The impact of Airline Use and Lease Agreements (AULAs) on how airports grow and meet competitive challenges has been a focus of our counsel for more than 30 years.
We have developed, negotiated, drafted, and implemented AULAs at dozens of airports across the country, including the nation’s largest hubs, fast-growing medium hubs and smaller local airports.
Our innovative approaches to structuring rates and charges and revenue-sharing arrangements have laid the foundation for facilities to expand, prevented rocket docket challenges, addressed revenue use concerns related to “grandfathered” airport sponsors, and much more. Our experience enables us to give airports the tools and information they need to succeed in negotiating these critical and complex agreements.
A WINNING STRATEGY FOR AIRLINE AGREEMENTS
In negotiating AULAs, we bring to the table an understanding not only of airports’ business pressures, but also their political and regulatory environments and short-, medium- and long-term obligations and goals. We help airports level the information playing field and we provide insights and advocacy in several critical areas:
- Information. We ensure airport management and staff are up to date on airline agreement basics, creating a solid foundation for the negotiation.
- Strategy. We help our clients identify goals, draw insights from industry trends, and assist in developing a strategy for airline engagement and negotiations.
- Comprehensive Counsel. We are skilled in every component of agreements, from key business provisions to legal requirements and experienced in all aspects of the negotiation process, from pre-negotiation strategy to leading the discussions.
- Collaboration. We collaborate closely with the airport’s financial advisors and other key team members throughout the process.
At times, AULA negotiations are unproductive or the airport determines that its goals are better served by an ordinance. Our team has deep knowledge of the FAA’s rates and charges policy and the implementation of rates by ordinance, including defending them when challenged. We have been involved in nearly every Part 302 “rocket docket” proceeding challenging ordinance rates, from the LAX proceedings in 1995 to recently completed proceedings against the Commonwealth Ports Authority of the Northern Marianas Islands in 2021.