Workshop Agenda

Sunday, October 13

12:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. REGISTRATION
     
  GENERAL SESSION
1:30 p.m. – 2:45 p.m. SESSION 1 – INTRODUCTION TO AIRPORT LAW
Nicholas M. Clabbers │ Kaplan Kirsch & Rockwell
Catherine M. van Heuven │ Kaplan Kirsch & Rockwell

This session provides an introduction both to the workshop and to airport law. Presenters focus on how airport law is different from aviation law, the law governing other transportation modes, or more general municipal law. This session explores the way the federal government (primarily—but not exclusively—the FAA) regulates airports and the activities of airport proprietors. Attendees can expect a discussion about the lines between the authority between the federal government and local governments with an emphasis on understanding where federal regulation is pervasive, where legal authority is shared, and where there is only limited federal regulatory oversight. It introduces common terms and legal relationships among the various stakeholders and provides background for new attendees at the workshop and attendees experienced in airport management but new to the field of airport law.
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  GENERAL SESSION
3:00 p.m. – 3:45 p.m. SESSION 2 – A HISTORY OF AIRPORTS IN THE U.S.A.
Peter J. Kirsch │ Kaplan Kirsch & Rockwell

This session introduces participants to the history of airports and airport regulation in the United States. It explores why this history is valuable for understanding the role of local, state, and federal governments in the airport system. We will explain why a historical context is useful for understanding new concepts of airport law and how the evolution of airport law is unique in the United States.
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  GENERAL SESSION
4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. SESSION 3 – A LAWYER'S INTRODUCTION TO AIRPORT FINANCES
Nora Richardson │ Frasca & Associates
Eric T. Smith │ Kaplan Kirsch & Rockwell

Understanding the permissible sources and uses of funds for airports is one of the foundations of airport law. This session offers an introduction to the unique legal constraints under which airports generate revenue and the legal limitations on expenditure of airport funds.

Note: this session is intended to be an introduction to sources and uses of airport funds: airport finance, federal regulation of airport finances, and the legal requirements for documenting the sources and uses of airport funds.
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6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. OPENING RECEPTION Add to Calendar
     
     

Monday, October 14

8:00 a.m. – 8:45 a.m. REGISTRATION AND CONTINENTAL BREAKFAST  
     
8:30 a.m. – 8:45 a.m. WELCOME
Kim Day │ Denver International Airport
Justin T. Barkowski │ American Association of Airport Executives
 
     
  GENERAL SESSION
8:45 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. SESSION 4 – UNDERSTANDING THE FOUNDATION OF AIRPORT: LAW GRANT ASSURANCES
Lorraine M. Herson-Jones │ Federal Aviation Administration
W. Eric Pilsk │ Kaplan Kirsch & Rockwell

Interactions between airports and the FAA can be complex and even contentious if airport lawyers do not understand the basic principles underlying the FAA programs for compliance with grant assurance obligations. The session first addresses the grant assurance obligations that most commonly trigger legal issues – exclusive rights, unjust discrimination, maintaining sponsor’s rights and powers, and preserving good title. Next, presenters dive into grant assurance issues relating to use of airport revenue, use of airport land, obligations to maintain consistency with local plans, establishment of rates and charges, and maintenance of the airport layout plan. This session provides practical guidance on how to maintain compliance with grant obligations and how to advise airport management on the importance of grant assurance compliance.
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  BREAKOUT SESSION
10:15 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. SESSION 5 – AIRPORT CONCESSIONS PROGRAMS: MODELS, FINANCES, AND CONTRACTING (INCLUDING LABOR AND ACDBE ISSUES)
Gene E. Roth │ Federal Aviation Administration
Eric T. Smith │ Kaplan Kirsch & Rockwell

This session explores the role of the airport proprietor in the negotiation, regulation, and oversight of concessions and leases. Among the most complex and airport-specific legal issues are contracting, labor, and procurement requirements – which are affected by a web of local, state, and federal law. This session explores several difficult issues airport proprietors confront today in contracting, labor, and procurement, with a focus on how airport requirements may be different from those applicable in other local government contexts. Attendees can expect to dig into proprietor obligations concerning disadvantaged business enterprise regulation, the role of the airport proprietor, and FAA expectations for airport proprietor oversight of these businesses.
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  BREAKOUT SESSION
  SESSION 6 – GROUND TRANSPORTATION, TNCs, AND OTHER NEW TECHNOLOGY
David Y. Bannard │ Kaplan Kirsch & Rockwell
Jessica Sampson │ Uber Technologies

