Contact: Cassandra Bosco
Washington, DC, December 28, 2000 – The National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) has filed a lawsuit in federal court in Ft. Myers challenging a ban on Stage 2 aircraft operations scheduled to go into effect on January 1, 2001 at the Naples, Florida Municipal Airport. 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.
“We regret that we have to resort to the courts” stated John W. Olcott, President of NBAA, “but the Naples Airport Authority has left us with no alternative.” “The injury the ban will work on our members, on the community and on our national air transportation system is obvious,” he said, “while any reduction in aircraft noise produced by the ban would be problematic and minimal.” Noting that in a letter dated December 27, the Federal Aviation Administration had requested the Authority to defer enforcement of the ban pending its administrative review of what it perceives to be serious irregularities in the process leading up to the ban, Mr. Olcott said that “we are encouraged that the federal government is becoming directly involved, but that does not address the immediate problem.”
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 non-compatible use within the 65 dB 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. NBAA Member Companies earn annual revenues approaching $5 trillion — a number that is about half the gross domestic product — and employ more than 19 million people worldwide. The NBAA Annual Meeting & Convention is the world’s largest display of civil aviation products and services.