If you have been following this ongoing issue, you know that the City of Santa Monica, driven by "Special Interests", has been trying to close this airport for years. Why? That's easy. Regardless of what the city says, it's really about money.
Special Interest groups will make millions off of developing the land and the city stands to make money too.
The city is skillfully hiding these efforts behind safety issues, unproven health issues, and false accusations of the airport costing taxpayer's money. Of course the city hasn't told the taxpayers that they are not counting all of the revenue from the airport, because then taxpayers would know that the airport actually does support itself.
Apparently, Santa Monica never received the memo - The attached letter from NBAA to the Santa Monica City Council should be read just for the valuable information. It takes the city council to task on several issues including that "as early as 1981 the City was indeed aware that the FAA took the position that "if the city ever in perpetuity ever tries to convert any of this property to any other use, then the federal government gets it back, or can operate to get it back at that time."
There is more too, as non-aeronautical tenants must pay fair market rent – as well as inconsistent with the report's overall recommendation that KSMO revenues be maintained.
A group of Santa Monica residents has taken the first step toward launching a ballot initiative that would give city residents a say in the future use of Santa Monica Municipal Airport property, and AOPA has pledged to support the effort.
On March 27, the group filed paperwork needed to begin the initiative process. The group is proposing an amendment to the city charter that would require voter approval before the city can redevelop airport land. Surveys have consistently shown that the majority of Santa Monica residents want to keep the airport open.
Santa Monica City Council Approves Plan To Take Over Portion Of Airport « CBS Los Angeles
Meeting Update Tuesday March 25, 2014 - Despite the headline, I believe the actual motion was "to study" a variety of these possible approaches.
The City Counsel, Marsha Moutrie, cautioned the maker of the motion, Kevin McKeown, to adjust the motion in this regard. (We can only surmise that were it not so adjusted, it might lead to a Part 16 action based on a "decision" by the City Council.)
There were 101 registered speakers of which, by the time the evening wore on, there was fall off with perhaps 80-85 actually speaking at two minutes apiece.
(CalPilots Editor's Note:Finally, someone is talking out loud about the real reason behind the city trying to close the airport - MONEY - what else. Of course you'll have to read the entire article to find this fact hidden at the end of the article).
Santa Monica launches effort to shut down all or part of city airport - The Santa Monica City Council late Tuesday took a major step toward closing all or part of the city's airport after July 2015 -- a controversial move that could result in years of additional court battles with the federal government.
On a 6-0 vote, the council decided to develop and evaluate a strategy to scale back flight operations, cut the 5,000-foot runway by 2,000 feet and reduce aviation related services, such as fuel sales and flight schools.
As you may know, Santa Monica Airport (SMO) is under siege by a very small segment of the local population that has succeeded, over time, in getting sway over the City Council.
We need to change that. SMO is a frequent stop for many of you. It is a vital part of our National Airspace System. If SMO goes, so will other airports ~ SMO is not a single airport; it is, effectively, a signalairport.
The Santa Monica City Council and Airport Commission are continuing their aggressive effort to force the closure of the Santa Monica Airport (SMO).
While none of this is new, their efforts have been vastly accelerated over the last few months as they look toward the expiration of the 1984 Settlement Agreement between the city and the FAA as their best opportunity to force this issue. Some think that when this agreement expires, the city can close the airport. That's been a subject of recent litigation between the city and the FAA. So far, the city lost every court case, but they haven't lost the war. Now the City is focused on a "starvation" strategy – strangle the airport to the point that it can no longer function as an airport.
The effort to close Santa Monica Airport suffered a major setback Thursday when a federal judge threw out the city's lawsuit that sought to wrest control of the facility from the federal government.
U.S. District Judge John F. Walters dismissed the claim that title to the oldest operating airport in Los Angeles County should be returned to the city because the action was brought too late under the statute of limitations.
AOPA and the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) have joined forces to file an amicus, or friend of the court, brief in support of an FAA motion to dismiss a federal lawsuit over the future of Santa Monica Municipal Airport. While the city of Santa Monica and the FAA have presented the technical arguments over the terms of an agreement signed decades ago, AOPA and NBAA intend to present the court with the bigger picture of what is at stake if the city is allowed to breach its agreement leaving the future of the Santa Monica airport to the city's whim.
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.