Naples Told To Lift Noisy Jet Ban

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Where there's smoke (and noise) there's ire and there could be plenty of all rising from the FAA's recent ruling on Naples (Florida) Airport's Stage Two jet ban. The agency has ordered the airport authority to allow smoky, noisy, relatively inefficient business and commuter jets built before 1983 into its facility or risk losing future improvement grants. The FAA says Naples' ban on older small jets is discriminatory and violates federal law. Naples is the first airport in the U.S. to ban smaller Stage Two jets -- those larger than 75,000 pounds have already been banned nationwide. Airport officials claim the ban is legal because they did all the required studies under a 1990 federal law addressing noise issues. In that study, they claimed Stage Two jets made up only 1 percent of traffic but accounted for 40 percent of noise complaints. Naples officials say they're going to appeal the FAA ruling and enforce the ban while the appeal is being processed. Meanwhile, the National Business Aircraft Association and the General Aviation Manufacturers Association are cheering the ruling, saying such decisions are federal jurisdiction and Naples exceeded its authority.