The cities of Edmonds and Mukilteo, Washington, have filed a challenge to the US Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) decision in favour of commercial air service at Paine Field.
The cities oppose the FAA's record of decision in December, claiming that the agency did not adequately assess the impact of increased noise and traffic on the communities surrounding the airport, which is located about 32km north of central Seattle.
Save Our Communities, a local non-profit, and two of its board members, Michael Moore and Victor Coupez, joined the cities in filing the petition for a review of agency order. It was filed with the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in San Francisco on 31 January. The US Department of Transportation, outgoing transportation secretary Ray LaHood, FAA administrator Michael Huerta and FAA regional administrator for the northwest mountain region Kathryn Vernon are named in the petition.
The FAA found that the addition of flights by Allegiant Air and Alaska Air Group-subsidiary Horizon Air at Paine Field would have a negligible environmental impact and recommended that the airport's operating certificate be modified to allow for the flights in its decision.
Allegiant previously proposed two weekly flights to Las Vegas on a Boeing MD-80 and Horizon four daily flights to Portland, Oregon, and two daily flights to Spokane on Bombardier Q400s. Both airlines remain interested in flying to the airport.
A hearing could be scheduled for as early as April.