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Santa Monica Airport (SMO)

An update: the Airport Owners/Pilots Association has qualified an initiative for the November ballot. I urge each of you to vote NO on their misleading initiative. It would require that SMO effectively stay open forever as a minimum of 45,000 voters would have to vote to close it in the future. The Santa Monica City sponsored charter amendment  will still require voter approval in order to close the airport however keeps our community in control of the airport and surrounding land. I urge a YES vote on the City Airport Charter Amendment.

Santa Monica Airport is a landmark, a vestige of simpler times, a reminder of the working class city Santa Monica once was. SMO began as Clover Field, purchased by Park bonds, and has one of the great legacies of the 20th Century in aviation history. Once the home of Douglas Aircraft and, at one time, the busiest small plane airport in the United States it's been controversial for the past fifty years.

It's now a combination jet and small plane airport surrounded by homes in the middle of a bustling community. Neighbors have always complained of the noise and pollution that accompany the airport's use. Venice and Mar Vista residents have been especially bitter about their neighbor, SMO. 

Santa Monica has fought the FAA for years about the airport's uses, about jet landings, about who the legitimate owner of the airport is and when Santa Monica can declare it closed. Most recently a federal judge ruled against Santa Monica's desire to close the airport. The bottom line is that it's our property...yes, it belongs to every Santa Monica resident and the FAA can't just steal our land.

In 2015 a portion of the airport runway appears to be unencumbered by potential FAA deed restrictions and Santa Monica should reclaim that 2,000 feet of runway. Temporarily, it could be become a dog park or simply a closed area. Taking back our land from the Airport would stop jets from landing or taking off and would restore SMO to a small aircraft airport. Additionally, the city should cease to subsidize airport leases. A  tax on aircraft operations should be passed to be used for fire suppression deployment at the Airport.

In 2023 it appears that the FAA lease on the remainder of the Airport expires. The existence of the airport should be put to a vote of Santa Monica residents. After 8 years as a small plane airport the voters will be wise enough to decide the Airport's future. An important caveat: If the FAA cedes control of SMO prior to 2023 then our residents can make their decision on the airport's status sooner.

In the meantime, taxpayer dollars should not be spent on suing the FAA. By constricting the runway in 2015 we can restrict operations to smaller aircraft and then in 2023 we can close the airport if our citizens want it closed. 


Paid for by Committee to Elect Phil Brock For City Council - id#1392146 - 1328 Twelfth Street Santa Monica, Ca 90401
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