Intergovernmental Cooperation Act of 1968 and Land for Public Purpose.

Is the RDU Airport Authority following the law to quarry public land?

This isn’t the first time that RDU Airport has requested permission to quarry land surrounding the airport for a runway.

Title IV of the Intergovernmental Cooperation Act of 1968 (42 U.S.C. 4231) proclaimed a national policy of inter-governmental coordination and cooperation. The objectives of this act rest on the premise that the economic and social development of the Nation and the achievement of a satisfactory level of living depend upon the sound and orderly development of all areas, both urban and rural. The act requires that the President establish rules and regulations for uniform application in formulating, evaluating, and re- viewing Federal programs and projects to insure orderly development.

Such rules are to provide for concurrent achievement of the following objectives: (1) appropriate land use, (2) conservation of natural resources, (3) balanced transportation systems, (4) adequate outdoor recreation, (5) protection of areas of unique beauty or historical or scientific interest, and (6) properly planned community facilities and concern for high standards of design. The rules are also to require, when possible, that:

— Full consideration be given national, regional, State, and local objectives, needs, and viewpoints in planning, evaluating, and reviewing Federal and federally assisted development programs and projects.

— All Federal aid for urban development purposes be consistent with and further the objectives of State, regional, and local comprehensive planning when such objectives are consistent with national objectives.

— All systematic planning of individual Federal programs be coordinated with and made part of comprehensive local and area wide development planning.

§ 63–5. Airport declared public purpose; eminent domain. Any lands acquired, owned, controlled, or occupied by such cities, towns, and/or counties, for the purposes enumerated in G.S. 63–2, 63–3 and 63–4, shall and are hereby declared to be acquired, owned, controlled and occupied for a public purpose, and such cities, towns and/or counties shall have the right to acquire property for such purpose or purposes under the power of eminent domain as and for a public purpose. (1929, c. 87, s. 5.)

§ 63–50. Airports a public purpose.

The acquisition of any lands for the purpose of establishing airports or other air navigation facilities; the acquisition of airport protection privileges; the acquisition, establishment, construction, enlargement, improvement, maintenance, equipment and operation of airports and other air navigation facilities, and the exercise of any other powers herein granted to municipalities, are hereby declared to be public, governmental and municipal functions exercised for a public purpose and matters of public necessity, and such lands and other property, easements and privileges acquired and used by such municipalities in the manner and for the purposes enumerated in this Article, shall and are hereby declared to be acquired and used for public, governmental and municipal purposes and as a matter of public necessity. (1945, c. 490, s. 3.)

§ 63–53. Specific powers of municipalities operating airports. To lease such airports or other air navigation facilities, or real property acquired or set apart for airport purposes, to private parties, to any municipal or State government or to the national government, or to any department of either thereof, for operation; to lease to private parties, to any municipal or State government or to the national government, or any department of either thereof, for operation or use consistent with the purpose of this Article, space, area, improvements, or equipment on such airports; to sell any part of such airports, other air navigation facilities or real property to any municipal government, or to the United States or to any department or instrumentality thereof, for aeronautical purposes or purposes incidental thereto, and to confer the privileges of concessions of supplying upon its airports goods, commodities, things, services and facilities; provided that in each case in so doing the public is not deprived of its rightful, equal, and uniform use thereof.

The Odd Fellows Tract was obtained by the RDU Airport Authority for a “Public Purpose”, therefore it must not be leased to a private party if the public is deprived of its rightful, equal and uniform use. The Odd Fellows Tract has served as public recreational land since before the land was acquired by the airport. The public will be deprived of its rightful, equal and uniform use of the hiking, biking, and fishing areas on the Odd Fellows Tract.

The Odd Fellows Tract was purchased by the airport and during the planned development of a perpendicular runway.

From a 1970 Hearing on the Extension of the Airport Development Aid Program: Hearings Before the U.S. Senate: “The Raleigh Durham Airport contemplates the construction of an instrument runway 10 000 feet in length and perpendicular to a projection of the centerline of the existing 7 500 foot runway rebuild and extend an existing runway 4 500 feet in length to 6 500 feet strengthen and upgrade a 7 500 foot runway a taxiway system to facilitate use of runways and aprons a completely new air passenger terminal area including air carrier parking apron water and waste disposal systems new service roads for ingress and egress to the new terminal and has purchased 2 000 acres of additional land all for a total anticipated expenditure in excess of seventy million dollars.” 1

Landuse Compatability and Airports

The long term lease of the land to Wake Stone Corporation also fails to meet the program requirements listed in the following checklist:

Does the new State Law 160D Apply to the RDU Airport Authority? Is RDU Airport Authority required to have a comprehensive land use plan, and for that plan to be consistent with bordering counties and municipalities?

Chapter 160D: A New Land Use Law for North Carolina

Stories topics may include: Air Quality Modeling and Monitoring, Sustainability, Data Analysis, and Clean Energy Policy.

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