FAA’S EXPANDED DEFINITION OF AERONAUTICAL ACTIVITY MAY NOT BODE WELL FOR RESIDENTS AROUND AIRPORTS
Aviation Developmental Law News
by Barbara Lichman
3M ago
            As if it didn’t have enough to do, the Federal Aviation Administration (“FAA”) is now proposing to expand the definition of “Aeronautical Activities”, which currently includes “any activity that involves, makes possible, is required for the operation of an aircraft/vehicle, or that contributes to, is required for, the safety of such operations” FAA Order 5190.6B, Airport Compliance Manual, Appendix Z. Up to now, that category has generally encompassed the operation of various types of now-existing aircraft, safety equipment, an ..read more
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FAA REAUTHORIZATION LEGISLATION IGNORES NOISE-IMPACTED COMMUNITIES
Aviation Developmental Law News
by Barbara Lichman
8M ago
            On June 13, 2023, a bipartisan Committee of the United States Senate jointly proposed legislation, S. 1939, to amend the Federal Aviation Act, 49 U.S.C. Section 40101 et. seq., the stated purpose of which legislation is to “authorize appropriations for the Federal Aviation Administration for fiscal years 2024 through 2028, and for other purposes.”             The legislation contains both positive and negative news for noise impacted communities. On the positive side, the l ..read more
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Supreme Court May Have Dealt Death Blow to Judicial Deference
Aviation Developmental Law News
by Barbara Lichman
10M ago
Less than two weeks ago, the United States Supreme Court took the first of several actions meant to close the door on what has become a standard in opposing citizens’ efforts to challenge the missteps of administrative agencies, i.e. Judicial Deference to agency decision-making. Specifically, Judicial Deference has guided the Courts into accepting an agency determination “based on a reasonable interpretation of an ambiguous statute Congress has tasked the Agency with implementing.” Chevron vs. NRDC, 467 U.S. 837 (1984). On May 1, 2023, the Court agreed to accept certiorari in the case of Loper ..read more
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FAA and Congress Finally Awaken to Citizens’ Discontent with Aircraft Noise Impacts
Aviation and Airport Development Law News
by Barbara Lichman
11M ago
Stirring from their usual slumber, in the face of increasing community dissatisfaction with respect to noise and emissions from aircraft overflight, the Federal Aviation Administration (“FAA”) and United States Congress each took some action in recent months. First, FAA awarded more than $19 million to various universities and other organizations through the “ASCENT” program, a cooperative aviation research organization founded in 2014 (but apparently only lightly funded until now). The primary purpose of the grants was to allow the universities to study ways to reduce aviation noise. Many of ..read more
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Court Decides That Its Decision in Make UC a Good Neighbor Does Not Unfairly Broaden the Scope of CEQA
Aviation and Airport Development Law News
by Barbara Lichman
1y ago
Since our February 1, 2023 blog, concerning the California Court of Appeals tentative decision in Make UC a Good Neighbor vs. Regents of Univ. of California, et al., that Court has taken the definitive step of confirming its tentative decision, on the critical ground that “UC Berkeley failed to assess potential noise impacts from loud student parties in residential neighborhoods near campus, a long-standing problem that the [environmental review] improperly dismissed as ‘speculative.’” Anyone who has ever been a student at a university, and lived off-campus (probably including the judges), und ..read more
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Ninth Circuit Issues Unprecedented Order Against FAA
Aviation and Airport Development Law News
by Barbara Lichman
1y ago
On March 9, 2023, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals granted the “Motion to Enforce Judgment” filed by co-Petitioners Cities of Los Angeles and Culver City (“Cities”) in City of Los Angeles, et.al. v. Stephen Dickson, et.al.  The Order found the Federal Aviation Administration (“FAA”) in blatant violation of the National Environmental Policy Act, 42 U.S.C. § 4321, et seq. (“NEPA”), as well as the Court’s prior Order of  July 2021, requiring FAA to compensate for its original violation by performing environmental review of the newly established North Downwind Arrivals to Los Angeles I ..read more
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Washington Takes FAA to Task on Lack of “Safety and Efficiency” in the U.S. Air Traffic System
Aviation Developmental Law News
by Barbara Lichman
1y ago
No matter what objection or challenge the United States taxpayers bring in response to Federal Aviation Administration (“FAA”) initiatives, FAA’s defense is always the same: changes are required for “safety and efficiency.”  While that may be true in some instances, FAA’s global resort to such an excuse (e.g., justification for changes to flight paths over populated areas without notice or environmental review) is belied by the recent responses of both the United States Congress, and the agency’s ultimate leadership, the Secretary of Transportation. First, the General Accounting Office ..read more
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Public Concern Grows Over Broad-Based CEQA Decision
Aviation Developmental Law News
by Barbara Lichman
1y ago
Public concerns have been running amuck on the internet regarding the recent tentative decision by the California Court of Appeal for the First Appellate District in Make UC a Good Neighbor v. Regents of the University of California, et.al., Case No. A165451 (Trial Court Case No. RG21110142). The case involves a challenge under the California Environmental Quality Act, Cal. Pub. Res. Code § 21000, et seq. (“CEQA”) to the adequacy of the Environmental Impact Report (“EIR”) for the Long Range Development Plan for the former “Peoples’ Park” in Berkeley, an historical icon to the student war   ..read more
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“Stop the Chop” Goes Down in Defeat Under New York Governor’s Pen
Aviation Developmental Law News
by Barbara Lichman
1y ago
New York Governor Kathy Hochul has brought an abrupt end to the aspirations of New York State Legislators, lead by Senator Brad Hoylman, to reduce the noise created by sightseeing helicopters overflying his District in Manhattan.  On or about December 16, 2022, Governor Hochul vetoed SB 7493A, colloquially called “Stop the Chop,” which would have, among other things, allowed “any person who shall have suffered interference with the use and enjoyment of private property or public parkland by a rotorcraft used in a manner that creates an unreasonable level of sustained noise at ground level ..read more
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Update – FAA Defies History by Approving the Closure of East Hampton Airport
Aviation Developmental Law News
by Barbara Lichman
1y ago
Since the publication of the above-entitled article on April 28, 2022, events have occurred that raised further questions about the immediacy of the closure of East Hampton Municipal Airport on the South Shore of Long Island, New York, owned and operated by the Town of East Hampton. Specifically, the most recent related cases are Friends of East Hampton Airport, Inc., et al. v. Town of East Hampton, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York Case No. 2:15-cv-02246, and National Business Aviation Association, Inc. v. Town of East Hampton, U.S. District Court for the Eastern Distri ..read more
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