Article 4. Aeronautics Fund of California Public Utilities Code >> Division 9. >> Part 1. >> Chapter 4. >> Article 4.
(a) The Aeronautics Fund is hereby continued in existence as
the Aeronautics Account in the State Transportation Fund. The moneys
deposited to the credit of the account are continuously appropriated
for expenditure by the board and the department as provided in this
(b) Any reference in any law or regulation to the Airport
Assistance Revolving Fund, the Airport Assistance Fund, or the
Aeronautics Fund shall be deemed to refer to the Aeronautics Account
in the State Transportation Fund. As used in this article, "fund"
shall be deemed to refer to the Aeronautics Account in the State
As used in this article, the following terms have the
(a) "Own and operate" means that the public entity shall own the
property in fee simple or by a long-term lease of a minimum of 20
years, unless otherwise approved by the department, and shall
maintain dominion and control of the property, except that the public
entity may provide by contract with a person for the operation and
management of an airport otherwise meeting the requirements of this
article. Operations of the airport shall be for, and on behalf of,
the public entity. All leases to the public entity of property are
required to be approved by the department. A lease of the property by
the public entity to an agent or agency other than to a public
entity does not meet the criteria for participation in airport
(b) "Matching funds" means money that is provided by the public
entity and does not consist of funds previously received from state
or federal agencies or public entity funds previously used to match
federal or state funds. This definition shall be retroactive to July
(c) "General aviation" means all aviation except air carrier and
(d) "Public entity" means any city, county, airport district,
airport authority, port district, port authority, public district,
public authority, political subdivision, airport land use commission,
community services district, or public corporation and the
University of California.
(e) "Public agency" means the various agencies of the State of
California and the federal government.
(f) "Airport and aviation purposes" means expenditures of a
capital improvement nature, including the repair or replacement of a
capital improvement, and expenditures for compatible land use
planning in the area surrounding an airport, for any of the following
(1) Land acquisition for development and improvement of general
aviation aircraft landing facilities.
(2) Grading and drainage necessary for the construction or
reconstruction of runways or taxiways.
(3) Construction or reconstruction of runways or taxiways.
(4) Acquisition of "runway protection zones" as defined in Federal
Aviation Administration Advisory Circular 150/1500-13.
(5) Acquisition of easements through, or other interests in,
airspace as may be reasonably required for safeguarding aircraft
operations in the vicinity of an aircraft landing facility.
(6) Removal of natural obstructions from runway protection zones.
(7) Installation of "segmented circle airport marker systems" as
defined in current regulations of the Federal Aviation
(8) Installation of runway, taxiway, boundary, or obstruction
lights, together with directly related electrical equipment.
(9) Installation of minimum security fencing around the perimeter
of an aircraft landing facility.
(10) Grading and drainage necessary to provide for parking of
transient general aviation aircraft.
(11) Construction or reconstruction of transient general aviation
aircraft parking areas.
(12) Servicing of revenue or general obligation bonds issued to
finance capital improvements for airport and aviation purposes.
(13) Air navigational facilities.
(14) Engineering and preliminary engineering related directly to a
project funded under this article.
(15) Other capital improvements as may be designated in rules and
regulations adopted by the department.
(16) Activities of an airport land use commission in connection
with the preparation of a new or updated airport land use
compatibility plan pursuant to Section 21675. Expenditures that
cannot be clearly identified as capital improvements shall be
submitted to the department for consideration and approval.
(17) Airport master plans and airport layout plans.
(g) "Operation and maintenance" means expenditures for wages or
salaries, utilities, service vehicles, and all other noncapital
expenditures that are included in insurance, professional services,
supplies, construction equipment, upkeep and landscaping, and other
items of expenditure designated as "operation and maintenance" in
rules and regulations adopted by the department.
(h) "Enplanement" means the boarding of an aircraft by a revenue
passenger, including an original, stopover, or transfer boarding of
the aircraft. For purposes of this subdivision, a stopover is a
deliberate and intentional interruption of a journey by a passenger
scheduled to exceed four hours in the case of an intrastate or
interstate passenger or not to exceed 24 hours in the case of an
international passenger at a point between the point of departure and
the point of destination, and a transfer is an occurrence at an
intermediate point in an itinerary whereby a passenger or shipment
changes from a flight of one carrier to another flight either of the
same or a different carrier with or without a stopover.
(a) The department shall establish individual revolving fund
subaccounts for eligible airports in the Aeronautics Account in the
State Transportation Fund. Money payable under this section shall be
credited to individual airport subaccounts annually, and may be
accumulated for a maximum period of five years.
