintenance” in rules and regulations adopted by the department.

(h) “Enplanement” means the boarding of an aircraft by a revenue passenger, including an original, stopover, or transfer boarding of the aircraft. For purposes of this subdivision, a stopover is a deliberate and intentional interruption of a journey by a passenger scheduled to exceed four hours in the case of an intrastate or interstate passenger or not to exceed 24 hours in the case of an international passenger at a point between the point of departure and the point of destination, and a transfer is an occurrence at an intermediate point in an itinerary whereby a passenger or shipment changes from a flight of one carrier to another flight either of the same or a different carrier with or without a stopover.

(Amended by Stats. 2002, Ch. 438, Sec. 23. Effective January 1, 2003.)

21682.
  

(a) The department shall establish individual revolving fund subaccounts for eligible airports in the Aeronautics Account in the State Transportation Fund. Money payable under this section shall be credited to individual airport subaccounts annually, and may be accumulated for a maximum period of five years.

(b) The department shall, subject to Section 21684, credit from the Aeronautics Account to each public entity owning and operating an airport or airports under a valid permit issued by the department for every airport which has not been designated by the Federal Aviation Administration as (1) a reliever airport, as defined in Section 503 (a) (19) of the federal Airport and Airway Improvement Act of 1982, as amended, or (2) a commercial service airport, as defined in Section 503 (a) (5) of the federal Airport and Airway Improvement Act of 1982, as amended, the sum of ten thousand dollars ($10,000) annually for each qualifying airport. These funds shall be paid to public entities upon request for expenditure on preapproved eligible projects. Eligible public entities may submit applications for the withdrawal of credited funds for expenditure on proposed projects in letter form to the department for review and approval. Projects identified shall be for airport and aviation purposes and operation and maintenance purposes. No payment made under this section is transferable, but shall be expended only upon the airport for which the payment is made, unless the department authorizes a payment to be transferred for expenditure on another airport owned or operated by the public entity. The department may establish any accounting systems it deems necessary to provide for the cumulation and expenditure of funds under this subdivision.

(c) If, in any year, there is insufficient money in the Aeronautics Account to make the credits specified in subdivision (b), the department shall, subject to Section 21684, credit to each public entity subaccount an amount which is equal to the total amount of money in the Aeronautics Account multiplied by a percentage equivalent to the proportion which the airport or airports of the public entity for which credit is required to be made pursuant to subdivision (b) bear to the total number of airports for which credit is required to be made pursuant to subdivision (b).

(d) No payment shall be made under this section to any public entity for any airport on which general or commercial aviation activities are substantially restricted if the airport is licensed to conduct these activities by the department. The department shall determine whether or not general or commercial aviation activities are restricted.

(e) The department shall adopt rules and regulations and establish procedures to effect prompt payment to public entities for eligible airport projects from money credited pursuant to this section.

(Amended by Stats. 1993, Ch. 671, Sec. 2. Effective January 1, 1994.)

21682.5.
  

The department shall pay, from the Aeronautics Account to the Transportation Planning and Development Account in the State Transportation Fund, a sum equal to the pro rata share of the comprehensive transportation duties attributable to aviation planning and research, as determined by the Director of Transportation.

(Amended by Stats. 1984, Ch. 579, Sec. 9.)

21683.
  

Any public entity may apply to the department each year for the allocation of funds for the acquisition or development of airports. The commission may, pursuant to rules and regulations promulgated by the department, make an allocation to the public entity if it determines that the proposed acquisition or development is feasible and in accordance with the policies and standards established by the department. The department shall make recommendations to the commission on all applications. Such allocations shall be represented as subventions in the department budget in accordance with Section 21206.

No moneys paid under this section shall be expended for operation and maintenance. No payment shall be made under this section to any public entity for any airport on which general or commercial aviation activities are substantially restricted if the airport is licensed to conduct such activities by the department. The department shall determine whether or not general or commercial aviation activities are restricted.

