Journal of Air Law and Commerce


We are witnessing an explosion in the construction of wind turbine generators, cell phone towers, and television/radio broadcast towers around the United States. The statutes, rules, regulations, and police guidance addressing when and where such structures can be erected near public-use airports are complex and intricate. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) focuses more on subjective than objective criteria in assessing whether an obstruction to air navigation is a hazard to air navigation.

To the extent the FAA conducts studies to determine whether an obstruction is a hazard, the courts are not uniform in assessing the effects of FAA studies. In California, such studies have a preemptive effect. In Iowa, they do not. This Article illuminates this complex area of the law and assists the aviation practitioner in navigating this intricate and bewildering area of the law.