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Six Questions About Section 163

Aviation Pros

Whether it’s a proposed Airport Layout Plan (ALP) change, a change in land use from aeronautical to non-aeronautical, or a request to dispose of airport-owned land, the FAA must determine whether or not the proposal is subject to the agency’s approval authority (Oct. 27, 2020 internal FAA memo).

Airport sponsors who have become familiar with Section 163 as standard process may wonder if they know the outcome, do they really need to go through the process to get a 163 determination. The answer is yes, said Barbie Schalmo, AICP, associate director, C&S Companies.

Schalmo and Catherine van Heuven, partner, Kaplan Kirsch & Rockwell, recently spoke at a Section 163 virtual summit hosted by the Northeast Chapter of AAAE. They, along with C&S Companies director Kelly Moulton, CM, ENV-SP, are authors of the guidebook, “Navigating Section 163: A Guide to Facilitating Non-aeronautical Development at Your Airport.” The guide published in September 2021 is available at 

Read the full article, 6 Questions about Section 163 (Including ‘Is this Really Good for Airports?’), on to get answers to the questions below:

  • Why is the Burden of Proof on Airports?

  • Has the FAA Developed a Checklist?

  • How Long Will a Section 163 Determination Take?

  • Aeronautical vs. Non-aeronautical Property?

  • How Does Part 163 Govern FAR Part 150 Noise Parcel Land Acquisition?

  • Is Section 163 Really Good for Airports?