The airline–airport relationship—determined by use and lease agreements—has changed dramatically over the past 30 years: airports can no longer rely on antiquated, standard-form agreements. Instead, a holistic approach is needed to incorporate complex and interrelated matters that span from the airport’s capital improvement plans to an analysis of how a particular airport fits into airlines’ route system. Concerns over local air service; costs per emplaned passenger; origination and destination traffic; control of airport-generated, non-aeronautical revenue; and a myriad of other factors all come into play.
Our mastery of all aspects of airport operation enables us to provide our clients with strategic counsel on negotiations of new use and lease agreements. We partner with our clients and draw upon the airport’s knowledge, experience, and expectations to devise and implement negotiation strategies.
Kaplan Kirsch & Rockwell has negotiated and drafted use and lease agreements for some of the largest fortress hub airports as well as for medium and small hub airports. We have also successfully incorporated strategies to incentivize new air service in order to address issues such as reducing local fares as well as increasing the number of non-stop destinations.
We also advise both commercial service and general aviation airports on other key leasing arrangements for concessions, general aviation users, and, increasingly, non-aeronautical development. See Airport Concessions for more information.
Further, we have vast experience in counseling and litigation related to the administration of use and lease agreements, including disputes involving the allocation of costs and revenue, distribution of non-aeronautical revenue, and damages related to termination. In efforts to avoid litigation, we often work with airport clients to seek FAA regulatory approval or review of innovative or novel use and lease arrangements. To that end, we communicate continually with senior FAA officials and keep abreast of legal, policy, and financial developments that implicate airline–airport relations.