Frequently Asked Questions

  • What are avigation easements?

    Avigation Easements are instruments developed to convey airspace rights over another property and are typically acquired by an airport whenever air rights and/or obstruction removal is required for airspace protection (for example tree removal or trimming). Easements can also be used to control land use around an airport when fee acquisition is not feasible (RPZ protection).  FAA AC 150/5100-17, chapter 2, section 2-15 (b) describes Avigation Rights to be appraised and acquired.

  • What is a Runway Protection Zone (RPZ) and what is the function of the RPZ?

    Runway Protection Zones:  A two dimensional trapezoidal area at ground level prior to the threshold or beyond the runway end to enhance the safety and protection of people and property on the ground.  Airports receiving federal monies are required to control Runway Protection Zones from incompatible land uses. See FAA Order 5100.38C (appendix 7 and Chapter 7 - section 701). See also FAA AC/150 5300-13A (information on runway protection zones can be found in section 310, page 70; RPZ dimensions can be found starting on page 263). FEE ACQUISITION IN THE RPZ MUST BE CONSIDERED BEFORE AVIGATION EASEMENTS. If fee acquisition is not reasonable or practical then adequate documentation must be supplied and approved by MDOT prior to acquisition of easements. Existing incompatible uses inside the RPZ may only require an avigation easement to prevent additional incompatible uses. Airport sponsors are encouraged to complete the FAA Great Lakes Region Runway Protection Zone - Alternative Analysis form to justify less than fee acquisition.

  • Can real estate transfer tax be charged for avigation easement closings?

    Yes. See Public Act 330 of 1993 (State Real Estate Transfer Tax Act) for more information.

  • When is a non-aviation use considered "concurrent use" of airport property?

    If approved by MDOT and FAA, the proposed use may be considered a "concurrent use" that does not require a land release.  A "concurrent use" is the use of dedicated airport property for a compatible non-aviation activity while at the same time the property serves the primary purpose for which it was acquired.  Examples of a concurrent use are road right of way easements, utility easements, and agricultural leases (see FAA Order 5190.6B for more information). 

  • When is a public corporation or state agency required to compensate an individual 125% of fair market value for property required for a public use?

    As stated in PA 367 of 2006 (5), in order to be eligible for reimbursement under this subsection, the individual's principal residential structure must be actually taken or the amount of the individual's private property taken leaves less property contiguous to the individual's principal residential structure than the minimum lot size if the local governing unit has implemented a minimum lot size by zoning ordinance.

  • What uses are considered Wildlife Hazards and why are some farming activities discouraged on or near airports?

    See FAA AC 5200-33B.

  • Are airport sponsors required to pay 125% of fair market value (appraised value) for avigation easements?

    No. Public Act 367 clearly states that either the structure has to be taken or the result of the partial acquisition leaves less property than the minimum lot size under a zoning ordinance. Unless the structure is an obstruction to an approach it does not need to be acquired and therefore 125% fair market value is not required.

     

  • Do airports need to complete a land release if the requested use is determined to be a concurrent use?

    In most cases No. However, the proposed use can only be determined to be a concurrent use by the FAA. In all cases airports must complete the land release Part 1 Checklist and submit for MDOT review and FAA approval. 

  • What is required to provide evidence of good title?

    Federal statute requires that sponsors of airport development projects hold "good title, satisfactory to the Secretary" (of Transportation) to the airport being developed. To meet these requirements, a sponsors' title must be free and clear of any reversionary interest, lien, easement, lease, or other encumbrance that would create undue risk that might deprive the sponsor of control or possession, interfere with its use for public airport purposes, or make it impossible for the sponsor to carry out the obligations and covenants in the grant agreement. Under FAA procedures, satisfactory evidence of good title includes an attorney's title opinion that is properly tied to an Exhibit "A" Airport Property Map.

  • How can revenue from a land release be used by an airport sponsor?

    Revenues must be used in a manner consistent with FAA Order 5190.6B and the FAA Revenue Policy.

  • Does a public agency (airport sponsor) need to offer compensation for loss of property tax exemption if the principal residence (structure) is acquired?

    Yes. The agency's Good Faith Offer shall also include a property tax reimbursement based on the following formula: (SEV - Taxable Value) x Millage Rate x #years (max 5 yrs). 

  • What are the Michigan Eminent Domain Law Changes (2006) and how do they impact airport land acquisition projects?

    Changes to Michigan Constitution, eminent domain and property acquisitions of principal residences effective 12/23/06.

    • When is a public corporation or state agency required to compensate an individual 125% of fair market value for property required for a public use?  As stated in PA 367 of 2006 (5), in order to be eligible for reimbursement under this subsection, the individual's principal residential structure must be actually taken or the amount of the individual's private property taken leaves less property contiguous to the individual's principal residential structure than the minimum lot size if the local governing unit has implemented a minimum lot size by zoning ordinance.  
    • Are airport sponsors required to pay 125% of fair market value (appraised value) for avigation easements?   NO.  Public Act 367 clearly states that either the structure has to be taken or the result of the partial acquisition leaves less property than the minimum lot size under a zoning ordinance.  Unless the structure is an obstruction to an approach it does not need to be acquired and therefore 125% of fair market value is not required.  
    • Does a public agency (airport sponsor) need to offer compensation for loss of property tax exemption if the principal residence (structure) is acquired?  Yes, the agency's Good Faith Offer shall also include a property tax reimbursement based on the following formula:  (SEV - Taxable Value) x Millage Rate x #years (max 5 years) . 
    • A Principle Residence Payment Summary can be used to help explain compensation amounts.