The Right to Self-Fuel

The fueling of aircraft at airports is a major business activity that can generate considerable income for airports and simultaneously constitute considerable expense for an aircraft owner/operator. The Airport and Airway Improvement Act of 1982 (The Act), 49 U.S.C. § 47101 et seq., and the Airport Improvement Program Sponsor Assurances require that the owner or operator of any airport—that has been developed or improved with federal grant assistance— operate the airport for the use and benefit of the public and make it available for all types, kinds, and classes of aeronautical activity, including the self-fueling of aircraft. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issues Advisory Circulars that not only identify standards and procedures for compliance with this requirement, but also define and clarify the meaning of aviation terms, such as self-fueling—which generally means using fuel obtained by the aircraft owner from the source of his/her preference. The definition and meaning of self-fueling must be distinguished from that of commercial self-service fueling, which the FAA defines as, “fueling of an aircraft by the pilot using commercial fuel pumps installed for that purpose.” Notwithstanding the FAA Circular pertaining to self-fueling, airport attorneys and others continue to face questions concerning the denial of requests to self-fuel, limitations sponsors can impose on aircraft owners/operators, and prohibitions concerning the granting of exclusive rights leases and permits. Airport, government, environmental, and other interested attorneys; aircraft owner/operators; legislative and administrative personnel; airport developers; aviation managers; and researchers should find this digest useful to gain a thorough understanding of the meaning of and constraints involved with self-fueling. Appendix D, which provides abstracts of Director’s Decisions pertaining to self-fueling, should be particularly helpful in showing what has been deemed acceptable and unacceptable.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Print
  • Features: Appendices;
  • Pagination: 81p
  • Serial:
  • Publication flags:

    Open Access (libre)

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01149278
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS, TRB
  • Created Date: Jan 28 2010 8:50AM