(b) The department shall, subject to Section 21684, credit from
the Aeronautics Account to each public entity owning and operating an
airport or airports under a valid permit issued by the department
for every airport which has not been designated by the Federal
Aviation Administration as (1) a reliever airport, as defined in
Section 503 (a) (19) of the federal Airport and Airway Improvement
Act of 1982, as amended, or (2) a commercial service airport, as
defined in Section 503 (a) (5) of the federal Airport and Airway
Improvement Act of 1982, as amended, the sum of ten thousand dollars
($10,000) annually for each qualifying airport. These funds shall be
paid to public entities upon request for expenditure on preapproved
eligible projects. Eligible public entities may submit applications
for the withdrawal of credited funds for expenditure on proposed
projects in letter form to the department for review and approval.
Projects identified shall be for airport and aviation purposes and
operation and maintenance purposes. No payment made under this
section is transferable, but shall be expended only upon the airport
for which the payment is made, unless the department authorizes a
payment to be transferred for expenditure on another airport owned or
operated by the public entity. The department may establish any
accounting systems it deems necessary to provide for the cumulation
and expenditure of funds under this subdivision.
(c) If, in any year, there is insufficient money in the
Aeronautics Account to make the credits specified in subdivision (b),
the department shall, subject to Section 21684, credit to each
public entity subaccount an amount which is equal to the total amount
of money in the Aeronautics Account multiplied by a percentage
equivalent to the proportion which the airport or airports of the
public entity for which credit is required to be made pursuant to
subdivision (b) bear to the total number of airports for which credit
is required to be made pursuant to subdivision (b).
(d) No payment shall be made under this section to any public
entity for any airport on which general or commercial aviation
activities are substantially restricted if the airport is licensed to
conduct these activities by the department. The department shall
determine whether or not general or commercial aviation activities
(e) The department shall adopt rules and regulations and establish
procedures to effect prompt payment to public entities for eligible
airport projects from money credited pursuant to this section.
The department shall pay, from the Aeronautics Account to
the Transportation Planning and Development Account in the State
Transportation Fund, a sum equal to the pro rata share of the
comprehensive transportation duties attributable to aviation planning
and research, as determined by the Director of Transportation.
Any public entity may apply to the department each year for
the allocation of funds for the acquisition or development of
airports. The commission may, pursuant to rules and regulations
promulgated by the department, make an allocation to the public
entity if it determines that the proposed acquisition or development
is feasible and in accordance with the policies and standards
established by the department. The department shall make
recommendations to the commission on all applications. Such
allocations shall be represented as subventions in the department
budget in accordance with Section 21206.
No moneys paid under this section shall be expended for operation
and maintenance. No payment shall be made under this section to any
public entity for any airport on which general or commercial aviation
activities are substantially restricted if the airport is licensed
to conduct such activities by the department. The department shall
determine whether or not general or commercial aviation activities
(a) At the discretion of the commission, any balance
remaining in the Aeronautics Account, after the payments made under
Section 21682, may be used to provide a portion of the local match
for federal Airport Improvement Program grants. Matching shall be
provided only for grants at general aviation airports, or at airports
that have been designated by the Federal Aviation Administration as
reliever airports, as defined in Section 503(a)(19) of the federal
Airport and Airway Improvement Act of 1982, as amended.
(b) Funds shall not be allocated by the commission until the
federal grant offer is accepted by the public entity. Upon allocation
by the commission, the department may pay a public entity an amount
equal to 5 percent of the amount of a federal Airport Improvement
Program grant. These funds are excluded from the requirements of
(c) Funds shall not be allocated by the commission until the
federal grant offer is accepted by the public entity. Upon allocation
by the commission, the department may, until December 31, 2006, pay
a public entity an amount equal to the 10 percent local match
required for a federal Airport Improvement Program grant for security
projects at small general aviation airports. For purposes of this
section, a "security project" means a project to install or maintain
fencing, gates, security lighting, access controls systems, and
surveillance systems. For purposes of this section a "small general
aviation airport" means an airport with fewer than 80,000 annual
landings and take-offs of aircraft.
Any balance remaining in the Aeronautics Account, after
the payments made under Section 21682 and Section 21683.1, shall be
used at the discretion of the commission for airport and aviation
purposes subject to the provisions of Section 21684.
(a) No payment shall be made to a public entity pursuant to
this article unless the public entity has established a special
aviation fund in which all payments received by a public entity under
this article shall be deposited for expenditure solely for airport
and aviation purposes. No payment shall be made to a public entity
for a project pursuant to Section 21683.2 unless the public entity
deposits in its special aviation fund a sum from other than state or
federal sources, established annually by the commission at not less
than 10 percent nor more than 50 percent of the nonfederal portion of
Notwithstanding the provisions of this subdivision requiring
matching funds, the department shall pay to each public entity owning
and operating an airport or airports the annual amount that is in
accordance with Section 21682.
