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Seeley v. Department of Transportation

*fn* submitted seattle washington: June 4, 1992.

RALPH SEELEY, PETITIONER,
v.
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION, NATIONAL TRANSPORTATION SAFETY BOARD; FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION, RESPONDENTS.



Petition for Review of Agency Action. FAA No. 26438.

Before: Farris, Norris and Kozinski, Circuit Judges.

MEMORANDUM

Federal aviation regulations require aircraft operating within 30 miles of 24 designated airports to be equipped with a Mode C transponder, which allows air traffic controllers to monitor both position and altitude of planes within the controlled airspace. 14 C.F.R. 91.215(b)(2). Seeley complained that this rule adversely affects general aviation in the Seattle area, and requested that the FAA repeal or modify it as it applies to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. After his request was pending for two months with no agency action, Seeley petitioned this court for review. While this action was pending, the FAA denied Seeley's request to repeal or modify the Mode C regulation. We construe this action as a petition to review that denial.*fn1 See 49 U.S.C. App. § 1486(a).

Upon receipt of Seeley's request for repeal or modification, the FAA published a summary thereof in the Federal Register, 56 Fed. Reg. 10383 (1991), and solicited comments during a 60-day period. The agency then denied Seeley's request, explaining its reasons in a detailed memorandum. The FAA complied with the APA and applicable regulations. 5 U.S.C. § 553(e); 14 C.F.R. § 11.27. Its decision is not arbitrary or capricious, nor is it an abuse of discretion or otherwise not in accordance with law. 5 U.S.C. § 706(2)(a). The FAA is charged with administering a complex statutory scheme, and its decision to require Mode C transponders at certain airports because of high volumes of air traffic is a reasonable one. See Motor Vehicle Mfrs. Ass'n v. State Farm Mut. Auto Ins. Co., 463 U.S. 29, 43 (1983). If Mr. Seeley wishes to fly within 30 miles of Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, he can install a Mode C transponder; otherwise he will have to avoid the controlled airspace.

Petition for review DENIED.

Disposition

Petition for review ...


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