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AGO 1958 No. 160 - February 19, 1958
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John J. O'Connell | 1957-1968 | Attorney General of Washington

WASHINGTON AERONAUTICS COMMISSION ‑- AUTHORITY TO RECEIVE TRANSFER OF LANDING FIELD FROM FEDERAL GOVERNMENT.

The State Aeronautics Commission possesses the requisite powers and authority pursuant to § 555.4 (3) of the regulations of the Administrator of the Federal Airport Act, to accept the conveyance of the Easton, Washington, Intermediate Landing Field, site 5B, from the Federal government.

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                                                                February 19, 1958

Honorable William A. Gebenini
Director of Aeronautics
Washington State Aeronautics Commission
Box 3, Boeing Field
Seattle 8, Washington                                                                                       Cite as:  AGO 57-58 No. 160

Dear Sir:

            You have requested our opinion as to whether the Washington State Aeronautics Commission possesses the requisite powers and authority pursuant to § 555.4 (3) of the regulations of the administrator of the Federal Airport Act, to accept the conveyance of the Easton, Washington, Intermediate Landing Field, Site 5B, from the Federal government.

            We answer your question in the affirmative.

                                                                     ANALYSIS

            The regulation referred to requires that the agency have the legal power and authority:

            (1) To accept the conveyance requested; (2) To engage in any airport development, improvement, or construction necessary to derive full benefit from the conveyance requested; (3) To establish, operate, and maintain the proposed or existing airport; and  [[Orig. Op. Page 2]] (4) To raise the funds necessary to accomplish the proposed development improvement, or construction and to finance the operation and maintenance of the airport.

            The first three of the above requirements are sufficiently met by RCW 14.04.100, which provides:

            "The commission is authorized on behalf of and in the name of the state, out of appropriations and other moneys made available for such purposes, to plan, establish, construct, enlarge, improve, maintain, equip, operate, regulate, protect and police airports, air navigation facilities, and air markers and/or air marking systems, either within or without the state, including the construction installation, equipment, maintenance and operation at such airports of buildings and other facilities for the servicing of aircraft or for the comfort and accommodation of air travelers.  For such purposes the commission may by purchase, gift, devise, lease, condemnation or otherwise, acquire property, real or personal, or any interest therein, including easements or land outside the boundaries of an airport or airport site, as are necessary to permit safe and efficient operation of the airports or to permit the removal, elimination, marking or lighting of obstructions or airport hazards, or to prevent the establishment of airport hazards.  In like manner the commission may acquire existing airports and air navigation facilities: . . ."

            By § 2, chapter 301, Laws of 1957, the legislature appropriated the sum of $35,000.00 to the use of the Washington State Aeronautics Commission for "operations".  It is contemplated that the landing site in question will be used as an emergency landing field by the commission, and for that purpose the necessary cost of operation is estimated at $250.00 annually.  In view of the amount necessary to finance the operation of the proposed landing field and the amount appropriated to the disposal of the commission, and taking into consideration the powers conferred upon the commission by RCW 14.04.100,supra, we conclude that the authority of the Washington State Aeronautics Commission includes the power "to raise the funds necessary to accomplish the proposed development, improvement, or construction and to finance the operation and maintenance of the airport."

             [[Orig. Op. Page 3]]

            It is our opinion therefore that the Washington State Aeronautics Commission satisfies the requirements imposed by § 555.4 (3) of the regulations of the Administrator of the Federal Airport Act.

            We trust the foregoing will be of assistance to you.

Very truly yours,

JOHN J. O'CONNELL
Attorney General

GERALD F. COLLIER
Assistant Attorney General

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