Connecticut Attorney General's Office

Press Release

Attorney General To Appeal FAA Flight Path Decision To U.S. Supreme Court

August 24, 2009

Attorney General Richard Blumenthal said today he is disappointed that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Wednesday denied a request by him, local governments and concerned citizens to reconsider its refusal to halt new Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) flight paths.

Blumenthal said that he will appeal the decision to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Blumenthal, local governments in Connecticut, New Jersey and Pennsylvania and citizens asked the appeals court to block the new FAA flight paths, because they will unnecessarily increase noise and pollution. They charged that the FAA failed to follow its own rules and procedures, and ignored vital data in setting the new flight paths.

Blumenthal said, "I am disappointed by this decision, but determined to redouble our efforts and continue this fight against the FAA. The appeals court wrongly denied our request for a rehearing, and I am preparing an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court asking it to overturn this ruling and override the FAA.

"These flight paths fly in the face of reason and law -- completely disregarding the impact of noise levels on highly populated areas of the Northeast. The FAA knew that it had defective data on noise and traffic, but then continued to use it. Inexcusably, the FAA failed to follow its own rules -- disregarding less damaging alternatives.

"I will continue fighting the FAA's flawed flight paths, unnecessarily subjecting millions to excessive pollution and noise. I look forward to seeking U.S. Supreme Court review on behalf of our solid alliance -- a powerful coalition of public officials and environmental advocates."

The appeals court ruled against Blumenthal and the other plaintiffs on June 10, 2009. Blumenthal and fellow plaintiffs asked the court to reconsider its denial. The court Wednesday declined the request for reconsideration, letting stand its original denial.