Cape Cod (Mass.) Airport Sued over Noisy Skydiving Operations

DECEMBER 19, 2017

Trouble began at the Chatham Municipal Airport in 2012 when Skydive Cape Cod relocated its operations from Cape Cod Airfield in Marstons Mills to Chatham. Nearby residents complained about noise almost immediately, and two serious accidents occurred during skydiving operations in 2012. In 2013 the Town of Chatham, which owns the airport, did not renew the contract with Skydive Cape Cod, citing safety concerns.

That move led the owners of the company to file a complaint with the Federal Aviation Administration. The FAA conducted inspections of the airport and concluded that no safety concerns the town can not discriminate against skydiving. Chatham selectmen commissioned their own safety study, which also turned up no red flags. In late 2015 the selectmen issued a request for proposals for skydiving operations at the airport.

In December 2015 a lawsuit was filed in Barnstable Superior Court by Citizens for a Safe Chatham Airport, requesting the court to enjoin sky diving at the airport due to safety and noise. Plaintiffs had commissioned their own safety study that concluded that the Town of Chatham could ban skydiving because the area qualified as a congested area, at last in the summer.

Case information:

Parties: Citizens for a Safe Chatham Airport v. Town of Chatham.

Court: Barnstable Superior Ct., filed December 2015.

Attorneys: For Citizens for a Safe Chatham Airport, Ira H. Zaleznik, Boston (; for the Town of Chatham, Patrick J. Costello, Boston ( Louison, Costello, Condon & Pfaff, LLP); for Skydive Cape Cod, Robert Lawless.

See also: story Dec. 15, 2015. story Dec. 19, 2017.