Summary: S.1017 — 99th Congress (1985-1986)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Passed Senate amended (04/11/1986)

(Measure passed Senate, amended, roll call #65 (62-28))

Metropolitan Washington Airports Transfer Act of 1986 - Directs the Secretary of Transportation to transfer all authority over the Metropolitan Washington Airports (Washington National Airport and Washington Dulles International Airport, including all airport employees) to the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (Airports Authority) under the terms of a 35-year lease and operations agreement set forth in this Act. Defines the Airports Authority as a single, independent airport authority to be created by the Commonwealth of Virginia and the District of Columbia for the purpose of operating the Metropolitan Washington Airports.

Declares that the Secretary's authority to enter into a lease and agreement for such transfer shall lapse two years after enactment of this Act.

Requires that basic lease and acquisition payments be sufficient to repay to the United States the hypothetical indebtedness of the Metropolitan Washington Airports to the Treasury, as determined by the Federal Aviation Administration. Requires the Airports Authority to pay: (1) to the Treasury, for deposit to the credit of the Civil Service Retirement and Disability Fund, certain costs incurred by such Fund due to the transfer of authorities under this Act; and (2) specified sums to the State of Maryland, to be deposited to the credit of the Transportation Trust Fund.

Requires that the lease of real property constituting Washington Metropolitan Airports comply with the operation and development of the Washington Metropolitan Airports as a unit and as primary airports serving the Metropolitan Washington area.

Expresses the sense of the Congress that the Airports Authority should: (1) pursue the improvement, construction and rehabilitation of the facilities at the Metropolitan Washington Airports simultaneously; and (2) complete such improvement construction and rehabilitation within five years after the earliest date on which the Airports Authority issues bonds.

Requires the Airports Authority to be a public corporate body with powers conferred upon it jointly by the Commonwealth of Virginia and the District of Columbia under specified guidelines which include: (1) operation of Metropolitan Washington Airports for public purposes; (2) independence from the State and local governments of Virginia and the District of Columbia; (3) authority to issue bonds; (4) acquisition of real and personal property; (5) power of eminent domain within the Commonwealth of Virginia; (6) a corporation constituted solely to operate both Metropolitan Washington Airports as primary airports serving the Metropolitan Washington area; and (7) authority to levy fees and enter into agreements.

Prescribes the membership and terms of the Airport Authority's board of governors, including the appointment of: (1) five members by the Governor of Virginia; (2) three members by the Mayor of the District of Columbia; (3) two members by the Governor of Maryland; and (4) three members by the President with the advice and consent of the Senate.

Prescribes the terms and conditions of the lease, including: (1) a prohibition against the devotion of specified property to commercial building development which would return to the Airports Authority revenue in excess of the Airports Authority's costs directly related to such development; and (2) the continued applicability of airport regulations. States that the High Density Rule for Washington National Airport may only be amended for safety considerations.

Transfers all rights, liabilities, and obligations of the Metropolitan Washington Airports to the Airports Authority. Retains the responsibility of the Federal Aviation Administration to reimburse the Employees' Compensation Fund. Authorizes the Comptroller General of the United States to conduct periodic audits of the Airports Authority's activities.

Restricts the uses to which certain landing fees and automobile parking revenues may be put. Prescribes guidelines for the computation of general aviation aircraft landing fees.

Grants jurisdiction to U.S. district courts to compel compliance with the lease terms.

Sets forth guidelines for the protection of Federal employee interests during the five-year period starting on the date of transfer, including: (1) retention of employees; (2) adoption of pre-transfer labor agreements; (3) credit for accrued annual and sick leave and seniority rights; (4) life and health insurance benefits; and (5) retention of pre-transfer retirement benefits.

Requires the continuation during the 35-year lease term of all collective bargaining rights enjoyed by transferred employees retained by the Airports Authority.

Confers upon the Airports Authority during the 35-year lease the same proprietary powers and restrictions with respect to Federal law as any other airport. Declares that the Metropolitan Washington Airports qualify as a "public airport" eligible for Federal assistance on the same basis as any comparable public airport operated by a regional authority.

Grants the Commonwealth of Virginia concurrent police power authority over the Metropolitan Washington Airports, and grants the Virginia courts jurisdiction over airport land.

Makes the authority of the National Capital Planning Commission inapplicable to the Airports Authority, but requires the Airports Authority to consult with such Commission and with the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation before undertaking actions which would materially alter either the exterior of the Dulles Terminal or the skyline of Washington National Airport.

Authorizes the Airports Authority to extend the lease term for an additional 15 years for the sole purpose of continuing to operate the airports under the conditions of this Act. Authorizes the Secretary and the Airports Authority to negotiate a sales contract for the transfer of the Metropolitan Washington Airports during the lease period subject to congressional approval of such contract.

Provides that title to all real property shall pass to the Airports Authority upon congressional approval of such sales contract and that the United States shall relinquish all jurisdiction over the Metropolitan Washington Airports to the Commonwealth of Virginia. Repeals upon congressional approval of such sales contract: (1) certain Acts relating to the administration and maintenance of a public airport in the vicinity of the District of Columbia; and (2) supplemental appropriations for support of the Government.

Requires the Airports Authority to study the extent to which the government of Arlington County, Virginia, should impose personal property and leasehold taxes at Washington National Airport.

Requires the Secretary and the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration (the Administrator) to: (1) repeal the final rule regarding Slot Allocation and Transfer Methods at High Density Traffic airports, issued on December 20, 1985; and (2) refrain from promulgating any final edicts regarding aircraft restrictions at certain high density traffic airports.

Requires the Administrator to provide for the recall and subsequent allocation of substantially unused airport slots according to prescribed guidelines. Prohibits any slot allocation or slot lease from remaining in effect after December 31, 1988. Declares airport slots to be public property representing a non-permanent operating privilege under the exclusive control and jurisdiction of the Administrator. Directs the Secretary to conclude a rulemaking to reauthorize or eliminate all high density traffic airport slot controls by January 1, 1987, and every two years thereafter. Requires each such rulemaking to include a report to the Congress concerning the extent to which the retention or creation of slot controls is required in the public interest.

Prohibits the Administrator, except on an emergency basis, from promulgating rules or regulations or implementing any practice that restricts aircraft operations by means of slot controls at any but certain specified airports or air traffic control facilities, without first reporting a justification for the rule, regulation, or practice to the Congress at least 90 days before its effective date.

Declares that no person shall be prohibited from operating an air carrier aircraft nonstop between Washington National Airport and any other airport within a 1,250-mile radius.

Expresses the sense of the Senate that: (1) tax reform should not be considered by the United States Senate until a definite budget agreement has been reached between the President and the Congress; (2) the Secretary of Agriculture should take immediate specified steps regarding the current instability in the red meat market; and (3) the Secretary of Agriculture should immediately modify policies regarding the Dairy Termination Program and report to the Congress what actions have been taken to abate the decline in meat prices.