Constitutional Law-Eminent Domain-Master Flight Plan as a Taking of Land Under Approach Area to Municipal Airport

Plaintiff owned land adjacent to the Greater Pittsburgh Airport which lay under an approach area for one of the runways. Allegheny County, in compliance with rules and regulations of the Civil Aeronautics Authority, drafted a “Master Plan,” approved by the CAA, which showed the approach area over part of plaintiff’s property. Plaintiff sued to recover damages from the county, owner and operator of the airport, alleging an appropriation of his land because of the substantial interference with its use and enjoyment caused by flights at low altitudes above his land during landings and take-offs. Upon an award of damages by the viewers, the county objected, claiming there had been no taking; but the lower court dismissed the county’s exceptions. On appeal from the order of dismissal, held, reversed, two justices dissenting. Neither the ownership and operation of the airport nor the adoption of the “Master Plan” constituted a taking by the county of an easement of avigation over plaintiffs property for which compensation must be made. Griggs v. Allegheny County