|§ 5301. Authority of department.|
(a) General powers.-The department shall administer the provisions of this part and, for that purpose, shall promulgate and enforce regulations as necessary to execute the powers vested in it by this part and other laws relating to aviation, airports and air safety within this Commonwealth. The secretary shall have the powers and perform the functions provided by this part. Where any provision of this part confers powers or imposes duties upon the department which under any Federal statute may be exercised by or imposed on only the Secretary of Transportation, the reference to the department shall be construed to mean the department acting by and through the Secretary of Transportation or the person for the time being acting as the Secretary of Transportation personally.
(b) Specific powers.—The department is authorized to:
(1) Provide for the examination, rating and licensing of airports.
(2) Operate and maintain airports which are owned or leased by the Commonwealth and encourage and assist in the establishment and construction of other airports.
(3) Expend moneys appropriated to it for the purposes of the administration of this part, including proceeds from aviation fuel excise taxes and fines arising from violations of Chapter 57 (relating to obstructions to aircraft operation) from time to time in the Aviation Restricted Account.
(4) Accept and expend money, property or other things of value received from the Federal Government or from any other source for the making of surveys and plans and the purchase of lands for and the construction of airports.
(5) Expend Commonwealth funds for search and rescue operations and organ transport by the civil air patrol, and educational materials and equipment related thereto.
(6) Encourage and assist in the establishment and construction of airports
(7) Provide for the licensing of commercial operators. If the department should fail to exercise this power, or if it should discontinue its use, it shall publish notice thereof in the Pennsylvania Bulletin at least 60 days prior to its discontinuance.
(8) Provide for education and training in crash fire rescue operations.
(9) Provide for placement of appropriate runway markings, hazard markings and highway directional signing.
(c) Additional power.-In addition to the aforementioned specific powers, the department may arrange for the publication of aeronautical charts, aircraft directories and other aviation information.
(d) Conformity to Federal law.-All rules and regulations promulgated by the department under the authority of this part shall be consistent with and conform to the Federal statutes and regulations governing aeronautics.
(e) Limitation on powers.-
(1) No license for a new airport, which is proposed to be located within a five-mile radius of an existing airport, or for the conversion of a military airport to joint use shall be issued by the department unless it has held a public hearing on the license application. The hearing shall be held in the area where the proposed airport is to be located and at least 60 days’ notice of the date, time and place of the hearing shall be given to the public in at least one newspaper of general circulation. No license shall be issued unless the department is satisfied that fair consideration has been given to the interest of the communities in or near which the proposed airport is to be located and in no event shall the department license any airport within two miles of the boundary of an existing airport. Any person aggrieved by a decision of the department to grant or deny a license for a new airport or for a conversion of a military airport to joint use may take an appeal as provided in Title 2 (relating to administrative law and procedure). Nothing in this subsection shall be construed as applying to licensing of heliports, existing airports, upgrading of existing airports or airports under construction unless for conversion of military airports to joint use.
(2) Any license for an airport issued by the department shall be effective for a period not less than two years from the date of its issuance. The department may revoke an airport license upon proof of any violation of law or regulation relating to aviation.
(3) The department shall not utilize the Statewide regional apportionment formula for any project when it has not received approval of Federal Aviation Administration and at least 5% of the project’s funding from the Aviation Restricted Account.