Constitutional Law – Interstate Commerce – Power of States to Recalculate Aircraft Operating in Interstate Commerce

Defendant village, located one mile from Idlewild Airport, passed an ordinance prohibiting air flight over the town at less than 1,000 feet. Plaintiffs brought suit to enjoin enforcement of the ordinance, with Civil Aeronautics Board intervening as· plaintiff. The Civil Aeronautics Act of 1938 gives the CAB the authority to regulate aircraft in navigable air space, and the authority to define navigable airspace by setting minimum altitudes for flight. The CAB minimum altitude rules provide that aircraft flying over congested areas shall not be operated below 1,000 feet above the highest obstacle within a horizontal radius of 2,000 feet, except when it is necessary to take off or land. The CAB has issued landing regulations which occasionally require aircraft to fly over the village of Cedarhurst at altitudes as low as 450 feet. Held, any airspace defined by the CAB as necessary for the takeoff or landing of aircraft is navigable airspace subject to federal regulation. By adopting a comprehensive system of regulation within this airspace the federal government has pre-empted the field, thus superseding conflicting local regulations. Allegheny Airlines v. Village of Cedarhurst, (D.C. N. Y. 1955) 132 F. Supp. 871.