More Rigorous Oversight is Needed to Ensure Venice Municipal Airport Land Sales and Leases are Used Appropriately
On September 29, 2011, we issued a report on the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) oversight of the land sales and leases of Venice Municipal Airport. We conducted our review at the request of former Senator George LeMieux, who identified issues warranting a more detailed review of how the City of Venice, the airport sponsor, uses airport revenue. We found that FAA has not ensured that the City of Venice used airport revenue for appropriate purposes or that the airport is as self-sustaining as possible. For example, Agency policy requires that all airport property be sold at fair market value; however, FAA permitted the City (as both the airport sponsor and the provider of municipal functions) to transfer airport properties to itself at prices well below assessed values. FAA’s oversight also did not prevent the City from misallocating lease revenue and parking lot improvement costs. We made five recommendations to improve FAA’s oversight of airport property sales and the Venice airport’s self-sustainability. FAA concurred with four and partially-concurred with one recommendation. We asked FAA to reconsider its position for three of the recommendations.