December 10, 2015 -- Aviators filed a class action lawsuit Monday against the City alleging that landing fees at Santa Monica Airport – which were doubled in 2013 – were illegally adopted by the City Council.
The Federal Aviation Administration ruled Friday that Santa Monica Airport must stay open at least until 2023 — a decision that could frustrate the city's efforts to reduce flight operations and then shut down the historic facility in the near future.
FAA Tells Santa Monica It Must Operate Airport Through At Least 2023 City Had Hoped To Repurpose 227 Acres Of Airport Property To Other Uses
The city of Santa Monica, CA has been told in no uncertain terms by the FAA that they cannot close the airport and open up its 227 acres for redevelopment until at least 2023, and likely not ever, according to a communication sent by the agency to city government.
The agency says that the city failed to bring the suit in a timely fashion. "This lawsuit, which involves a recorded real estate instrument signed by the plaintiff over 65 years ago, should be dismissed. To begin, that recordation, and subsequent conduct over half a century, belies any notion that the case was timely brought under the Quiet Title Act," the FAA wrote in its letter to the city. "That statute allows suits against the United States to resolve disputes about title to real property in which the United States claims any interest (with exceptions not relevant here) only if the plaintiff sues within twelve years of learning of the federal government's interest. In 1948, plaintiff City of Santa Monica (City) signed a recorded instrument that documented the United States' interest in the City's airport (SMO or the Airport Property). Plaintiff's knowledge in the 1940's, and in the decades since, of the transaction giving rise to its claim here squarely triggered the QTA's statute of limitations.
The Santa Monica Airport has long been embattled. City officials and nearby residents have made no secret of the fact that they are weary of it, especially as larger and larger private jets take off from and land on its single runway. Neighbors, some living no more than 300 feet from the runway, worry over safety, noise, and air pollution. The city has been in and out of court for decades, dueling with the Federal Aviation Administration — which oversees the city's compliance with federal rules on aircraft and airport operations — for the right to close the airport or curtail its activities.
Now, the City Council has bypassed the courts and gone to its voters. Measure LC, which asserts that it is up to the City Council to decide how to manage the airport and whether to close all or part of it, passed decisively on Tuesday. lRelated Your 405 exit is closed, but will Metro or Caltrans tell you?
A city sponsored ballot initiative — Measure LC — has passed in Santa Monica, Calif., leaving the future of Santa Monica Municipal Airport (SMO) in the hands of the City Council. The measure passed with 59% of voters saying "yes" with 90% of precincts reporting Tuesday. At the same time, voters rejected a separate measure — [...] Read in browser
Voters agree to leave fate of Santa Monica Airport to City Council Westside Today
In a step that could move Santa Monica Airport closer to closure, voters agreed to allow the City Council to make decisions regarding the fate of the airfield and rejected an effort by aviation groups to require a public vote on any effort to shutter the facility or restrict aviation activity.
Although city officials are still in a power struggle with the federal government over the future of the 227-acre airport, passage of Measure LC on Tuesday's ballot gave the City Council a vote of confidence from residents.
(CalPilot's Editor's Note: Ever wonder where your membership fees go - this is an excellent example) Two of GA's top advocacy groups, the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) and the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) have contributed more than $540,000 to support a ballot measure in Santa Monica, Calif.,, that would halt efforts to shut down the city's airport (SMO). According to a report in the Los Angeles Times, the campaign measure [...] Read in browser »
The Flying Scholarship for Girls offers one southern California high school student 30 hours of instruction and flight time at Santa Monica Airport. "We're looking for the type of person who can give back to society and be a good role model," said Kambiz Taleghani, who helped found the scholarship program because his daughter wanted to learn how to fly. Santa Monica Daily Press (Calif.)
Please forward this information to everyone who wants to support SMO. If you're active on Facebook, please like all our pages and invite all your friends to like our pages. Share, like, comment, tweet, retweet. Rinse and repeat! We need this information to go viral now and keep building until Nov. 4th!
The fact is the city's plan to close Santa Monica Airport has always been about money – regardless of what the city has previously claimed.
Below is what happens when a multi-county political machine backed by Big Development, which stands to make hundreds of millions on high rise development on existing airport property, get together. Note all the references to the pseudo political organizations - which were all likely promised something in return for their endorsement.
If this doesn't anger you and get you involved in this fight to save Santa Monica Airport from Big Development's plan to line their pockets, then the politicians will win. What's it going to be?