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APPROVED 12/19/2003




Nebraska DOT / Division of Aeronautics (NDOT)




I.       Program Intent.  To assist in the development of public-use aviation facilities in Nebraska.  This program includes state aid on federally funded projects.


         Project approval and funding limits are determined by the Nebraska Aeronautics Commission.  The Commission has the right to fund projects outside the scope of this program at their discretion.



II.     Who is eligible? 


A.     Any municipality that operates a public-use airport.  A municipality can be an airport authority, city, county or village.


B.     Any persons owning a private­ly owned public-use airport.  A private­ly owned public-use airport must have at least one paved runway, be engaged in the retail sale of aviation fuel and have facilities for the sheltering, servicing or repair of aircraft.



III.    What is eligible?  To be eligible for the state aid program, the following requirements should be met:


·        Only public-use aviation facilities on airports in the Nebraska Aviation System Plan. 

·        The project is reasonably consistent with the Nebraska System Plan for the development of the area in which the airport is located.

·        The project can be completed without undue delay on the sponsor’s part. 

·        The sponsor has sufficient funds to cover their share of the project.




         Following are examples of eligible and ineligible projects.  This is only a partial listing of projects.  For questions on whether a project would be eligible for funding under this program, contact Aeronautics.


               1.   Grading, paving, pavement rehabilitation and federally-funded seal coating:


                     a.   Runways and turnarounds.


b.      Taxiways, including hold aprons and taxi­ways between hangars.  Indi­vidual hangar ramps up to the hangar doors are eligible only under the Hangar Loan Program.


c.       Aprons - except pavement within 25' of a buil­d­ing since aircraft cannot park in this area.  This 25' area is partially eligible for new hangars under the Hangar Loan Program.


2.      Lighting of eligible paved or graded items, including a vault, electrical equip­ment, beacon, standby gener­ator, reflec­tive markers, flood lights, etc.


3.      Visual Navaids - PAPI, REIL, ALS, etc. and AWOS.  Emphasis will be placed on navaids for instrument runways and on those needed for obstacle clearance.


4.      Airport layout plans (ALP), Environment Assessment Reports (EA), and other planning studies.


5.      Obstruction removal of objects in the runway protec­tion zones and objects violating Part 77 obstruction standards.  Includes the relocation of roads to allow necessary airport development.


   6.   Land and easement acquisition for all airport developments, including fencing and relocation.


7.      Administration and terminal buildings - public-use areas only.  Areas rented or reserved for private use are not eligible.  Airport offices such as the manager's office or the authority's meeting room are eligible.  The eligible amount will be determined by prorat­ing the actual square feet of each area.


8.      Related Items (listed below) are eligible at the same rate of par­ticipation as the item to which they are related. 


a.       Consulting and other fees, such as engineering, testing, advertising, administrative and legal fees.  These fees are only eligible when the project they are related to is completed within a reasonable time.  Typically, the fees are not reimbursed until after the construction/acquisition contracts are executed.


b.      Related construction items like pavement repairs, utility relo­cation, incidental fencing, marking, seeding, drainage structures, ducts, etc.




               1.   Not eligible under any state program:

                     a.   Security (FAR Part 107) and guidance signs (FAR Part 139).

                     b.   Vehicles (SRE and ARFF) and associated buildings.

                     c.   Passenger lifts for commuter aircraft.

d.   Other regular main­tenance items.

e.   Paving access roads and parking lots.

f.    Runway development not shown on an approved ALP.


               2.   Not eligible under this program but eligible under other Aeronautics programs:

                     a.   Crack/joint sealing not related to con­struc­tion.

                     b.   Seal coats, slurry seals and rejuvenators

                     c.   Marking not related to construction.

                     d.   Hangars.

                     e.   Fuel storage.

                     f.    NDB, VOR and ILS.



IV.    Funding Limits.  


         State grants typically reimburse eligible project expenses at the following percentages:


·        State Projects: up to 90% state funds

·        State Projects acquiring land or terminal buildings: 50% state funds

·        Federal Projects:  2% state funds on federally funded projects with total costs greater than $500,000.


         State funds are limited to $100,000 per airport per fiscal year, except that runway construction for state-aid only projects is limited to $200,000.  State funds allocated for a federal project are limited to a total of $100,000.  A federal project includes the entire scope of the federal grant.  Multiple grants which are used to finance the same scope of work are considered to be one project.



V.     General Requirements and Conditions.


A.     The existing airport and the proposed project must meet the Aeronautics minimum standards.  The airport must have an approved airport layout plan (ALP) and the proposed project must follow the ALP.  If not, 25% of state funds will be withheld from the sponsor until this is corrected.


