The Defense Claim:
The Federal Government Has Preemption over the City and County of San Francisco in the Area of Airport Runway Noise
What the Law Says:
1958 - Section 1305 of the Federal Aviation Act exempts proprietary (Ed.
note: the City and County of San Francisco) powers and rights from
1976 - The U. S. District Court articulated the principle of the "proprietor's
1978 - The Airline Deregulation Act limited preemption to rates, routes, and
49 U. S. C. section 41713 (b) (1), and (3). This subsection does not limit ...
a political subdivision of a State (Ed. note: The City and County of San
Francisco) ... that owns or operates an airport ... from carrying out its
proprietary powers and rights.
1979 - The California Supreme Court ruled that federal preemption does not bar
a nuisance action against a city-owned airport for personal injuries sustained as a result of noise from aircraft using the facility. It also found
that preemption does not bar plaintiffs' claims.
Greater Westchester Homeowners' Association v. City of Los Angeles
26 Cal.3d 86. 603 P.2d 1329 160 Cal. Rptr. 733
2000 - Thus, the task of protecting the local population from airport noise has
fallen to the agency, usually the local government, the owns and operates
Federal Register/Vol.65, No. 136/Friday, July 14, 2000/Notices
Without question, the Code of Federal Regulations states that Congress
expressly provided that the proprietary powers and rights of municipal airport
owners are not preempted by Federal law.