Administrative Code

Virginia Administrative Code

Part I. Definitions

24VAC5-20-10. Definitions.

Words or terms defined in § 5.1-1 of the Code of Virginia are incorporated by reference. The following words and terms when used in this chapter shall have the following meanings unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

"Aircraft" means any contrivance now known or hereafter invented that is controlled, used, and usually occupied by a person for the purpose of navigation and transportation through the air, excepting "hang glider" as defined in § 5.1-1 of the Code of Virginia. Commonly recognized names for aircraft include planes, helicopters, seaplanes, ultralights, and hot air balloons.

"Airline" means an air carrier operation under Federal Aviation Regulations 14 CFR Part 119, 14 CFR Part 121, 14 CFR Part 129, or 14 CFR Part 135 providing scheduled passenger service.

"Airport sponsor" means an entity that is legally, financially, and otherwise able to assume and carry out the certifications, representations, warranties, assurances, covenants, and other obligations required for an airport.

"Antique aircraft" means any aircraft constructed by the original manufacturer or the manufacturer's licensee on or before December 31, 1945.

"Approach surface" means a surface longitudinally centered on the extended runway centerline and extending outward and upward. An approach surface is applied to each end of each runway.

"Aviation" means activities and infrastructure related to transportation by air, including (i) the operation, construction, repair, or maintenance of aircraft, aircraft power plants, and accessories; (ii) the establishment, design, construction, extension, operation, improvement, repair, or maintenance of airports or landing areas; and (iii) navigable airspace, other air navigation facilities, and air instruction.

"Commercial operator" means a person, except an airline, who operates any aircraft for the purpose of rental or charter or for other purposes from which revenue is derived.

"Contract carrier permit" means a permit issued by the department to contract carriers operating under Federal Aviation Regulations 14 CFR Part 61, 14 CFR Part 135, or 14 CFR Part 141 for transport of passengers or freight on demand by air. Owners of aircraft who contract to provide flight instruction in their aircraft for profit are required to have a contract carrier permit.

"Day/VFR Use Only License" means a conditional airport license issued with the restriction that operations at the airport can only occur between sunrise and sunset and only under Visual Flight Rules (VFR) for the purpose of allowing continuing operations at an airport that is not in compliance with the minimum requirement for approach surfaces.

"Department" means the Virginia Department of Aviation.

"Effective runway length" means the distance from the point at which the obstruction clearance plane associated with the approach end of the runway intersects the centerline of the runway and the far end thereof.

"Hazard" means a fixed or mobile structure or object, natural growth, or use of land that obstructs the airspace required for the flight of aircraft in landing or taking off at an airport or is otherwise hazardous to the landing or taking off of aircraft.

"Helipad" means a small designated area, usually with a prepared surface, on an airport, heliport, landing/takeoff area, apron/ramp, or movement area used for the takeoff, landing, or parking of helicopters.

"Heliport" means (i) an identifiable area on land, water, or structure, including a building or facilities thereon, used or intended to be used for the landing and takeoff of helicopters or other rotorcraft or (ii) appurtenant areas that are used, or intended for use, for heliport buildings or other heliport facilities including rights-of-way, easements, and all heliport buildings and facilities located thereon.

"Noncommercial dealer" means a person who owns and offers for sale a minimum of three aircraft during any consecutive 12-month period, which aircraft are not used for personal use, rental, charter, or for a purpose from which revenue is derived.

"Obstacle" means a fixed or mobile object that interferes with the situating or operation of navigational aids or that may control the establishment of instrument procedures. An obstacle could be located on an area intended for the ground movement of aircraft or would extend above the approach surfaces intended to protect aircraft in flight or the runway object free area.

"Obstruction" means an object, obstacle, or structure that penetrates the approach surfaces or runway object free area at an aircraft landing area. The obstruction may be man-made or of natural growth, including trees.

"Obstruction clearance plane" means a plane sloping upward from the runway at a slope meeting the appropriate requirements to clear all obstructions within a specified area as shown in a profile view of that area.

"Private-Use Landing Area License" means a license issued for a facility not open for public use, including airports, heliports, helipads, and seaplane bases, that is within five nautical miles of a licensed public-use airport, in accordance with § 5.1-7 of the Code of Virginia.

"Runway" means a rectangular surface area that may be turf, paved, or water course that is designed specifically for the purpose of approaching and landing and taking-off and departing of aircraft.

"Runway object free area" means an imaginary area centered on the runway centerline that is clear of aboveground objects protruding above the runway centerline, except for allowable objects necessary for air navigation or aircraft ground maneuvering purposes.

"Runway safety area" means a rectangular area symmetrical about the runway centerline, which includes the runway, runway shoulders, and safety overruns, if present. The portion abutting the edge of the runway shoulders, runway ends, and safety overruns is cleared, drained, graded, and usually turfed. Under normal conditions, the runway safety area is capable of supporting snow removal, firefighting, and rescue equipment and of accommodating the occasional passage of aircraft without causing major damage to the aircraft.

"Safety overrun'' or "stopway" means an area beyond the takeoff runway, no less wide than the runway and centered upon the extended centerline of the runway, able to support an aircraft during an aborted takeoff without causing structural damage to the aircraft and designated by the airport authorities for use in decelerating the aircraft during an aborted takeoff.

"Seaplane base" means an area of water used or intended to be used for the landing and takeoff of aircraft, together with appurtenant shoreside buildings and facilities.

"Structure" means (i) a man-made object, including a mobile object, constructed or erected by man, including buildings, towers, cranes, smokestacks, earth formations, overhead transmission lines, flag poles, and ship masts or (ii) natural objects, including trees.

"Threshold" means the beginning of that portion of the runway identified for the landing of aircraft. A threshold may be displaced, or moved down the runway, to provide for adequate safety provisions.

"UAS" means unmanned aircraft system.

"Ultralight" means an aircraft that (i) is used or intended to be used for manned operation in the air by a single occupant; (ii) is used or intended to be used for recreation and sport purposes only; (iii) does not have a United States or foreign air worthiness certificate; (iv) weighs less than 254 pounds empty weight, excluding floats and safety devices that are intended for deployment in a potentially catastrophic situation; (v) has a fuel capacity not exceeding five United States gallons; and (vi) is not capable of more than 55 knots calibrated airspeed at full power in level flight and has a power-off stall speed that does not exceed 24 knots calibrated airspeed.

"Unmanned aircraft" means an aircraft that is operated without the possibility of human intervention from within or on the aircraft.

Statutory Authority

§§ 5.1-2.2, 5.1-2.15, and 5.1-7 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR165-01-02:1 § 1.1, eff. September 9, 1992; amended, Virginia Register Volume 12, Issue 17, eff. June 12, 1996; Volume 30, Issue 4, eff. November 20, 2013; Volume 40, Issue 3, eff. October 25, 2023.

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