Cities Challenge Federal Aviation Administration Environmental Assessment for Conversion of Paine/Boeing Field to Commercial Airport
On January 31, 2013, the Cities of Mukilteo and Edmonds, Washington, and concerned citizens and organizations in the vicinity of Paine/Boeing Field, Everett, Washington (“Petitioners”) filed a “Petition for Review of Agency Order,” challenging the adequacy of the Environmental Assessment (“EA”) for the conversion of Paine Field from a proprietary facility to a commercial airport.
Petitioners’ challenge centers around the limited analysis contained in the EA. While the projects defined in the EA include the grant of Part 139 Operating Certificates for the airport and two airlines, Horizon and Allegiant, as well as the physical construction of various improvements to the terminal and other facilities, admittedly allowing virtually unlimited commercial aircraft operations, the analysis in the EA is limited to only the first phase of the ultimate project. It describes the environmental impacts of only a 22,000 square foot addition to the existing terminal, and the projected immediate operations of only the two named airlines, while it also acknowledges that, once a Part 139 Operating Certificate is issued for an airport, the law does not allow any limitation on access by any airline that desires such access. See, e.g., 49 U.S.C. § 47521, et seq., (“Airport Noise and Capacity Act of 1990”).
Petitioners are represented by Buchalter Nemer, a firm with extensive experience in the fields of airport law, and environmental and land use law related to airport development.