(1) SITE APPROVALS; REQUIREMENTS, EFFECTIVE PERIOD, REVOCATION.—
(a) Except as provided in subsection (3), the owner or lessee of any proposed airport shall, prior to site acquisition or construction or establishment of the proposed airport, obtain approval of the airport site from the department. Applications for approval of a site shall be made in a form and manner prescribed by the department. The department shall grant the site approval if it is satisfied:
1. That the site has adequate area allocated for the airport as proposed.
2. That the proposed airport will conform to licensing or registration requirements and will comply with the applicable local government land development regulations or zoning requirements.
3. That all affected airports, local governments, and property owners have been notified and any comments submitted by them have been given adequate consideration.
4. That safe air-traffic patterns can be established for the proposed airport with all existing airports and approved airport sites in its vicinity.
(b) Site approval shall be granted for public airports only after a favorable department inspection of the proposed site.
(c) Site approval shall be granted for private airports only after receipt of documentation in a form and manner the department deems necessary to satisfy the conditions in paragraph (a).
(d) Site approval may be granted subject to any reasonable conditions the department deems necessary to protect the public health, safety, or welfare.
(e) Approval shall remain valid for 2 years after the date of issue, unless revoked by the department or a public airport license is issued or private airport registration completed pursuant to subsection (2) prior to the expiration date.
(f) The department may extend a site approval for subsequent periods of 2 years per extension for good cause.
(g) The department may revoke a site approval if it determines:
1. That the site has been abandoned as an airport site;
2. That the site has not been developed as an airport within a reasonable time period or development does not comply with the conditions of the site approval;
3. That, except as required for in-flight emergencies, aircraft have operated on the site; or
4. That the site is no longer usable for aviation purposes due to physical or legal changes in conditions that were the subject of the approval granted.
(2) LICENSES AND REGISTRATIONS; REQUIREMENTS, RENEWAL, REVOCATION.—
(a) Except as provided in subsection (3), the owner or lessee of any airport in this state shall have either a public airport license or private airport registration prior to the operation of aircraft to or from the facility. Application for a license or registration shall be made in a form and manner prescribed by the department. Upon granting site approval:
1. For a public airport, the department shall issue a license after a final airport inspection finds the facility to be in compliance with all requirements for the license. The license may be subject to any reasonable conditions that the department may deem necessary to protect the public health, safety, or welfare.
2. For a private airport, the department shall provide controlled electronic access to the state aviation facility data system to permit the applicant to complete the registration process. Registration shall be completed upon self-certification by the registrant of operational and configuration data deemed necessary by the department.
(b) The department may license a public airport that does not meet standards only if it determines that such exception is justified by unusual circumstances or is in the interest of public convenience and does not endanger the public health, safety, or welfare. Such a license shall bear the designation “special” and shall state the conditions subject to which the license is granted.
(c) The department may license a public airport or a private airport may register as a temporary airport provided that the airport will not endanger the public health, safety, or welfare and the airport meets the temporary airport requirements established by the department. A temporary airport license or registration shall be valid for less than 30 days and is not renewable.
(d)1. Each public airport license shall expire no later than 1 year after the effective date of the license, except that the expiration date of a license may be adjusted to provide a maximum license period of 18 months to facilitate airport inspections, recognize seasonal airport operations, or improve administrative efficiency.
2. Registration for private airports shall remain valid provided specific elements of airport data, established by the department, are periodically recertified by the airport registrant. The ability to recertify private airport registration data shall be available at all times by electronic submittal. A private airport registration that has not been recertified in the 24-month period following the last certification shall expire, unless the registration period has been adjusted by the department for purposes of informing private airport owners of their registration responsibilities or promoting administrative efficiency. The expiration date of the current registration period will be clearly identifiable from the state aviation facility data system.
3. The effective date and expiration date shall be shown on public airport licenses. Upon receiving an application for renewal of an airport license in a form and manner prescribed by the department and receiving a favorable inspection report indicating compliance with all applicable requirements and conditions, the department shall renew the license, subject to any conditions deemed necessary to protect the public health, safety, or welfare.