Ground access to and egress from airports, particularly large and medium hub airports, has become a significant source of tension for airport operators. Federal law designed to protect airports from diverting airport revenues substantially limits airport proprietors’ abilities to help fund needed ground access projects. The rise of transportation network companies (TNCs) like Uber and Lyft and rental car alternatives like Turo, has also had a huge impact and has disrupted expectations and important sources of non-aeronautical revenues. Some providers of these disruptive technologies seek to circumvent the ability of airports to regulate and impose fees on them. This session examines the growing body of regulatory and statutory law that influences ground access at U.S. airports, as well as the federal limitations and requirements pertaining to funding ground access improvement projects. We will look ahead and help practitioners begin to identify additional legal and operational issues that may arise in the context of ground transportation at airports, including the potential impact of both land-based and aerial autonomous vehicles.
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11:00 a.m. – 11:15 a.m. REFRESHMENT AND NETWORKING BREAK  
     
  BREAKOUT SESSION
11:15 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. SESSION 7 – ENVIRONMENTAL APPROVALS FOR AIRPORT PROJECTS
Peter J. Kirsch │ Kaplan Kirsch & Rockwell, Moderator
David J. Full │ RS&H
Patrick J. Wells │ Federal Aviation Administration

Securing environmental approvals for airport projects often involves the complex interplay of federal, state, and local environmental review processes. These processes provide many traps for the uninformed and opportunities for project opponents to delay or even halt projects. This session examines best practices for navigating the environmental review process and discusses measures to ensure continuing compliance with environmental reporting and monitoring requirements. The speakers will also discuss the highly regulated areas of airport planning and development so airport lawyers can provide counsel on the legal implications of long-term planning decisions.
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  BREAKOUT SESSION
  SESSION 8 – ENVIRONMENTAL CONTAMINATION, PFAS, AND EMERGING ENVIRONMENTAL LIABILITY ISSUES
John E. Putnam │ Colorado Department of Public Health and the Environment

Airports are large industrial operations with considerable use and exposure to industrial chemicals in connection with airfield operations. Airport lawyers need to be familiar with the regulatory framework for addressing environmental contamination, airport proprietors’ potential liability, and emerging issues on control of groundwater and similar contamination. Recent nationwide attention to the PFAS family of chemicals (required for airport firefighting) has elevated lawyers’ concern and the importance of understanding proprietors’ obligations. This session delves into best practices for addressing environmental contamination and liability issues, with a focus on the emerging issue of PFAS use and contamination.
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  GENERAL SESSION
12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. SESSION 9 – KEYNOTE AND LUNCH
D. Kirk Shaffer │ Federal Aviation Administration
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  BREAKOUT SESSION
1:45 p.m. – 2:45 p.m. SESSION 10 – LEGAL ISSUES UNIQUE TO GENERAL AVIATION AIRPORTS
Nicholas M. Clabbers │ Kaplan Kirsch & Rockwell
Michelle W. Hammel │ Delaware River & Bay Authority

General aviation airports face entirely different constraints from their commercial airport colleagues. Whether it be compliance issues or negotiating agreements for FBOs and other service providers, the legal issues faced by general aviation airports are different but no less complex. This session discusses the role of minimum standards and rules/regulations at general aviation airports and the best practices for negotiation with service providers. The session addresses the increasingly competitive environment wrought by consolidation in the FBO industry and what that means for lease and other negotiations.
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  BREAKOUT SESSION
  SESSION 11 – CONSTRUCTION AND PROFESSIONAL SERVICE CONTRACTS FOR AIP-FUNDED PROJECTS
Polly B. Jessen │ Kaplan Kirsch & Rockwell
Catherine M. van Heuven │ Kaplan Kirsch & Rockwell

Airport construction and professional services contracts present unique challenges for airport lawyers. Not only are these contracts complicated because of FAA and other federal requirements, but the multiplicity of stakeholders and the pressures imposed by public contracting requirements complicate the drafting tasks. This session explores the unique features of airport contracts that could catch lawyers unaware and will discusses best practices for documentation of contracts, whether federally funded or not.
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  BREAKOUT SESSION
2:45 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. SESSION 12 – INTRODUCTION TO NEGOTIATION OF USE AND LEASE AGREEMENTS
Bonnie A. Ossege │ Ricondo & Associates
Eric T. Smith │ Kaplan Kirsch & Rockwell

