Jeffrey Bishop, CCIM, CIPS, RPA, FMA
Leasing Property at a Commercial Airport
Updated: Oct 31, 2021
Notice I did not say, buying property at a commercial airport? If your company is considering real estate owned by a commercial airport you might be surprised to discover that the airport will tell you they don't sell real estate. There are multiple reasons for this but primarily it is required by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Most commercial airports received some type of financial assistance from the FAA or at a minimum are regulated by the FAA. One of the conditions of receiving federal aid is that a commercial airport must agree to what are known as "grant assurances." You guessed it, one of those assurances is a pledge to not sell real estate.
That means at best you are looking at a lease. But do not despair, it is a common practice at airports and there can be some very creative ways to negotiate a lease that will meet the needs of your lenders or investors.
If you are considering a lease at a commercial airport it is worth the investment to retain a commercial broker with airport experience. Just like any other owner an airport wants to maximize its revenue, but how do you what is and isn't negotiable? The e-rum group Principal Advisor has managed multiple airports and specifically the leasable real property assets of those airports.