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Sun, Jul 23, 2006

FAA Rules High Rise Poses No Risk To PHX

Luxury Condo Tower Would Be Near Flight Line

After a months-long review, the FAA determined this week a proposed 450-foot tower near Sky Harbor International Airport in Phoenix, AZ, poses no threat to air traffic operating from the airport.

The Associated Press reports the FAA considered site plans, as well as city ordnances and public comment, when making the determination that the high-rise tower -- part of the planned W Phoenix Hotel and Condominium development, next to US Airways Center -- does not present a danger to pilots.

As Aero-News reported in March, the FAA had expressed doubts on the safety of such a move, as the tower would be located near several corridors into and out of the airport... including an emergency-use corridor for pilots who experience engine problems after takeoff.

While the FAA has signed off on the project, groundbreaking for the downtown high-rise is still likely months away.

There's still a district court case to contend with, seeking to bar the developer -- Phoenix Suns majority owner Robert Sarver -- from building the tower atop a historic structure.

"We're still moving forward, but I have no idea how long this process could take," Sarver said.

FMI: www.phoenix-phx.com/, www.faa.gov

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