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Northeast Phoenix Homeowners' Ass'n v. Scottsdale Mun. Airport

Citation: 12 ELR 20715
No. No. 1 CA-CIV 4686, 636 P.2d 1269/130 Ariz. 487, (Ariz. Ct. App., 11/13/1981)

The court upholds the trial court's decision dismissing, on grounds of federal preemption, a suit by private landowners seeking judicial imposition of aircraft noise abatement measures and a ban on the extension of an airport runway. Since the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is charged with regulating the operation of flights and balancing the interests of safety, efficiency, and noise abatement in constructing its regulations, the court concludes that state legislative or judicial action to impose curfews or other operating rules would infringe on the FAA's charge. Airport operators retain residual power to voluntarily adopt noiserelated regulations regarding airport and aircraft operation but may not be compelled to do so by the state. in addition, an injunction against extension of the airport's runway would conflict not only with the federal preemption of state regulatory power but also with the policy embodied in an Arizona legislative ban on runway length restrictions in local airport zoning ordinances. Next, the court rules that the City of Scottsdale was not required to amend its master plan before extending the airport's runway. Finally, the court holds that plaintiffs lack standing to seek an injunction against future violation of federal flight regulations. Under § 1487 of the Federal Aviation Act, only designated federal officials may seek to enjoin violations of those regulations.

The full text of the opinion is available from ELR (11 pp. $2.00, ELR Order No. C-1280).

Counsel for Plaintiffs
Francis G. Fleming Jr.
Kreindler & Kreindler
99 Park Ave., 26th Floor, New York NY 10016
(212) 687-8181

Counsel for Defendants
Donald O. Loeb, Ass't City Attorney
3939 Civic Center Plaza, Scottsdale AZ 85251
(602) 994-2405

Haire, J.