Kaplan Kirsch & Rockwell frequently helps airport proprietors address their complex public safety and airport security imperatives. We are experts in drafting security regulations, developing improved security and safety requirements, and revising airport rules, regulations and minimum standards to address heightened safety and security demands, including but not limited to Security Threat Assessment, and Criminal History Records Check requirements. Our team helps clients secure approvals for Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and Customs and Border Control-mandated facilities and lease negotiations for required security functions.
Our lawyers have advised numerous airports in preparing for the advent of Safety Management Systems (SMS) in compliance with Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations. We have assisted in completion of some of the earliest safety risk management processes for airports and helped clients prepare for the need to revise leases, rules, minimum standards and internal procedures to address SMS obligations.
We frequently advise airport clients on safety issues associated with protection of approach surfaces under FAR Part 77, from land acquisition to zoning and land use control, and also from litigation to protect critical approach surfaces to land use compatibility planning to ensure long-term approach protection.
Additionally, we advise clients on safety liability issues and the process for securing waivers or modifications to FAA safety requirements in areas such as airfield geometry, airfield weight limitations, aircraft size limitations and related matters designed to ensure safe airport operations.
We assist commercial airports in negotiations and litigation against TSA over responsibility for security functions and have successfully coordinated litigation, administrative and legislative efforts to ensure continued TSA funding for exit lane staffing. We have worked with airports to resolve TSA allegations of security violations and help general aviation airports develop meaningful security programs in this emerging but largely unregulated area. Because the funding of security apparatus and security facilities is a constant challenge, we often represent airports in negotiations with TSA regarding funding responsibilities. We have successfully worked with several clients to defeat proposals by TSA to shift both the funding and responsibility for exit lane security to airport proprietors.
We also advise general aviation airports and indirect air carriers on their safety and security programs.