Naples Next To Test FAA Authority

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A week after a California court ruled the FAA has pretty much absolute authority over the use of airports that have accepted money from it (in this case Santa Monica) the City Council of Naples, Fla., appears poised to test that concept. The council this week voted to continue zoning discussions on whether the local airport authority can build a runway extension at the bizjet-busy airport. The city's attorney has already told the council it's likely a waste of time but councilman Sam Saad said there's a principle involved.

"Until we are told otherwise by (a judge) or the FAA, we should assert our zoning authority and resolve the issue for our residents," Saad said. The construction of FAA-mandated overruns, as is commonly the case, is what triggered this debate. The Naples Airport Authority wants to put an extra 510 feet at the south end of the main Naples runway and 800 feet at the north end. The construction will make the available takeoff distance 5,800 feet but the maximum landing distance will remain at 5,000 feet.