Good news! Residents and city officials in Phoenix, Arizona who argue that noise from flight paths at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport is destroying their neighborhoods have won their case against the FAA.
In a 2-1 decision (attached here), the D.C. Court of Appeals ruled in favor of Phoenix and vacated the new NEXTGEN routes that the FAA had established over historic Phoenix neighborhoods and parks without any environmental review. While our case has significantly different facts, the willingness of the Court to find reasonable grounds for not filing a notice of appeal within 60 days of a final Order is helpful. As is the Court’s finding that notifying two low-level employees was not adequate notice to Phoenix of the rulemaking, because the D.C. State Historic Preservation Office was informed about the 2013 environmental assessment that the FAA contends was the final order in our case. Having dismissed the government’s arguments about the case being untimely, the Court went on to find for Phoenix on every substantive ground raised, which is very helpful to our case in which we make similar arguments. Our counsel, Mat Adams, was counsel for the neighborhood association petitioners in that case.