B.     The item of work must be listed in the current Nebraska Airport Capital Improvement Plan.


C.     No construction can be done before Commission approval.  Only engineering and other preliminary work may be done before Commission approval.


D.     The sponsor must comply with all program requirements and state grant agreement assurances and conditions.



VI.    Application.  The airport sponsor must apply in writing.  Initially the airport sponsor or owner should send a letter w­ith a brief project description.  The letter should indicate that state aid is requested.  An application form is also available to complete and submit. 


A.     FORMAL APPLICATION.  A complete application includes the following items.  All items must be acceptable to the Aeronautics Engineering Division or waived by the division as not applicable to the project proposal.  The Aeronautics Engineering Division will provide specific require­ments and sample documents upon the airport's written request.


               1.   CIP Data Sheet or similar format, including:

                     a.   A sketch of the proposed improvements.

                     b.   A description and justification of the proposal.

                     c.   A cost estimate.


         Generally, the sponsor hires a consulting engineer for item 1.  The Aeronautics Engineering Division can provide names of engineers familiar with airport construction.  For simple projects, the necessary items can be completed by the sponsor with assistance from the Aeronautics Engineering Division.


         The Aeronautics Engineering Division will respond with recommen­dations and requirements.  Additional information may be requested from the sponsor. 





1.      Applications for state aid are due July 1.


1.      Project hearings will be held in October.


2.      Exceptions.  The items listed below may be presented at any regularly scheduled Commission meeting.  Complete applications are due two weeks before the meeting.

a.       An emergency.  Note that missing the standard deadlines does not constitute an emergency.

b.      An increase to a previous state allocation.

c.       Approval of a federal aid request with no state allocation.

d.      Hangar taxiway construction in conjunction with a request for hangar loan funds are presented with the hangar loan requests in February and August.

e.       Federal projects that are moved into a new fiscal year due to an unforeseen allocation of federal funds.


3.      Availability of State Funds.  State funds will be available immediately upon Commission approval, provided the airport sponsor has completed steps A-F listed in Section VII.


               5.   One-year deadline for projects to be underway.  State funds will be automatically withdrawn, without prejudice, if a state project is not under contract one year after the allocation of state funds.  For land acquisition projects, the legal notice to landowners must be sent within one year.  Airport sponsors can request Commission approval for an extension to the one-year deadline if circumstances warrant it.


                     The state funds allocated to a federal project can be carried into the next fiscal year if the project has been delayed due to unforeseen federal funding delays that are no fault of the sponsor.  For these projects, the funds will expire two years from the allocation date.  As stated for state projects, the sponsor can request an extension past the two year deadline.


VII.  How the Program Works.


A.     COMMISSION APPROVAL.  The Nebraska Aeronautics Commission must approve all projects.  Sponsors must generally present their request for aid to the Aeronautics Commission.  If a Sponsor is unable to attend, Aeronautics staff may present a project for a sponsor.


B.     LAND ACQUISITION.  The sponsor must follow FAA guidelines if the airport is eligible for future federal funds.  Aeronautics has a handout available on these guidelines.  If the airport is not eligible for federal funds, the land must be appraised and the appraisal must be acceptable to Aeronautics. 


               Once the land has been purchased, the sponsor must send in a copy of the recorded deed and a title opinion showing the sponsor, city or county as owner.  Aeronautics can reimburse for the land costs only after approving these documents.  No construction can begin on the new property until Aeronautics approves the title opinion.




1.   Selection.  Aeronautics has no formal selection requirements.  Aeronautics suggests that the sponsor contact two or more consultants before hiring.


2.   Contract.  A written contract is required and sample contracts are available.  Aeronautics must approve the contract if the costs are to be eligible.


3.   Eligible Costs.  Only the consulting work related to eligible construction items or the approved scope of work is eligible for reimbursement.  If ineligible construction items are built, a prorated share of the engineering costs also will be ineligible.  If a construction item is designed but not built, the engineering design costs for that item are ineligible.


         D.  PLANS, SPECIFICATIONS AND MAINTENANCE PLAN.  Aeronautics requires plans and specifications for all construction contracts that exceed $40,000.  A maintenance plan for the item being built is required for all paving pro­jects.


1.      Standard Specifications.  Aeronautics generally recommends using the Nebraska Department of Roads' construction specifica­tions and the Aeronautics general provisions.


2.      Preparation.  The sponsor must hire a registered engineer or architect with the appropriate qualifications to prepare these.  The plans and specifications must be approved by NAeronautics before advertisement.


