Aerial Banners North is not backing down in its legal fight to bring aerial advertising to Hawaii.
Despite getting cited and the Federal Aviation Administration saying that the company must still comply with state and city laws, ABN says the waiver from the FAA still allows the company to fly legally.
The company’s chief legal counsel arrived in Honolulu Tuesday.
Michael McAllister told KHON2 the statement from the FAA does not change anything. The waiver still gives the company to legal right to fly.
The yellow plane sat idle at Kalaeloa Airport Tuesday but probably not for too long. McAllister says a clause in the waiver does not require the company to follow state and county laws.
“Section 108C has no legal effect whatsoever and should be disregarded by inspectors, then two paragraphs later it says by the way you can’t insert any provisions that require them to follow state or local laws, which we take as authority to fly,” McAllister said.
McAllister arrived in Honolulu hoping to meet with the mayor and the Outdoor Circle to smooth things out. He says the company is willing to fight this in court to set the record straight as well as get feedback from the community.
“It definitely is not the plan to black out the skies of Honolulu. It’s a plan to fly very conservatively, probably limit the hours and days that we fly, and to do it in a way that’s respectful and takes into account all the feedback that we’re hearing,” McAllister said.
But the legal battle continues for the city. Prosecutor Keith Kaneshiro says the waiver from the FAA is clear that ABN still must obey state and county laws.
“People will say things differently they’ll say things to twist what the law is and they’ll say their interpretation of the law what we deal with is what the law says what the case law says,” Kaneshiro said.
Kaneshiro says if it does go to court, there were already two previous decisions by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals that ruled in favor of the city.
When asked if he was confident that this case would have the same outcome, Kaneshiro said, “I’m confident as to what the law says and we’ll follow the law we’ll follow the case law.”
McAllister says there are already companies and individuals in Hawaii who are interested in hiring ABN to fly a banner, but they’re not ready to do that yet until the legal issues are resolved.
The pilot who was cited last week is scheduled to make a court appearance on August 5.