News & Publications

Court Rejects FAA Determinations on Cape Wind Project

On October 28, 2011, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit held that the FAA erred in finding that the proposed Cape Wind energy project would not constitute a hazard to air navigation.  In 2010, the FAA found that the 130, 440-foot tall wind turbines proposed to be built in Nantucket Sound would not constitute a hazard.  Our client, the Town of Barnstable, Massachusetts, together with the Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound, challenged the FAA's determinations.  The court found that the FAA had failed to follow its own guidance because it rested its determination of no hazard solely on the fact that the turbines would be less than 500’ tall, without acknowledging and analyzing the potentially adverse effects on aircraft operations in the project area.  The court vacated the determinations and remanded the matter to the FAA.