Chapter Five: The Broad Problem of Airport Noise: Airports, the Courts, the Federal Government, and the Environment
Aircraft noise took on extreme urgency following the introduction of jet airliners in the late 1950s, becoming the single largest environmental issue facing commercial airports. This chapter details how the noise issue illustrates the often strained relationship between the federal government and local governments over airports, especially after a crucial 1962 Supreme Court decision in Griggs v. Allegheny County placing full liability for aircraft noise on the airport owners and managers. Local officials argued that the federal government—as well as the airlines and the aircraft industry—needed to take greater responsibility for and make far greater efforts to deal with jet aircraft noise. However, the federal government and others were perfectly happy to let local officials find the solutions, but within very restricted parameters.