CHATHAM – A lawsuit filed by a group of residents hoping to prevent skydiving from returning to Chatham Municipal Airport has been dismissed.
A Barnstable Superior Court judge issued an order Thursday allowing the town’s motion for summary judgment in the case, essentially terminating the legal action.
Citizens for a Safe Chatham Airport, Inc., filed the suit in 2015 claiming that allowing skydiving at the airport constituted a nuisance under the state’s Tort Claims Act. In its defense, the town asserted that state court can’t rule on the claim because federal law governing the Federal Aviation Administration pre-empts state law. Town officials said FAA grants awarded to the airport required that general aviation activities, including skydiving, be allowed there.
Justice Beverly J. Cannone agreed with the town’s position, ruling that the state law “must give way to conflicting federal law which requires the defendants to enter into such contracts.”
The citizens’ group has 30 days to file an appeal of the order.
This story will be updated as more information becomes available.
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