DECEMBER 28, 2000
FORT MYERS, FLORIDA
The National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) has filed a lawsuit in federal court in Ft. Myers challenging a ban on stage-2 jet aircraft operations at Naples (Florida) Municipal Airport. Stage-2 aircraft use older engine noise-suppression technology, compared to state-of-the-art or stage-3 technology.
The ban is scheduled to go into effect on January 1, 2001. The lawsuit names the Naples Airport Authority as the defendant and seeks a declaration that the ban is unconstitutional and an injunction against its enforcement.
According to John W. Olcott, president of NBAA, "The injury the ban will work on our members, on the community and on our national air transportation system is obvious, while any reduction in aircraft noise produced by the ban would be problematic and minimal." Olcott noted that the Federal Aviation Administration, in a letter dated December 27, had requested the Authority to defer enforcement of the ban pending the FAA's review of what it perceives to be serious irregularities in the process leading up to the ban.
NBAA's complaint points out that working with the local community, with user groups such as NBAA, and with the federal government, the Authority's past noise abatement measures have been a great success. "The Authority's own studies show that there is not a single noncompatible use within the 65 decible contour around the airport, the national standard," stated Mr. Olcott. He added: "What the Authority has tried to do here is to change the ground rules by taking the contour out to the 60 dB line, an area where there is ongoing residential construction. If that is allowed to happen, nearly two decades of federal noise mitigation efforts will be undermined."
NBAA represents the aviation interests of over 6,300 companies which own or operate general aviation aircraft as an aid to the conduct of their business, or are involved with business aviation.