(b) No payment shall be made for any airport to the University of
California pursuant to this article unless the university has
established a special aviation fund in which all payments received by
the university under this article shall be deposited for expenditure
solely for airport and aviation purposes. No payment shall be made
for any airport to the University of California pursuant to Section
21683.2 unless the university deposits in its special aviation fund
each year, for expenditure solely for airport and aviation purposes,
a sum from nonstate or nonfederal funds based on the rate established
annually by the commission pursuant to subdivision (a), or unless a
city located within 10 miles of the airport or the county within
which the airport is located pays to the university a sum based on
the rate established annually by the commission pursuant to
subdivision (a). However, any sums so deposited by the university or
paid by the city or county may be considered jointly as meeting the
requirements of this section. The payments received from a city or
county pursuant to these sections are to be expended solely for the
airport and for aviation purposes related to such airport. All
payments received by the university shall be deposited in its special
Notwithstanding the provisions of Section 21683, any
balance remaining in the fund after the payments made under Section
21682 may be used by the department to purchase emergency search and
rescue equipment and to make such equipment available for use by
recognized search and rescue groups. The equipment shall remain the
property of the department. No more than eight thousand dollars
($8,000) shall be expended pursuant to this section for the purchase
of emergency search and rescue equipment.
Notwithstanding the provisions of this article inasmuch as
they require matching funds the department may allocate funds to
public agencies for the construction of airports.
Notwithstanding the provisions of this article, inasmuch
as they require matching funds, the department may allocate funds to
a county or a city for the construction of recreational airports or
reliever training airstrips in accordance with regulations of the
department if the county or city supplies the land and maintains and
operates all facilities of such airport or airstrip.
Any public entity may pay any part of the money in its
special aviation fund to a state college or branch of the University
of California located within its boundaries to be expended for the
same purposes as the public entity may expend such money. Any money
paid to a state college or branch of the University of California
shall be expended within the public entity paying the money.
It shall be the duty of any public entity receiving payments
or allocations under this article to periodically audit its books
and records as deemed necessary by the department for the purpose of
determining that the money received has been expended for the
purposes and under the conditions authorized by this article.
(a) (1) If an airport, for which payments have been made
from the Aeronautics Account, ceases to be open to the general public
for more than one year, the public entity to which those payments
were made shall pay to the state funds equal to the amount computed
by the department pursuant to paragraph (2), and those funds shall be
deposited in the Aeronautics Account.
(2) (A) The department shall compute an amount equal to the total
of all payments made for the airport from the Aeronautics Account
during the preceding 20 years, less 5 percent of the amount of a
particular payment multiplied by the number of years since the
payment was made, or the unused balance, whichever is greater.
(B) The computation described in subparagraph (A) shall not
include any payment the department made pursuant to Section 21682,
if, upon the request of the public entity that owns and operates the
airport, the department determines that the airport is not necessary
to the system of public airports in this state. When making this
determination, the department shall consider all of the following
(i) Whether the airport is approved for night operations.
(ii) Whether the airport has an approved instrument approach
(iii) How many aircraft are based at the airport.
(iv) Whether the airport is used for airborne fire attacks.
(v) Whether the airport is used for emergency medical
(vi) What services the airport provides for the community.
(vii) The size of the community that is served by the airport.
(viii) Whether any aviation or transportation planning agency has
designated the airport as having a significant role.
(ix) Whether a suitable, public-use airport is situated within a
(x) Whether closure of the airport will have a negative effect on
(xi) Whether the airport is used for law enforcement purposes.
(b) This section does not apply to either of the following:
(1) An airport that is replaced by a comparable facility, as
determined by the department, within a period of one year.
(2) An airport for which the department, on or after January 1,
1981, has suspended the airport permit and for which payments made
pursuant to this article are being expended to correct the deficiency
or condition that resulted in the suspension of the airport's
(a) No payments shall be made from the Aeronautics Account
for expenditure on any airport or for the acquisition or development
of any airport, if the department determines that the height
restrictions around the airport are inadequate to provide reasonable
assurance that the landing and taking off of aircraft at the airport
will be conducted without obstruction or will be otherwise free from
Height restrictions shall be considered adequate if as a minimum
they meet the obstruction standards of subchapter C of Part 77 of the
Federal Aviation Regulations of the Federal Aviation Administration,
as these standards apply to civil airport imaginary surfaces related
The airport-owning entity shall have sufficient control over
obstructions in the airspace in the vicinity of the airport to assure
that height restrictions can be maintained. This control may be in
the form of ownership of any land from which obstructions may rise,
air navigation easements to guarantee maintenance of restrictions, or
height limitation or land use zoning which will prohibit
obstructions which would violate the obstruction standards.
(b) This section shall not prevent or prohibit the department from
assisting any public agency or public entity in planning airport
development or in planning the zoning needs around an airport.