(CN) – The 9th Circuit denied a petition by Las Vegas and several homeowners’ associations that sought to overturn a 2006 Federal Aviation Agency decision to reroute planes leaving McCarran International Airport.
A three-judge panel ruled that the FAA “did not act arbitrarily or capriciously” when it determined that there was no significant impact from its decision to allow a third of outgoing eastbound flights to turn north of the airport instead of south.
Las Vegas, several homeowners’ associations, the Environmental Coalition and former state Assemblywoman Valerie Weber sued in January 2007, arguing that flights over the city’s more dense areas threatened residents and the environment. They also claimed that the FAA failed to adequately analyze the impact on air quality and noise.
But Judge Stephen Reinhardt wrote that the FAA adequately examined the safety of the reworked flight paths. He also determined that the agency did not violate the Clean Air Act because any foreseeable impact was miniscule.
“The FAA did not need to conduct a full conformity determination under the Clean Air Act … because its proposed action was categorically de minimis,” he wrote.
Las Vegas was joined in its petition by the Canyon Gate Homeowners’ Association, the Canyon Ridge Homeowners’ Association, and Sun City Summerlin Community Association.