7.1 Transitioning to Commercial Air Services

On occasion, a small airport will have the opportunity to transition from being a general aviation airport to being capable of providing commercial service. Multiple factors are involved in the decision to support airline service, including airport certification, security, airport rescue and fire fighting, snow removal (where applicable), and the development of important documents to meet FAR Part 139 standards such as the airport certification manual and airport emergency plan.

ACRP Report 96: Apron Planning and Design Guidebook
Addresses best practices for planning, designing, and marking apron areas for all sizes and types of airports in the United States. The apron planning and design considerations include facility geometrics, aircraft maneuvering, apron/airfield access points, operational characteristics, markings, lighting, and aircraft fleets. The types of aprons include terminal area, deicing, general aviation, cargo, maintenance, and remote aprons and helipads. A PowerPoint presentation, which summarized the research and best practices described in the guidebook, is available online.

FAA Advisory Circular 150/5200-31: Airport Emergency Plan
Provides guidance to the airport operator in the development and implementation of an airport emergency plan (AEP). The AEP addresses essential emergency-related and deliberate actions planned to ensure the safety of and emergency services for the airport populace and the community in which the airport is located.

FAA Advisory Circular 150/5210-22: Airport Certification Manual (ACM)
Identifies acceptable methods of showing compliance with the Airport Certification Manual requirements in FAR Part 139.

FAA Form 5280-1: Application for Airport Operating Certificate
Application form for 14 CFR Part 139 airport operating certificate.

FAR Part 139: Classes of Airports 
Describes the various classes of airports certified under FAR Part 139.

FAR Part 139: Certification of Airports
Prescribes the rule governing the certification and operation of airports in the United States, District of Columbia, or any territory or possession.

49 CFR Part 1542: Airport Security
Provides the aviation security rules governing the operation of airports serving air carriers and commercial operators.

49 CFR Part 1544: Air Carriers and Commercial Operators
Provides the security rules governing aircraft operators of scheduled, public charter, private charter, and aircraft with a maximum takeoff weight of 12,500 pounds or more.

49 CFR Part 1546: Foreign Air Carrier Security
Provides the security rules governing the operation of each foreign air carrier while operating in the United States.