Naples (Florida) Ban on Noisy Jets Upheld by U.S. Court of Appeals

JUNE 3, 2005

Older, noisy jets can be banned from the skies over Naples to maintain quiet in the community, a federal appeals court said Friday. In its ruling, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia sided with the Naples Airport Authority and against the Federal Aviation Administration in a years-long dispute.

The banned aircraft, called "Stage 2" jets, were made in the 1970s and 1980s and are generally noisier than aircraft built since. The authority restricted them from using Naples Municipal Airport after receiving complaints from the community about their loudness.

The FAA contended the ban unjustly discriminated against users of a particular type of aircraft. The agency also argued that the rules let aircraft noisier than Stage 2 jets land in Naples, and it chastised the city for letting subdivisions be built so close to the airport, which increased the number of aircraft noise complaints.

But the Washington court said the "Airport Authority and the City of Naples introduced ample evidence -- much of which went unrebutted -- demonstrating that the Stage 2 jet ban was justified." The court returned the case to the FAA to carry out the ruling.

"We are overjoyed," authority executive director Ted Soliday told the Naples Daily News. The ruling was released late Friday and calls to FAA officials for comment were not immediately returned.

Other airports around the country considering similar noise restrictions have been watching the Naples case, the newspaper reported.

Source: Associated Press, Naples Daily News