Friday, January 8, 2010

Through The Fence.....What???

The FAA is proposing new rules that will prohibit many airparks, existing and proposed, from having access to airports who have accepted federal funds.  These airports are public airports.  Here are a couple of examples as I understand them.  Example #1  A home owner who has a private hanger with access to the airport via a taxiway can no longer access the airport, even though he purchased the property with that purpose in mind.  Example #2  A private developer planning a flyin community can not give access from the private community to a public airport via a taxiway to that airport.  The airplane must be hangered within the fenced boundry of the airport.  Example #3.  This may be an extreme but I experienced it and the new rule may affect more of us with light sport aircraft.  You may not be permited to trailer your aircraft to an airport and take it through the fence to fly at any public airport.  I experienced this first hand when attempting to take my bi-annual flight review last year in my PPC.  My CFI asked me to meet him at a public airport located halfway between his normal field and my normal field.  Since sport pilot CFI's with PPC ratings are few and far between that meant quite a bit of travel for both of us.  We arrived at the airport at dusk and found the small country, public airport, to be secured and gated.  The FBO had gone home for the day.  Since we needed to fly at dawn, as most PPC's do, this presented a problem.  Luckily a gentleman with a plane hangered there was just leaving and let us through the gate.  He was a nice guy but feared what the FBO would say to him the next morning when he arrived to see a PPC flying around his airport, inside the fence. Now the FAA may give this non light sport aircraft friendly FBO some solid ground to stand on to keep that type of activity off "his" publicly owned airport.  His publicly owned airport.  How do you like that phrase.

Here is the bottom line:  Imagine this.  You own a car and keep it in your garage.  For some novel reason you wish to drive your car out of your garage and onto a public highway, but can't access the public highway from your garage because the government decided that is an illegal method of accessing the highway.  WHAT are you guys nuts????  That is what the FAA's through the fence rules amount to.

If you are a friend of small public airports, you need to be concerned about this type of big brother oversight. After all maybe the next government do gooder will decide that you can no longer fly your ultralight from your private strip because the air belongs to the public and therfore you can not access the air?  Sounds crazy, but......

Call your or email your congressman and express your concern over the FAA's "Through The Fence" rule.  In northern Pa. contact Congressman Glenn Thompson at::

Washington, DC Office

Congressman Glenn "GT" Thompson 124 Cannon HOB
Washington, D.C. 20515
Phone: (202) 225-5121
Fax: (202) 225-5796


  1. Tom,
    can you land at the airport, just not drive the plane in? Or does it restrict flying in too?

  2. My understanding is that if an airport has received federal funding for any of its operations that the through the fence rules apply. I would welcome comments from everyone who has info. on this rule.

  3. So... if I purchase one of those fancy new flying cars... let's me get this straight:

    I CAN'T drive it into the airport to take it off, but if I were to, say, take it off from an empty stretch of the highway, I could then land and then subsequently take off again at same said airport?

    *rolls eyes* sheesh