3.      Maintenance Plan.  Aeronautics will prepare a maintenance plan for the new pavement, to include the anticipated maintenance items, estimated costs and the years in which the maintenance should occur.  The sponsor can use this plan or submit their own plan, which must be approved by the Aeronautics Engineering Division.  A condition in the state grant agreement requires the sponsor to follow the plan.


         E.   BIDDING.  For construction contracts estimated to exceed $40,000, the airport sponsor must advertise for bids in the local paper.  Aeronautics generally recommends that the project is advertised three times.  For smaller contracts, the sponsor may solicit informal bids.  The sponsor opens the bids and then sends Aeronautics a bid tabulation with their intent to award the contract subject to Aeronautics concurrence. 


         F.   STATE GRANT AGREEMENT.  Aeronautics will prepare a state grant based on known prices, after receipt of the:


               1.   bids on a construction project; or


               2.   signed consultant contract on a planning project; or


               3.   appraisals on a land project.


               If the prices are higher than the original estimate, the sponsor can request additional funds from the Commission at this time.  Requests for additional funds cannot exceed ten percent (10%) of the original alloca­tion and must be thoroughly justified. The amount approved by the Commission cannot be exceeded by Aeronautics.


         G.  EXECUTED CONTRACT.  NDA must concur in the award of contract.  The signed contract must be bound with the proposal, bonds, specifica­tions, etc. and one copy sent to Aeronautics. 


         H.  PAYING FOR THE PROJECT.  The sponsor pays all costs as the work pro­gresses.  Aeronautics reimburses the sponsor upon receipt of the following documents. 


1.      Engineering, Testing and Construction Charges.  These billings must be on Aeronautics progress estimate forms.  Four copies of the estimates, signed by the project engineer, must be sent to Aeronautics for approval.  Aeronautics will check the estimates against the terms of the contract.  Aeronautics recommends that the sponsor not pay these costs until Aeronautics has approved them.


a.       Engineering & Testing.  Billings based on actual charges and unit costs must be supported with time sheets, car logs, receipts, etc.  If testing is billed separate­ly, a contract with the laboratory is required.


b.      Construction.  Aeronautics will check that time limitations and test results comply with the contract.


c.       Change Orders.  Changes to any contract must have Aeronautics approval or the costs may not be eligible.  Change orders should be approved prior to implementation of the change.  Failure to do so will affect eligibility.


               2.   Other Charges.  Generally one copy of an itemized state­ment is required.


                     a.   Publication.  Proof of publication is required.


b.      Legal.  The statement must itemize the dates worked, who did the work, what was done, how many hours were worked on that date and the rate per hour.  Expenses also must be itemized.


c.       Appraisal.  A contract and itemized statement are required.


3.      Aeronautics Administration.  Aeronautics administrative charges are actual staff time and expenses spent on each project.  These charges can vary considerably depending on the project's complexity.  Aeronautics does not bill the administrative costs but subtracts them from the state grant funds.  These costs are eligible for reimbursement.


4.      Summary of Project Costs.  Aeronautics will prepare a Summary of Project Costs when sufficient charges are accumulated.  The Statement will list all project costs submitted to date, ineligible costs and the state's share of these costs.  Aeronautics subtracts their administrative charges from the state's share instead of billing the sponsor separately.  The sponsor must return the signed Statement before state funds can be forwarded. 


                     If a single payment of state funds exceeds $75,000, then the funds must be sent electronically to the Sponsor’s designated bank account.  The Sponsor completes a form provided by Aeronautics that identifies the account.  It normally takes 7 to 10 working days from receipt of the Statement of Cost until the funds are sent.


         J.    PROJECT CLOSE OUT.


               1.   Final Construction Progress Estimates must include:


                     a.   As-built plans (one set).

                     b.   Explanation of overruns and underruns.

                     c.   Final working/calendar day count.

                     d.   As-built airport layout plan, if necessary.


                     Upon receipt of these items, Aeronautics will send a Certificate of Completion and Release to the contractor for signature.  The contractor also must send in a Department of Labor Form 16 showing payment of all unem­ployment insurance.  Aeronautics will not approve the final estimate until receipt of all items.


2.      Final Costs.  After all final construction estimates are approved, Aeronautics will send a worksheet to the sponsor listing all project costs.  The sponsor will have 30 to 45 days to submit any additional costs previously overlooked.  The sponsor also must send in copies of the cancelled checks (front & back) written for the project.


3.      Project Overruns.  If costs have exceeded the approved state funds, the sponsor may request from the Commission an increase of up to ten percent (10%) at this time.  Overruns must be carefully and thoroughly justified.


4.      Final Statement of Cost.  The sponsor's signature on this shows their agreement on the settlement of all costs.  Aeronautics will close the project when the final warrant is sent.