Santa Monica – Airport Battle Expands

The battle over Santa Monica Airport has been going on for years, but a recent move by the city to create new restrictions at the airport has the FAA taking more aggressive measures. The FAA has said that it will take the extraordinary step of having the Department of Transportation withhold all federal transportation funding?not just airport money?from the city if it continues to pursue the restrictions and intention to close the airport. After reviewing the city?s arguments for restricting jet traffic at the airport, the FAA issued its director?s determination. The document notes that the city?s contention that it can close the airport in 2015 is not valid. Not only is the airport obligated to remain open through 2023 because of federal funding it has accepted in the past, but the airport also sits on federal surplus property, meaning it must remain an airport in perpetuity, regardless of whether or not it continues to accept federal funding.

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