North Carolina General Statutes § 63-49 Municipalities may acquire airports

(a)        Every municipality is hereby authorized, through its governing body, to acquire property, real or personal, for the purpose of establishing, constructing, and enlarging airports and other air navigation facilities and to acquire, establish, construct, enlarge, improve, maintain, equip, operate, and regulate such airports and other air navigation facilities and structures and other property incidental to their operation, either within and without the territorial limits of such municipality and within or without this State; to make, prior to any such acquisition, investigations, surveys, and plans; to construct, install, and maintain airport facilities for the servicing of aircraft and for the comfort and accommodation of air travelers; and to purchase and sell equipment and supplies as an incident to the operation of its airport properties. It may not, however, acquire or take over any airport or other air navigation facility owned or controlled by any other municipality of the State without the consent of such municipality. It may use for airport purposes any available property that is now or may at any time hereafter be owned or controlled by it. Such air navigation facilities as are established on airports shall be supplementary to and coordinated in design and operation with those established and operated by the federal government.

(b)        All property needed by a municipality for an airport or restricted landing area, or for the enlargement of either, or for other airport purposes, may be acquired by purchase, gift, devise, lease or other means if such municipality is able to agree with the owners of said property on the terms of such acquisition, and otherwise by condemnation in the manner provided by the Chapter entitled Eminent Domain, full power to exercise the right of eminent domain for such purposes being hereby granted every municipality both within and without its territorial limits. If but one municipality is involved and the charter of such municipality prescribes a method of acquiring property by condemnation, proceedings shall be had pursuant to the provisions of such charter and may be followed as to property within or without its territorial limits. The fact that the property needed has been acquired by any agency or corporation authorized to institute condemnation proceedings under power of eminent domain shall not prevent its acquisition by the municipality by the exercise of the right of eminent domain herein conferred when such right is exercised on the approach zone or on the airport site. For the purpose of making surveys and examinations relative to any condemnation proceedings, it shall be lawful to enter upon any land, doing no unnecessary damage. Provided that municipalities building airports after the ratification of this Article shall not acquire by condemnation any property of any corporation engaged in the operation of a railroad or railroad bridge in this State if such property is used in the business of such corporation.

(c)        Where necessary, in order to provide unobstructed air space for the landing and taking off of aircraft utilizing airports or restricted landing areas acquired or operated under the provisions of this Article, every municipality is authorized to acquire, in the same manner as is provided for the acquisition of property for airport purposes, easements through or other interests in air space over land  or water, interests in airport hazards, or airport hazards outside the boundaries of the airports or restricted landing areas and such other  airport protection privileges as are necessary to insure safe approaches to the landing areas of said airports or restricted landing areas and the safe and efficient operation thereof. It is also hereby  authorized to acquire, in the same manner, land for the removal of airport hazards and the right of easement for a term of years or perpetually, to place or maintain suitable marks for the daytime marking and suitable lights for the nighttime marking of airport hazards, including the right of ingress or egress to or from such airport hazards for the purpose of maintaining and repairing such lights and marks. This authority shall not be so construed as to limit any right, power or authority to zone property adjacent to airports and restricted landing areas under the provisions of any law of this State.

(d)       It shall be unlawful for anyone to build, rebuild, create, or cause to be built, rebuilt, or created any object, or plant, cause to be planted, or permit to grow higher any tree or trees or other vegetation which shall encroach upon any airport protection privileges acquired pursuant to the provisions of this section. Any such encroachment is declared to be a public nuisance and may be abated in the manner prescribed by law for the abatement of public nuisances, or the municipality in charge of the airport or restricted landing area for which airport protection privileges have been acquired as in this section provided, may go upon the land of others and remove any such encroachment without being liable for damages in so doing. (1945, c. 490, s. 2; c. 810; 1981, c. 919, s. 8.)

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Last modified: March 23, 2014