Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 5.1. Aviation
Chapter 10. Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority
8/15/2022

§ 5.1-157. Authority rules and regulations; penalty.

A. The Authority shall have the power to adopt, amend, and repeal rules and regulations pertaining to use, maintenance and operation of its facilities and governing the conduct of persons and organizations using its facilities.

B. Unless the Authority shall by unanimous vote of all members present determine that an emergency exists, the Authority shall, prior to the adoption of any rule or regulation or alteration, amendment or modification thereof:

1. Make such rule, regulation, alteration, amendment, or modification in convenient form available for public inspection in the office of the Authority for at least ten days;

2. Publish a notice in a newspaper or newspapers of general circulation in the District of Columbia and in the local political subdivisions of the Commonwealth where the Authority Facilities are located declaring the Authority's intention to consider adopting such rule, regulation, alteration, amendment, or modification and informing the public that the Authority will hold a public hearing at which any person may appear and be heard for or against the adoption of such rule or regulation or such alteration, amendment, or modification, on a day and at a time to be specified in the notice, after the expiration of at least ten days from the day of the publication thereof; and

3. Hold the public hearing on the day and at the time specified in such notice or any adjournment thereof, and hear persons appearing for or against such rule, regulation, alteration, amendment or modification.

C. The Authority's rules and regulations shall be available for public inspection in the Authority's principal office.

D. The Authority's rules and regulations relating to:

(i) Air operations and motor vehicle traffic, including but not limited to, motor vehicle speed limits and the location of and payment for public parking;

(ii) Access to and use of Authority Facilities, including but not limited to, solicitation, handbilling, picketing and the conduct of commercial activities; and

(iii) Aircraft operation and maintenance; shall have the force and effect of law, as shall any other rule or regulation of the Authority which shall contain a determination by the Authority that it is necessary to accord the same force and effect of law in the public interest; provided, however, that with respect to motor vehicle traffic rules and regulations, the Authority shall obtain the approval of the traffic engineer or comparable official of the local political subdivision in which such rules or regulations are to be enforced.

E. The violation of any rule or regulation of the Authority establishing a noise limitation on aircraft that operate at the Authority Facilities shall subject the violator, in the discretion of the circuit court of any political subdivision where the facility is located, to a civil penalty not to exceed $5,000 for each violation. Such penalty shall be paid to the Authority. With the consent of the violator or the accused violator of a rule establishing aircraft noise limits, the Authority may provide, in an order issued against the violator or accused violator, for the payment of civil charges in specific sums not to exceed the limit that could be imposed by the court. Such civil charge when paid shall be in lieu of any civil penalty which could be imposed by the court. Any court proceeding shall be within the exclusive jurisdiction of the circuit court and shall be a civil proceeding at law brought by the Authority.

F. The violation of any Authority rule or regulation, having the force and effect of law, shall be a Class 1 misdemeanor unless otherwise specified by this chapter or unless a lesser penalty is set by the Authority in the rule or regulation. The rules of criminal procedure and evidence that apply throughout the Commonwealth shall apply to the adjudication of any case involving the violation of any Authority rule or regulation having the force and effect of law.

G. The courts of this Commonwealth shall take judicial notice of the Authority's regularly adopted rules and regulations. For the convenience of the courts which may regularly hear cases arising under the Authority's rules and regulations, the Authority may certify to the clerk of such court a copy of its rules and regulations. Any such certification, when signed by the chairman of the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, shall be accepted as evidence of the facts therein stated.

H. With respect to the violation of any statute of the Commonwealth, local ordinance or Authority rule or regulation having the force and effect of law occurring at the Authority Facilities:

1. The matter shall be within the jurisdiction of the state courts of the political subdivision where the violation occurred; violations occurring at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport shall be within the jurisdiction of the courts for Arlington County;

2. The attorney for the Commonwealth shall have authority to prosecute those offenses in the name of the Commonwealth or local government as appropriate; and the county or city attorney, if otherwise authorized to prosecute offenses in the name of the county or city, shall have authority to prosecute those offenses in the name of the county or city; and

3. Sheriffs and clerks of the court shall provide those same services and exercise those same powers with respect to the Authority Facilities within their jurisdiction as for their political subdivisions.

2001, c. 342.

The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of this section may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.