(Amended by Stats. 1993, Ch. 671, Sec. 3. Effective January 1, 1994.)

21683.1.
  

(a) At the discretion of the commission, any balance remaining in the Aeronautics Account, after the payments made under Section 21682, may be used to provide a portion of the local match for federal Airport Improvement Program grants. Matching shall be provided only for grants at general aviation airports, or at airports that have been designated by the Federal Aviation Administration as reliever airports, as defined in Section 503(a)(19) of the federal Airport and Airway Improvement Act of 1982, as amended.

(b) Funds shall not be allocated by the commission until the federal grant offer is accepted by the public entity. Upon allocation by the commission, the department may pay a public entity an amount equal to 5 percent of the amount of a federal Airport Improvement Program grant. These funds are excluded from the requirements of Section 21684.

(c) Funds shall not be allocated by the commission until the federal grant offer is accepted by the public entity. Upon allocation by the commission, the department may, until December 31, 2006, pay a public entity an amount equal to the 10 percent local match required for a federal Airport Improvement Program grant for security projects at small general aviation airports. For purposes of this section, a “security project” means a project to install or maintain fencing, gates, security lighting, access controls systems, and surveillance systems. For purposes of this section a “small general aviation airport” means an airport with fewer than 80,000 annual landings and take-offs of aircraft.

(Amended by Stats. 2002, Ch. 754, Sec. 1. Effective September 21, 2002.)

21683.2.
  

Any balance remaining in the Aeronautics Account, after the payments made under Section 21682 and Section 21683.1, shall be used at the discretion of the commission for airport and aviation purposes subject to the provisions of Section 21684.

(Added by Stats. 1993, Ch. 671, Sec. 5. Effective January 1, 1994.)

21684.
  

(a) No payment shall be made to a public entity pursuant to this article unless the public entity has established a special aviation fund in which all payments received by a public entity under this article shall be deposited for expenditure solely for airport and aviation purposes. No payment shall be made to a public entity for a project pursuant to Section 21683.2 unless the public entity deposits in its special aviation fund a sum from other than state or federal sources, established annually by the commission at not less than 10 percent nor more than 50 percent of the nonfederal portion of the project.

Notwithstanding the provisions of this subdivision requiring matching funds, the department shall pay to each public entity owning and operating an airport or airports the annual amount that is in accordance with Section 21682.

(b) No payment shall be made for any airport to the University of California pursuant to this article unless the university has established a special aviation fund in which all payments received by the university under this article shall be deposited for expenditure solely for airport and aviation purposes. No payment shall be made for any airport to the University of California pursuant to Section 21683.2 unless the university deposits in its special aviation fund each year, for expenditure solely for airport and aviation purposes, a sum from nonstate or nonfederal funds based on the rate established annually by the commission pursuant to subdivision (a), or unless a city located within 10 miles of the airport or the county within which the airport is located pays to the university a sum based on the rate established annually by the commission pursuant to subdivision (a). However, any sums so deposited by the university or paid by the city or county may be considered jointly as meeting the requirements of this section. The payments received from a city or county pursuant to these sections are to be expended solely for the airport and for aviation purposes related to such airport. All payments received by the university shall be deposited in its special aviation fund.

(Amended by Stats. 1993, Ch. 671, Sec. 6. Effective January 1, 1994.)

21684.1.
  

Notwithstanding the provisions of Section 21683, any balance remaining in the fund after the payments made under Section 21682 may be used by the department to purchase emergency search and rescue equipment and to make such equipment available for use by recognized search and rescue groups. The equipment shall remain the property of the department. No more than eight thousand dollars ($8,000) shall be expended pursuant to this section for the purchase of emergency search and rescue equipment.

(Added by Stats. 1970, Ch. 1606.)

21684.5.
  

Notwithstanding the provisions of this article inasmuch as they require matching funds the department may allocate funds to public agencies for the construction of airports.

(Added by Stats. 1970, Ch. 1566.)

