The US National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) is calling for the Federal Aviation Administration to use Teterboro airport in New Jersey as a test case to pevent airports using aircraft weight limits as a back-door means of banning large business jets.

NBAA president Shelley Longmuir has detailed the association's concerns over Teterboro's alleged misuse of runway strength regulations, in a bid to stop other airports following suit. New York City's main business aviation airport imposed a de facto ban on business jets weighing more than 45,450kg (100,000lb) in February last year, ostensibly on the grounds of protecting runway condition. The NBAA alleges the airport authorities are using the weight issue as a cover for a noise ban, to placate local residents.

"It is vital that the FAA requires airports to use weight-based restrictions only as a legitimate means of protecting airfield pavement, not to mitigate noise concerns," says Longmuir.

The NBAA says the airport's upgraded runway can accommodate aircraft over 50,000kg, adding that the stress caused by a Boeing Business Jet - the main gear wheel spacing of which is 870mm (35in) - is significantly lower than that exerted by the McDonnell Douglas DC-9, for which the airport was designed, and which has a spacing of 635mm.

Source: Flight International