Foes of FedEx Cargo Center File Final Brief in Appeal from FAA Decision

AUGUST 17, 2002

Opponents of the proposed FedEx cargo center at the Piedmont Triad International Airport (PTI) filed the final brief in their appeal before the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Thursday. Opponents have asked the court to review the FAA's decision to approve the environmental impact report on the proposed center.

The brief attempts to rebut arguments the FAA made in its brief filed last month. It does not introduce new points but instead repeats the opponents' major contentions included in their opening brief. They include:

The lawsuit, which asks the court to order the FAA to do further analysis of environmental impacts, followed four years of public debate on whether FedEx should be permitted to open a cargo hub at PTI. PTI still needs state and federal environmental permits for the hub.

FedEx wants to open the $300 million hub to serve the East Coast. It would fly planes in and out overnight to make next-day deliveries. The company would start with about two dozen planes and expand hub operations in time to 63 weeknight flights.

Supporters, including many of the Triad's politicians and business leaders, welcome the hub as a source of jobs and a spark for other economic development. Supporters say the project could lead to about 16,000 new jobs in the area.

Opponents argue the economic impact would be minimal, and the environmental harm would be great. They say the overnight flights would wake thousands of people living near PTI.

The appeals court now must decide whether to hear oral arguments, possibly as soon as October. It also could make a decision based solely on the briefs already filed.

Source: News-Record