Kaplan Kirsch & Rockwell’s airspace-related work involves representation of airports, communities, and private sector interests who need to understand the scope and implications of FAA airspace regulation. Although airspace regulation lies within the exclusive purview of FAA, airport sponsors and others call on us to assist in understanding their rights and obligations—and where necessary, challenging FAA decisions which could adversely affect their interests. We have assisted in the preparation of, review of, or litigation over environmental documentation for airspace matters, including airspace redesigns for Seattle, Phoenix, the New York-New Jersey-Philadelphia area, Las Vegas, the Los Angeles area, and southern Florida.
In the context of FAA’s introduction of NextGen navigation procedures, we represent airport proprietors in understanding the implications of FAA’s introduction of new flight paths, especially when those paths change established patterns and run counter to the airport’s noise planning efforts. These representations require a wide range of our areas of expertise—from legislative drafting and lobbying to litigation, and from advising of regulatory compliance to working cooperatively with FAA officials—to modify proposed rules and procedures.
Combining the project development and aviation experience of our attorneys, we also advise our clients, work with federal agencies, and undertake cutting-edge litigation regarding the effects of wind turbines, transmission facilities, and solar projects on aircraft and airspace. In addition to common concerns about wind tower height near airports, the litigation and representation has addressed the effects that wind turbines may have on radar and other air navigation facilities.
Clients frequently call upon us to monitor and participate in formal and informal rulemakings concerning protection of certain airspace surfaces (such as one-engine-inoperative procedures), in the designation of new classes of airspace, and in revisions to Part 77 procedures concerning protection of approach and departure surfaces for aircraft landing and takeoff.
Town of Barnstable, Mass. v. FAA, 740 F. 3d 681 (D.C. Cir. 2014) (challenged FAA finding that wind turbines would not interfere with busy general aviation traffic corridor off the coast of Cape Cod)
Town of Barnstable, Mass. v. FAA, 659 F. 3d 28 (D.C. Cir. 2011) (challenged FAA finding that wind turbines would not interfere with busy general aviation traffic corridor off the coast of Cape Cod)
Clark County, Nev. v. FAA, 522 F. 3d 437 (D.C. Cir. 2008) (challenged FAA finding of no hazard to navigation from construction of new wind farm along departure path for a proposed new international airport)
Vacation Village v. Clark County, 244 Fed. Appx. 785 (9th Cir. 2007), cert. denied 128 S.Ct. 2956 (2008) (defended challenge to Clark County’s height restrictions designed to protect airport from commercial, residential, and industrial encroachment into airport approach and departure)