The Public Airport Authority Law authorizes a county or a municipality, or a combination of counties and municipalities, to create an airport authority to operate an airport located within the county or municipality or the combination of counties and municipalities. The act modernizes the Public Airport Authority Law by:
- Clarifying the extent of the power of a county, a municipality, or a combination of counties and municipalities, to terminate an airport authority. The act requires a terminating county, municipality, or combination to assume the terminated authority's outstanding financial and contractual obligations, maintain the airport that the airport authority previously operated, and receive and hold title to the land on which the airport is located.
- Specifying that members of an airport authority's board of commissioners (board) do not receive compensation for their services, are local government officials, and are subject to the statutory ethics and conflict of interest provisions that apply to local government officials;
- Clarifying that a member of a board who was appointed to fill a vacancy may be appointed to serve a successive term, and that board meetings are subject to statutory open meetings requirements;
- Changing the requirement that 60% of board members be present for a quorum to 50%;
- Clarifying that the majority vote of all members of a board is required for questions involving the inclusion in or exclusion from an airport authority of a municipality or county and for authorizing an expenditure greater than $250,000;
- Modifying the process by which a board procures contracts, including updating the process for a board to award a contract to the lowest bidder after soliciting an invitation for bids and clarifying that the process to award a contract to the lowest bidder applies only to capital improvement projects and the purchase of new vehicles and equipment;
- Clarifying an airport authority's powers to remove hazards and encroachments, impose fees on airport users to defray the cost of operating an airport, and regulate commercial activities conducted at an airport;
- Clarifying that an airport authority must follow local zoning regulations when erecting structures within an airport authority and that an airport authority may invest surplus money in a local government investment pool;
- Allowing an airport authority to request that a county or municipality within which the airport authority is located levy a tax for the airport authority's benefit or modify or adopt certain local zoning regulations; and
- Clarifying that tenants or users of an airport that an airport authority operates are not entitled to any of the tax exemptions that apply to airport authorities.
APPROVED by Governor April 10, 2023
EFFECTIVE August 7, 2023
NOTE: This act was passed without a safety clause and takes effect 90 days after sine die.
(Note: This summary applies to this bill as enacted.)