4. The department may require a new site approval for any airport if the license or registration has expired.
5. If the renewal application for a public airport license has not been received by the department or no private airport registration recertification has been accomplished within 15 days after the date of expiration, the department may revoke the airport license or registration.
(e) The department may revoke, or refuse to allow or issue, any airport registration or recertification, or any license or license renewal, if it determines:
1. That the site has been abandoned as an airport;
2. That the airport does not comply with the conditions of the license, license renewal, or site approval;
3. That the airport has become either unsafe or unusable for flight operation due to physical or legal changes in conditions that were the subject of approval; or
4. That an airport required to file or update a security plan pursuant to paragraph (f) has failed to do so.
(f)1. After initial licensure, a license of a publicly or privately owned general aviation airport that is open to the public, that has at least one runway greater than 4,999 feet in length, and that does not host scheduled passenger-carrying commercial service operations regulated under 14 C.F.R. part 139 shall not be renewed or reissued unless an approved security plan has been filed with the department, except when the department determines that the airport is working in good faith toward completion and filing of the plan.
2. Security plans required by this paragraph must be developed in accordance with the 2004 Security Planning for General Aviation Airports guidelines published by the Florida Airports Council. Certain administrative data from the approved security plan shall be submitted to the Department of Law Enforcement, in a format prescribed by the Department of Law Enforcement, for use in protecting critical infrastructure of the state.
3. The department shall not approve a security plan for filing unless it is consistent with Florida Airports Council guidelines.
4. An airport required to file a security plan pursuant to this paragraph shall update its plan at least once every 2 years after the initial filing date and file the updated plan with the department. The department shall review the updated plan prior to approving it for filing to determine whether it is consistent with Florida Airports Council guidelines. No renewal license shall be issued to the airport unless the department approves the updated security plan or determines that the airport is working in good faith to update it.
(3) EXEMPTIONS.—The provisions of this section do not apply to:
(a) An airport owned or operated by the United States.
(b) An ultralight aircraft landing area located more than 5 nautical miles from a public or military airport, except any ultralight landing area with more than 10 ultralight aircraft operating at the site.
(c) A helistop used solely in conjunction with a construction project undertaken pursuant to the performance of a state contract if the purpose of the helicopter operations at the site is to expedite construction.
(d) A helistop used by mosquito control or emergency services, not to include areas where permanent facilities are installed, such as hospital landing sites.
(e) An airport which meets the criteria of s. 330.27(7) used exclusively for aerial application or spraying of crops on a seasonal basis, not to include any licensed airport where permanent crop aerial application or spraying facilities are installed, if the period of operation does not exceed 30 days per calendar year. Such proposed airports, which will be located within 3 miles of existing airports or approved airport sites, shall establish safe air-traffic patterns with such existing airports or approved airport sites, by memorandums of understanding, or by letters of agreement between the parties representing the airports or sites.
(f) Any body of water used for the takeoff and landing of aircraft, including any land, building, structure, or any other contrivance that facilitates private use or intended private use.
(4) EXCEPTIONS.—Private airports with 10 or more based aircraft may request to be inspected and licensed by the department. Private airports licensed according to this subsection shall be considered private airports as defined in s. 330.27(5) in all other respects.
History.—s. 4, ch. 24046, 1947; s. 1, ch. 61-215; s. 2, ch. 65-178; ss. 23, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 3, ch. 76-168; s. 1, ch. 77-457; s. 56, ch. 78-95; ss. 2, 3, ch. 81-318; ss. 3, 9, 10, ch. 84-205; s. 24, ch. 86-243; s. 14, ch. 87-225; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 19, ch. 94-237; s. 15, ch. 95-257; s. 1, ch. 95-412; s. 1, ch. 98-17; s. 1, ch. 99-256; s. 9, ch. 2002-183; s. 24, ch. 2003-286; s. 1, ch. 2005-145.