FAA: We Control The Skies

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The FAA has closed a loophole that caused at least one community to believe it could control the airspace over its borders. Earlier this year Huntington Beach, Calif., passed an ordinance that would outlaw banner-towing aircraft from flying overhead. The FAA has reasserted its control of the skies over Huntington Beach -- and everywhere else -- by revising the rule that town councilors used as the basis for their ordinance. The California politicians noted that a Hawaiian town was able to get rid of banner planes after a federal court ruled that a banner pilot there could get an aerial advertising waiver from the FAA as long as he didn't violate any local ordinances. The Hawaiian town then passed an ordinance banning aerial advertising and that put the pilot in violation of the court order. Huntington Beach apparently used that bit of Hawaiian history as a template for its own ordinance. The FAA revision removes any ambiguity about its jurisdiction in airspace matters and Huntington Beach has rescinded the ordinance.