Upheld By Court Of Appeals.
The US Court of Appeals
ruled late Friday in favor of the Naples Airport Authority in their
court battle to ban "Stage 2" jets. The dispute with the FAA has
been ongoing for several years.
The court said that the older noisy jets can be banned over
Naples. The banned aircraft were made in the 1970s and 1980s and
are noisier than newer aircraft. NAA restricted "Stage 1" aircraft
with FAA approval back in 1999. The FAA denied Naples' Stage 2 ban
The FAA argued that the Stage 2 ban violated Naples' obligation
to make the airport available for public use on reasonable terms.
The FAA said the ban discriminated against aircraft of certain
types, and their users.
The FAA ruled that Naples, as a facility that received Federal
Airport Improvement grants, was not acting appropriately, and
stopped funding, leading to appeals, and to court.
The appeals court said that the City of Naples and the Airport
Authority had shown evidence that demonstrated that the Stage 2 ban
was justified. Now the FAA must carry out the ruling.
"We are overjoyed," said NAA executive director Ted Soliday to
the Naples Daily News.
FAA officials were not
available for comment. NBAA, AOPA, ATA, GAMA and Continental had
filed a brief with the court in support of the FAA in this case
back in November.
They asserted "the FAA must have the authority to apply
'uniform, Federally-adopted standards' to proposed airport access
restrictions in order to maintain the vitality of the national air
Now that the Court reversed the FAA's decision, what they have
feared may come to pass.
This ruling may "open the door to the assertion of other
arbitrary local and political preferences" at many other airports.
More than 3,300 airports have accepted or are eligible for Federal
One thing is certain. More court battles will follow.