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Avigation Easement & Runway Protection Zones

Avigation Easements

Avigation Easements are instruments developed to convey airspace rights over another property and are typically acquired by an airport whenever air rights and/or obstruction removal is required for airspace protection (for example tree removal or trimming). Easements can also be used to control land use around an airport when fee acquisition is not feasible (RPZ protection). FAA AC 150/5100-17, Chapter 2, Section 2-15 (b) describes Avigation Rights to be appraised and acquired. An explanation of Avigation Easements as well as a Sample Avigation Easement can be found in section 561 of the FAA Central Region AIP Sponsor Guide. Information for transitional and approach surfaces used to determine Avigation Easement limitations can be found in FAR Part 77. Appraisers can request a copy of the Exhibit "A" property map to identify parcels with existing avigation easement encumbrances by calling 517-325-3093.

Appraising Avigation Easements

Unless market data support can be found, an appraiser should never rely on a percentage or formula adjustment to reach a valuation conclusion by the use of averages, median, or means produced by the sum of available data. Without market data the use of formulas are inaccurate and outside the realm of real estate appraisal principle and theory. The use of formulas suggest a loss in value without considering highest and best use and often substitute appraisal judgment for damages that cannot be justified by market actions and influences. An accurate estimate of value will rely on the individual appraiser's knowledge of market influences and sales data. The validity of an appraisal report is determined through sound market research and a logical explanation and correlation of the information the market provides.

Runway Protection Zones (RPZ)

A two dimensional trapezoidal area at ground level prior to the threshold or beyond the runway end to enhance the safety and protection of people and property on the ground.  Airports receiving federal monies are required to control Runway Protection Zones from incompatible land uses. See FAA Order 5100.38C (appendix 7 and Chapter 7 - section 701). See also FAA AC/150 5300-13A (information on runway protection zones can be found in section 310, page 70; RPZ dimensions can be found starting on page 263). Fee acquisition in the RPZ must be considered before avigation easements. If fee acquisition is not reasonable or practical then adequate documentation must be supplied and approved by MDOT prior to acquisition of easements. Existing incompatible uses inside the RPZ may only require an avigation easement to prevent additional incompatible uses. Airport sponsors are encouraged to complete the FAA Great Lakes Region Runway Protection Zone - Alternative Analysis form to justify less than fee acquisition.


Certain language is required to be included with easement documents. The samples below (and in Section 561 of the AIP Sponsor Guide) contain this language and are therefore recommended for use. If these samples are not used please consult an attorney, FAA, and AERO to ensure the required easement rights are acquired.

Exhibit X

The Exhibit "X" is a required drawing/sketch and is part of the Avigation Easement document that graphically depicts the area encumbered by the easement restrictions and any obstructions to the approach surface.