The U.S. Court of Appeals has denied the state's request to stop plans by the Federal Aviation Administration to fly big planes over Fairfield County. State Attorney General Richard Blumenthal is appealing the decision to the U.S. Supreme Court.
In November 2007, the state joined several Connecticut towns in a lawsuit against the Federal Aviation Administration. They opposed the FAA's plan to cut down on delays by re-directing planes over the Fairfield County region. They say the plan will have damaging environmental impacts.
But the Court of Appeals says the FAA's plan is reasonable, and that its environmental impact analysis followed appropriate procedures.
Blumenthal's office says if the plan moves forward, there could be as many as 150 planes a day flying over southwestern Connecticut.
He says the FAA has refused to look at less damaging alternatives.
"One of the key reasons for our challenge both legally and factually is the environmental damage and the possible alternatives over the ocean, over long island sound, over other areas that are less densely populated and create fewer environmental issues. And a failure to use those alternatives, or even consider them is a violation of the law, as well as common sense."
Blumenthal adds residents from the affected towns have reported seeing planes flying in greater numbers over the area. He says this indicates the new flight plan - which is scheduled to take affect a year from now - may already be implemented.
Blumenthal says he'll file his appeal to the U. S. Supreme Court in the next two weeks.
FAA Spokesman Jim Peters says he unable to comment on Blumenthal's challenge because of pending litigation. He says new flight paths have already started in the New York metropolitan area.