Briefing to the US Court of Appeals

On the 30th of November, the City of Burien, through our attorney Mr. Matt Adams, filed our Petitioner’s Opening Brief with the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in San Francisco, CA.  The 37 page Petition is a formidable document that presents a challenge to the FAA's Northwest Mountain Region Air Traffic Organization and strongly challenges the FAA’s assumptions on three fronts.  First, the Categorical Exclusion (CATEX) could not apply because the Burien Turn was a new procedure, not one currently in use.  Second, the FAA failed to properly evaluate whether extraordinary circumstances were present.  Finally, the FAA failed to evaluate reasonable alternatives.

This Briefing represents a significant achievement.  It began with one resident simply saying "enough!”  Others got involved, they organized, informed the community, addressed the City Council, you members of the community demonstrated your support, the Council listened and then tried to negotiate with the FAA.  When negotiations failed, our City Manager and Attorney worked with the Quiet Skies Coalition and hired an attorney familiar with aviation issues to file a Petition opposing the “Burien Turn.”

You can find a copy of the brief here, and we encourage you to read it in its entirety.  You will likely notice the title “Corrected Petitioner’s Opening Brief” and may have questions regarding the “Corrected” part.  It is called a “Corrected” opening brief because there was an error in pagination within the FAA’s administrative record requiring correction, and by no means refers to any errors in our argumentation or evidence.

This Petition presents our position clearly with nearly every statement supported by references to legal precedents.  The Coalition believes the community has spoken and has an excellent attorney pleading our case.  We trust the judges can see the transgressions and rule in our favor.

Throughout this effort, your support has been vital, a driving force propelling our efforts.  Thank you all very much.


Larry Cripe
QSC President