ACI-NA Calls For Changes to Burdensome Regulations

WASHINGTON - Airports Council International – North America (ACI-NA) has submitted comments in response to the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Notice on Reducing Regulatory Burden and Retrospective Review and the Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Regulatory Review of Existing Regulations.

These notices stemmed from President Obama’s January executive order that directed all federal agencies to develop and submit a review of its existing regulations to determine what “outmoded, ineffective, insufficient or excessively burdensome” regulations should be modified or repealed. ACI-NA has urged both agencies to establish a transparent regulatory review process with a reasonable schedule so that industry stakeholders can provide input.

“As airports continue to face difficult financial times, it is critical that safety and security dollars be well spent,” said ACI-NA President Greg Principato. “There are numerous federal proposals that do not enhance safety, but simply increase bureaucracy and raise airport costs.  Local officials cannot continue to fund the many unfunded and unjustified mandates issued by federal agencies.  This review is long overdue and we encourage both DHS and DOT to carefully consider our recommendations for regulatory reform,” said Principato.

ACI-NA comments to DHS focused on issues related to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and Transportation Security Administration (TSA).


  • Global Entry Program: CBP should swiftly finalize its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to establish Global Entry as a permanent program so that the successful program can be expanded to additional airports.
  • National Security Entry and Exit Registration System (NSEERS): CBP should eliminate the NSEERS process which is required of citizens of specified countries because CBP receives extensive passenger data and collects the fingerprints of all arriving foreign passengers (except Canadians). This would eliminate redundancy and facilitate passengers.
  • I-94 and General Customs Declarations Forms:Given all of the data CBP receives on passengers prior to aircraft departure, CBP should eliminate these forms which will decrease the inspection time for passengers as has been shown by the elimination of the I-94W form which had been required of Visa Waiver Program passengers.


  • Security Directives:TSA should implement a coordinated rulemaking process which better affords industry the opportunity to comment, and continue with its initiative to include “sunset dates” for existing mandates.
  • In-Depth Security Review Task Force: Given the success of this ACI-NA-initiated task force, TSA should consider it as a government/industry partnership model for reviewing and making recommendations on the development of effective security measures.
  • Employee Screening: ACI-NA agrees with TSA that 100% physical screening of employees at airports is not a good use of limited resources and will continue to work with TSA to implement a better, more effective option which relies on layers of security, enhanced background checks, random screening and security awareness training.

ACI-NA recommended that DOT include the following requirements as part of its regulatory review process:

  • The DOT’s review efforts need to focus not only on formal regulatory processes, but also on “proxy rules” implemented informally via Advisory Circulars, FAA Orders, and similar documents.
  • DOT review efforts also need to encompass proposed regulations—including the very significant proposed rules and “proxy rules” that deal with airport safety management systems, airport geographic information systems, and Part 139 safety enhancements.

Additionally, ACI-NA provided specific comments on the following programs:

  • SMS for Certificated Airports (Docket Number FAA-2010-0997) - DOT and the FAA should examine ways that the FAA’s approach to SMS can be streamlined and harmonized across the FAA’s various lines of business.
  • Airports Geographic Information System (GIS) and Electronic Airport Layout Plan (eALP) Program - This program shifts certain costs and survey responsibilities—particularly those related to off-airport obstructions and topography--from the federal government to airport operators. DOT and the FAA should review the scope of the AGIS/eALP program and associated survey requirements and assess ways to lessen the burden that this unfunded mandate imposes on airport operators.
  • Restrictions on the Conveyance of Federally Obligated Land -Under FAA grant assurances, airport operators face significant regulatory and bureaucratic hurdles to transferring land that has been acquired with federal assistance, even if such transfer would be in the public interest.  DOT and FAA should investigate ways to make such land transfers less onerous for airport operators.
  • Unduly Burdensome Rules Associated with Passenger Facility Charges (PFCs) -DOT and FAA should review the documentation and approval process for PFCs to streamline the approval process.

View ACI-NA’s full comments on DHS Regulatory Review.

View ACI-NA’s full comments on DOT Regulatory Review.