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"Lawsuit to Protect California's Los Banos Airport"

Monday, March 5, 2001

Press Release

The California Pilots Association has filed a lawsuit against the City
of Los Banos for failure to protect the Los Banos Airport.  The City
approved a plan to construct 250 residential houses in the runway safety
zone for Runway 32. 

Prior to its approval, the City had been informed by the FAA, the
Caltrans Aeronautics Program, the California Pilots Association and
numerous local residents that the project would create a safety hazard
for persons living or working in the area, and for occupants of aircraft
forced by an emergency to land there.

The court petition alleges that the City Council abused its legal
discretion and violated California law in approving the project in the
face of extensive evidence that it would create a safety hazard. The
petition alleges also that the City violated its FAA Assurance Agreement
to require compatible land use around the airport. The City had just
weeks earlier received a federal grant of more then $2 million to
lengthen the runway. The petition to invalidate the City's decision was
filed by a member of the Airport Legal Defense Advocates, a group of
volunteer lawyers sponsored by the California Pilots Association.

Contact: Jay C. White, (650) 594-9300
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