The structure and length of airline leases have both changed significantly in the last few years. This session explores strategy for negotiation of use and lease agreements with airlines at commercial airports. Attendees can expect information on the legal parameters under which airport negotiations occur and the strategies airlines and others have used in such negotiations. Panelists share best practices for negotiations and address the key legal issues that airport proprietors face in negotiations.
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  BREAKOUT SESSION
  SESSION 13 – EMERGING TRENDS IN USE AND LEASE NEGOTIATIONS
David Y. Bannard │ Kaplan Kirsch & Rockwell
Sheri L. Ernico │ LeighFisher

Airport lawyers already familiar with the basics of airline use and lease agreement negotiations will learn about emerging issues from experts involved in dozens of recent negotiations at large and small airports. This session offers an insider’s guide to emerging trends in negotiations, tactics airlines have used, new legal issues being encountered, and problems airport proprietors have encountered. As the airline industry has become more consolidated and, simultaneously, as the legacy and ULCC carriers have competed more aggressively, airlines have become aggressive in negotiation of leases and agreements. This session also explores the circumstances in which the option of rates-by-ordinance is a useful negotiation tool.
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3:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. REFRESHMENT AND NETWORKING BREAK  
     
  BREAKOUT SESSION
4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. SESSION 14 – AIRPORTS AND THEIR NEIGHBORS: OBSTRUCTIONS AND HAZARDS
Timothy P. Barnes │ King County Prosecutor's Office
Catherine M. van Heuven │ Kaplan Kirsch & Rockwell

Airport proprietors have an obligation to protect the airspace around their airport from encroachment by incompatible land uses. This obligation has become increasingly complex and contentious where development creeps closer and closer to the airport. This session discusses the basics of the airport proprietor’s obligations and the tools airport proprietors have used to address potential encroachment. We will also discuss the process for review of potential airspace obstructions (known as Part 77) and the legal rights and obligations airport proprietors have in the process.
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  BREAKOUT SESSION
  SESSION 15 – DEBT AND BOND FINANCING OF AIRPORT PROJECTS
David Y. Bannard │ Kaplan Kirsch & Rockwell
Brian J. Gallucci │ PFM Financial Advisors

Debt and bond financing for airport capital projects is a complex area of the law, requiring familiarity with federal airport, tax and securities law, state and local municipal finance law, and the business and revenues of the airport for which the debt is issued. This session assumes a familiarity with the law applicable to airport finances and, with that background, provides an overview of these complex issues. We will discuss the security and structuring of tax-exempt and taxable bonds for airport projects, general airport revenue bonds (GARBs), special facilities revenue bonds, PFC-backed bonds, variable rate debt, and fixed-rate bonds. We also will discuss the SEC’s oversight as well as the federal tax law requirements applicable to both governmental purpose and airport facility private activity bonds, and other legal issues unique to municipal bonds.
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Tuesday, October 15

8:00 a.m. – 8:30 a.m. REGISTRATION AND CONTINENTAL BREAKFAST  
     
  GENERAL SESSION
8:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. SESSION 16 – SAFETY, SECURITY, AND TORT LIABILITY
Nikki R. Harding │ Transportation Security Administration
Steven L. Osit │ Kaplan Kirsch & Rockwell

Operating a safe and secure airport is one of an airport sponsor’s most important obligations. Airport lawyers must understand the source of these obligations to ensure regulatory compliance, as well as to protect their clients from liability for airfield and other accidents. This session explores airport lawyers’ role in ensuring the safety of the airport and how they can prepare for the implementation of safety management systems. On the security front, airports have recently encountered confusion and complications in negotiations with Customs and Border Protection over space and screening for new international service. This session also explores an airport sponsor’s role, rights, and responsibilities (including administrative responsibilities) concerning TSA, CBP, and associated agencies. (TSA security requirements are addressed in the following session.)
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  GENERAL SESSION
9:45 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. SESSION 17 – LATEST DEVELOPMENTS IN TSA REGULATIONS AND POLICIES
Francine Kerner │ Transportation Security Administration

