AIRPORT NOISE LAW


Lawsuits Challenging FAA Approval of NextGen Air Traffic Routes

Lawsuits identified here arose because of sudden and severe overflight noise created by FAA approval of new airport arrival and departure paths as part of the agency's redesign of the nationwide air traffic control system (NextGen). Usually the new flight paths create noise impacts where none existed before. This list is continually updated as new information is learned.

In addition, widespread dissatisfaction with the process by which the FAA has designed the new arrival and departure paths has led to a number of bills in the Congress that require specific consultation with local communities when changing flight paths.

[Updated August 14, 2018]



Complaints-Petitions Filed

Benedict Hills Estates Assn. and Benedict Hills HOA, CA (concerning multiple airports in southern California); filed Oct. 24, 2016, U.S. Ct. App. D.C. Cir. (case 16-1366); attorney Steven Taber; respondent is FAA; Oct. 31, 2016, consolidated with cases 16-1377 and 16-1378; March 3, 2017, filed as lead case in consolidation of numerous cases transferred from U.S. Ct. App. 9th Cir; March 16, 2018, opening brief filed.

City of Burien, WA (concerning Seattle-Tacoma Int. Airport), filed Feb. 14, 2017, U.S. Ct. App. 9th Cir. (case no. 17-70438); petitioner is City of Burien; attorneys Matthew G. Adams, Jessica L. Duggan (Dentons US LLP), and Lisa M. Marshall (city attorney); respondent is FAA; (See story.)

City of Culver City, CA (concerning multiple airports in Southern California), filed Oct. 28, 2016, U.S. Ct. App. 9th Cir. (case no. ___); attorneys Barbara E. Lichman and Paul J. Fraidenburgh (see Oct. 25, 2016 press release at Culver City website); case closed and transferred to USCA D.C. Cir. (case 17-1010); consolidated with case 16-1366 March 3, 2017; see Benedict Hills Estates Assn.

City of Laguna Beach, CA (concerning John Wayne Airport and other airports in southern California), filed Oct. 31, 2016, U.S. Ct. App. 9th Cir. (case no. 16-73478); closed Jan. 6, 2017 and transferred to U.S. Ct. App. D.C. Cir. (case no. 17-1028); March 3, 2017, consolidated with case 16-1366 and others; see Benedict Hills Estates Assn..

City of Newport Beach, CA, with Orange County as intervenor (concerning John Wayne Airport and other airports in southern California), filed Oct. 27, 2016, U.S. Ct. App. 9th Cir. (case no. 16-73458) (see story); case closed Jan. 6, 2017, and transferred to U.S. Ct. App D.C. Cir. (case no. 17-1008); March 3, 2017, consolidated with case 16-1366 and others; see Benedict Hills Estates Assn.

City of Phoenix, AZ (concerning SkyHarbor Airport), filed June 1, 2015, U.S. Ct. App. D.C. Cir. (case 15-1158); petitioner is City of Phoenix; respondent is FAA; decided Aug. 29, 2017 (FAA decision vacated, see D.C. Court decision); agreement between parties to redesign flight paths (Nov. 30, 2017). (See story.)

District of Columbia (concerning Reagan Washington National Airport), filed Aug. 24, 2015, U.S. Ct. App. D.C. Cir. (case 15-1285); petitioners are Citizens Assn. of Georgetown, Burleith Citizens Assn., Foxhill Citizens Assn., Hillandale Citizens Assn., Colony Hill Neighborhood Assn., Palisades Citizens Assn., Foggy Bottom Assn., and Georgetown University; attorneys Peter L. Gray (Dentons), Richard C. Hinds, and Don W. Crockett; respondent is FAA; decided March 27, 2018 (case dismissed because not timely filed); petition for rehearing en banc filed May 9, 2018, denied July 2018. (See D.C. Fair Skies website.) See also State of Maryland below.

Maryland (concerning Reagan Washington National Airport and Baltimore Marshall Airport), filed June 26, 2018, U.S. Ct. App. D.C. Cir. (case no. 18-1173); petitioner is State of Maryland; respondents are Daniel Elwell and FAA; petitioner's attorneys are Maryland attorney general, and Kaplan Kirsch & Rockwell. (See press release.)

Santa Cruz County (or Portola Valley) residents, CA (concerning San Francisco International Airport), filed 2015, U.S. Ct. App. 9th Cir (case no. 14-72991), petitioners are James E. Lyons, Tina Nguyen, Mary Jane McCarthy, and A. Frank Rothschild; attorney Thomas V. Christopher (Thomas@ThomasChristopherLaw.com); respondent is FAA; decided Dec. 21, 2016 (FAA decision upheld). ( See plaintiffs' website.)

Santa Cruz County residents, CA (concerning San Francisco International and San Jose airports), filed March 7, 2016, Santa Cruz Co. Superior Ct., plaintiffs are Michael Rodenbaugh, Daniel McKay, Patricia McKay, Babak Sarashki, and Kathleen Dwyer, residents of Santa Cruz Co.; defendants are various airlines and the City and County of San Francisco and City of San Jose; attorney Michael Rodenbaugh (San Francisco). (See story.)


Lawsuits under Consideration

None identified.