Santa Monica Airport

California Airports

FAA – Santa Monica Airport Must Remain Open

SantaMonica AirportFAA 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.

California Airports

FAA – Santa Monica Airport Must Remain Open

SantaMonica AirportFAA 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.

California Airports

Santa Monica versus the FAA over airport

SMO3The 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?