Conflict Over Navy Practice Area

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"As the record makes clear: Landing a high-performance aircraft on a moving aircraft carrier at sea poses enormous challenges for even [the Navy's] most experienced pilots," the U.S. Navy said in a brief filed late Wednesday with a federal appeals court in Richmond, Va., according to an Associated Press report. The Navy hopes to convince the court that it should be allowed to build a new training area for those pilots on a 33,000-acre site in North Carolina. The project so far has been thwarted by opponents who say it would be harmful to the nearby Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge and would shut down 75 local farms. The case is expected to be heard later this month. In February, a federal court ruled against building the landing field, saying the Navy poorly analyzed the harm the project could pose to the wildlife refuge and minimized the risk of bird-aircraft collisions.