Section 4-2A-18

Exemption from laws from which certain other airport authorities are exempt; zoning powers; conditions on annexation of authority's airports, facilities, etc.

(a) The authority shall be exempt from all of the same laws as airport authorities organized pursuant to Article 2 of Chapter 3 of Title 4, which exemption shall include the exemption conferred by Section 4-3-60 relating to, among others, the exemption from zoning laws, ordinances and regulations. The authority shall have the same zoning powers with respect to the zoning of airports owned, operated or controlled by the authority and the zoning of areas lying within a 10-nautical-mile radius of the geographical center of such airports as are conferred by Sections 4-6-1 through 4-6-15 on counties and municipalities with respect to areas within their zoning jurisdictions. For purposes of Chapter 6 of Title 4 the zoning jurisdiction of the authority shall be the areas within airports owned, operated or controlled by the authority and other areas lying within a 10-nautical-mile radius of the geographical center of such airports. In the event that after this chapter becomes effective, Chapter 6 of Title 4 is amended or supplemented so as to broaden the zoning powers of counties or municipalities, or both, with respect to airports or areas within the vicinity of airports, the authority shall thereafter have the same zoning powers within its zoning jurisdiction as such counties or municipalities, or both, have within their zoning jurisdictions with respect to airport or areas within the vicinity thereof. No airport, airport facility or other facility or property owned, operated or controlled by the authority shall be annexed by any municipality pursuant to any provision of Chapter 42 of Title 11 or any other annexation law unless and until such annexation shall be approved by a majority vote of the board of the authority.

(b) In addition to the zoning powers conferred by subsection (a), the authority may adopt, administer and enforce compatible land use zoning regulations applicable to a controlled compatible land use area relating to an airport owned, operated or controlled by the authority. The authority by resolution may implement, in connection with airport compatible land use regulations, any federal law or rules controlling the use of land located adjacent to or in the immediate vicinity of its airports.

(c) For purposes of subsection (b) of this section, the following words and terms have the meaning hereby ascribed to them:

(1) CENTERLINE. A line extending through the midpoint of each end of a runway.

(2) COMPATIBLE LAND USE. A use of land adjacent to an airport that does not endanger the health, safety, or welfare of the owners, occupants, or users of the land because of levels of noise or vibrations or the risk of personal injury or property damage created by the operations of the airport, including the taking off and landing of aircraft or such other definition adopted in either the approved master plan or the approved noise study for each airport as defined by FAA regulations or both when applicable.

(3) CONTROLLED COMPATIBLE LAND USE AREA. An area of land located outside airport boundaries and within a rectangle bounded by lines located no farther than two statute miles from the centerline of an instrument or primary runway and lines located no farther than five statute miles from each end of the clear zone of the paved surface of an instrument or primary runway.

(4) INSTRUMENT RUNWAY. An existing or planned runway for which an instrument landing procedure published by a defense agency of the federal government or the FAA exists or is planned.

(5) PRIMARY RUNWAY. An existing or planned paved runway, as shown in the official airport layout plan (ALP) of the airport on which a majority of the approaches to and departures from the airport occur.

(6) RUNWAY. A defined area of an airport prepared for the landing and taking off of aircraft along its length.

(7) MASTER PLAN. An airport master plan approved by the FAA.

(8) NOISE STUDY. An FAA approved noise control and land use compatibility study, or a Federal Aviation Regulation, Part 150 noise study, or any comparable subsequently approved program or study.

(d) For purposes of the provisions of:

(1) The act resulting from the enactment of House Bill 406 introduced at the 1991 Regular Session of the Alabama Legislature (whether such bill is enacted before or after this chapter) or
(2) Any other statute, now or hereafter enacted, which provides for airport zoning and the issuance of permits by the State Aeronautics Department for structures exceeding federal obstruction standards located near air traffic,
the authority shall be deemed to be a political subdivision and its territorial limits shall be deemed to be the outer boundaries of airports owned, operated or controlled by the authority and the outer boundaries of other areas lying within a 10-nautical-mile radius of the geographical center of such airports.

(Acts 1991, No. 91-667, p. 1275, §18.)