This workshop’s annual presentation from the TSA’s Chief Counsel on legal issues in airport security is always a workshop highlight. The first and only TSA Chief Counsel provides an update on current legal issues facing the agency and offers an insider’s perspective on how the TSA interacts with local law enforcement, airport staff, and airport counsel. This session provides a frank, off-the-record discussion of legal problems facing airport security.
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10:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. REFRESHMENT AND NETWORKING BREAK  
     
  GENERAL SESSION
11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. SESSION 18 – REGULATING DRONES (UAS) AROUND AIRPORTS
Steven L. Osit │ Kaplan Kirsch & Rockwell, Moderator
Justin T. Barkowski │ American Association of Airport Executives
Eric T. Smith │ Kaplan Kirsch & Rockwell

The emergence of drones and their increasing acceptance in the commercial world have posed unexplored problems for airport proprietors. The law in this emerging industry is likewise emerging and the lines of authority among the FAA, the drone operator, the airport proprietor, and local governments (exercising local police powers) are shifting. This session focuses on the rights and obligations of the airport proprietor in the regulation, control, siting, and management of drone operations and discusses best practices from airports throughout the country in addressing drone activity.
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12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. NETWORKING LUNCH  
     
  GENERAL SESSION
1:30 p.m. – 2:15 p.m. SESSION 19 – ETHICS: MAINTAINING CONFIDENTIALITY IN A HIGHLY PUBLIC ENVIRONMENT
Robert W. Randall │ Kaplan Kirsch & Rockwell

Lawyers for public agencies always face competing pressures from elected officials and professional managers and walk a tightrope in fulfilling their ethical obligations. When disputes—or just policy disagreements—arise between airports and their sponsoring government agencies, these challenges multiply. This interactive session explores ways in which lawyers can fulfill their professional obligations without inadvertently creating ethical problems. We will discuss the potential for conflicts between airport professionals and elected officials and the implications of open records acts for lawyer confidentiality.
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  GENERAL SESSION
2:30 p.m. – 3:15 p.m. SESSION 20 – SUSTAINABILITY AND RENEWABLE ENERGY
Sarah M. Keane │ Kaplan Kirsch & Rockwell
Elizabeth Leavitt │ Port of Seattle

As airport sponsors seek to make their properties more environmentally and economically sustainable, often in response to local or statewide policy directives, they have both numerous options to explore and obstacles to overcome. This session explores the role of the airport proprietor in pursuing sustainability, environmental, and renewable energy objectives, within the context of federal legal constraints. We will examine adding on-airport solar power generation a case study to focus on the FAA compliance and other legal challenges airport proprietors may encounter when advancing sustainability objectives.
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3:15 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. REFRESHMENT AND NETWORKING BREAK  
     
  GENERAL SESSION
3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. SESSION 21 – AIRPORT SPONSORS AS REAL ESTATE DEVELOPERS: NON-AERONAUTICAL DEVELOPMENT
Elliott Black │ Federal Aviation Administration
Peter J. Kirsch │ Kaplan Kirsch & Rockwell
Lemuel B. Thomas │ Federal Aviation Administration

Airport proprietors are increasingly becoming real estate developers and investors, using airport real estate to generate revenue and local economic activity. Airport lawyers need to understand the strategies airports have used to attract non-aeronautical development and the regulatory requirements for such projects. This session focuses on the role of airport proprietors as proponents of non-aeronautical development, whether for development designed for revenue generation or for airport-oriented projects that enhance and complement aeronautical functions. The session explores the unique legal framework for airports when they engage in commercial transactions unrelated to the airport’s aeronautical functions. We will discuss in detail Section 163 of the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018, which modifies the FAA’s role in oversight of non-aeronautical development.
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  GENERAL SESSION
4:45 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. SESSION 22 – PROJECT DELIVERY TOOLS: PUBLIC-PRIVATE PARTNERSHIPS AND OTHER NEW ARRANGEMENTS
Adam M. Giuliano │ Kaplan Kirsch & Rockwell
Stephen D. Van Beek │ Steer

Public-private partnerships (also known as P3s) are common at airports worldwide and are becoming increasingly common in the United States. We will discuss the legal, policy, and economic reasons why P3s are becoming increasingly attractive as an alternative project delivery tool for airport projects. This session presents the legal framework within which airport sponsors should examine P3s and places this project delivery tool into the context of other more traditional financing and contracting methods. The session examines not only aeronautical projects but also non-aeronautical projects and the law that affects whether and how airport sponsors engage the private sector in airport development and operations.
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