Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Exhaustless Inc. v. Federal Aviation Administration

United States Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit

August 2, 2019

Exhaustless Inc., Petitioner
v.
Federal Aviation Administration, Respondent

          Argued May 13, 2019

          On Petitions for Review of Orders of the Federal Aviation Administration

          Kevin M. Blair argued the cause and filed the briefs for petitioner.

          Benjamin M. Shultz, Attorney, U.S. Department of Justice, argued the cause for respondent. With him on the brief were Michael S. Raab, Attorney, U.S. Department of Justice, and Steven G. Bradbury, General Counsel, Paul M. Geier, Assistant General Counsel, Joy K. Park, Senior Trial Attorney, and Arjun Garg, Chief Counsel, Federal Aviation Administration.

          Before: Henderson, Srinivasan, and Pillard, Circuit Judges.

          OPINION

          SRINIVASAN, CIRCUIT JUDGE

         In 1968, the Federal Aviation Administration began limiting the number of flights serving LaGuardia and John F. Kennedy Airports in New York in order to reduce flight delays. In 2000, Congress mandated the repeal of the relevant regulations based on concerns about their anticompetitive effects. The phase-out process, however, caused flight delays to skyrocket at LaGuardia and JFK Airports. The FAA then issued interim orders again limiting the number of flights serving those airports. The FAA has since extended the interim orders many times as efforts to establish a permanent solution have failed.

         Exhaustless, Inc., brings two petitions for review of the latest interim extension orders. Exhaustless would like LaGuardia and JFK Airports to implement the company's patent-pending product, Aviation 2.0 Operating System, to manage the allocation of takeoff and landing "slots" to airlines.

         We dismiss Exhaustless's petitions for lack of standing. The company fails to demonstrate that vacating the interim FAA orders would redress its injury-i.e., a lack of market opportunity for its product. Vacating the interim orders would leave takeoffs and landings at the airports unregulated, eliminating the need for the company's product at the federal level. To the extent Exhaustless argues that the local airport authority could employ Aviation 2.0 if there were no federal regulation, we find any such possibility too speculative to support the company's standing to bring these petitions.

         I.

         The Federal Aviation Act calls for the FAA to "assign by regulation or order the use of the airspace necessary to ensure the safety of aircraft and the efficient use of airspace." 49 U.S.C. § 40103(b)(1). Navigable airspace includes the "airspace needed to ensure safety in the takeoff and landing of aircraft." Id. § 40102(a)(32).

         Since 1968, the FAA has restricted the number of takeoffs and landings at certain highly congested airports in order to reduce inefficient flight delays. The restrictions were codified in a series of regulations known as the High Density Rule. As of 2000, the rule placed numerical limits on the hourly takeoffs and landings at five highly congested airports: Newark Liberty, LaGuardia, JFK, O'Hare, and Ronald Reagan Washington National. 14 C.F.R. § 93.123 (2000).

         By then, Congress had grown concerned with the High Density Rule's collateral effects on airport access for carriers and competition among carriers. Acting on those concerns in 2000, Congress prohibited the use of the High Density Rule at LaGuardia or JFK Airports after January 1, 2007. 49 U.S.C. § 41715(a). For the period leading up to that date, Congress directed the FAA to grant slot exemptions for carriers servicing smaller airports and carriers with little or no existing service at the airports. Id. § 41716.

         Congress's action led to an immediate increase in airport congestion at LaGuardia. As the FAA began granting slot exemptions, "the number of scheduled flight operations at LaGuardia began to far exceed the airport's capacity even under optimal operating conditions." 71 Fed. Reg. 54, 331, 54, 331 (Sept. 14, 2006). The average minutes of delay for arriving flights increased 144% between March and September of 2000. Id. at 54, 332. By September 2000, flight delays at LaGuardia accounted for 25% of the delays nationwide. Id. The FAA responded by limiting the number of slot exemptions. From ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.