21684.6.
  

Notwithstanding the provisions of this article, inasmuch as they require matching funds, the department may allocate funds to a county or a city for the construction of recreational airports or reliever training airstrips in accordance with regulations of the department if the county or city supplies the land and maintains and operates all facilities of such airport or airstrip.

(Amended by Stats. 1974, Ch. 768.)

21685.
  

Any public entity may pay any part of the money in its special aviation fund to a state college or branch of the University of California located within its boundaries to be expended for the same purposes as the public entity may expend such money. Any money paid to a state college or branch of the University of California shall be expended within the public entity paying the money.

(Amended by Stats. 1970, Ch. 1566.)

21686.
  

It shall be the duty of any public entity receiving payments or allocations under this article to periodically audit its books and records as deemed necessary by the department for the purpose of determining that the money received has been expended for the purposes and under the conditions authorized by this article.

(Amended by Stats. 1987, Ch. 101, Sec. 1.)

21687.
  

(a) (1) If an airport, for which payments have been made from the Aeronautics Account, ceases to be open to the general public for more than one year, the public entity to which those payments were made shall pay to the state funds equal to the amount computed by the department pursuant to paragraph (2), and those funds shall be deposited in the Aeronautics Account.

(2) (A) The department shall compute an amount equal to the total of all payments made for the airport from the Aeronautics Account during the preceding 20 years, less 5 percent of the amount of a particular payment multiplied by the number of years since the payment was made, or the unused balance, whichever is greater.

(B) The computation described in subparagraph (A) shall not include any payment the department made pursuant to Section 21682, if, upon the request of the public entity that owns and operates the airport, the department determines that the airport is not necessary to the system of public airports in this state. When making this determination, the department shall consider all of the following factors:

(i) Whether the airport is approved for night operations.

(ii) Whether the airport has an approved instrument approach procedure.

(iii) How many aircraft are based at the airport.

(iv) Whether the airport is used for airborne fire attacks.

(v) Whether the airport is used for emergency medical transportation.

(vi) What services the airport provides for the community.

(vii) The size of the community that is served by the airport.

(viii) Whether any aviation or transportation planning agency has designated the airport as having a significant role.

(ix) Whether a suitable, public-use airport is situated within a reasonable distance.

(x) Whether closure of the airport will have a negative effect on other airports.

(xi) Whether the airport is used for law enforcement purposes.

(b) This section does not apply to either of the following:

(1) An airport that is replaced by a comparable facility, as determined by the department, within a period of one year.

(2) An airport for which the department, on or after January 1, 1981, has suspended the airport permit and for which payments made pursuant to this article are being expended to correct the deficiency or condition that resulted in the suspension of the airport’s permit.

(Amended by Stats. 1999, Ch. 105, Sec. 1. Effective January 1, 2000.)

21688.
  

(a) No payments shall be made from the Aeronautics Account for expenditure on any airport or for the acquisition or development of any airport, if the department determines that the height restrictions around the airport are inadequate to provide reasonable assurance that the landing and taking off of aircraft at the airport will be conducted without obstruction or will be otherwise free from hazards.

Height restrictions shall be considered adequate if as a minimum they meet the obstruction standards of subchapter C of Part 77 of the Federal Aviation Regulations of the Federal Aviation Administration, as these standards apply to civil airport imaginary surfaces related to runways.

The airport-owning entity shall have sufficient control over obstructions in the airspace in the vicinity of the airport to assure that height restrictions can be maintained. This control may be in the form of ownership of any land from which obstructions may rise, air navigation easements to guarantee maintenance of restrictions, or height limitation or land use zoning which will prohibit obstructions which would violate the obstruction standards.

(b) This section shall not prevent or prohibit the department from assisting any public agency or public entity in planning airport development or in planning the zoning needs around an airport.

(Amended by Stats. 1982, Ch. 681, Sec. 40.)

PUCPublic Utilities Code - PUC4