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FAA Caves: Santa Monica Airport will close in 2028

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Old January 30th 17, 05:13 PM posted to rec.aviation.piloting
Larry Dighera
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Default FAA Caves: Santa Monica Airport will close in 2028

KSMO, an essential reliever airport for the Los Angeles basin area, provides an
economic input of more than $250 million to the local economy each year and
supports 175 businesses and 1,500 jobs.

When the airport was transferred back to Santa Monica in 1948 after its use by
the U.S. military during World War II, the city agreed to keep it open in
perpetuity or its operation could revert back to the federal government.

So, the City of Santa Monica's acquisition of the KSMO property was formally
predicated upon the condition that city's maintain of the airport in
operational status. Now it seems that, the FAA will fail to uphold that part
of the original agreement, and just gift what is property and infrastructure
owned by the government (and ultimately taxpayers) to the city of Santa Monica
without compensation. Contact your state and federal congressional
representatives and senators (Phone: 202 225 3121) and make your concerns known
to those with the power to serve justice.

Another airport's demise in a "back room" deal.

America is getting greater by the minute. :-(

Buyers purchase real estate at reduced prices that reflect the
proximity to the airport, and than insist that the airport go away. Such
behavior seems a bit selfish, arrogant and self serving to me. It will be
interesting to hear the property owners outrage when their assessed property
tax values are revised upwards to reflect the change. Watch what you wish

Those Santa Monica officials who permitted residential development in close
proximity to the airport are guilty of malfeasance in office from my
prospective. They should be prosecuted for that irresponsible behavior.

Santa Monica To Close In 2028

By Russ Niles

Santa Monica Airport will close in 2028 and the runway will almost certainly be
shortened to 3,500 feet. The FAA announced Saturday that it had reached an
agreement to end decades of legal wrangling over the airport, which is
surrounded by urban development and has been targeted for closure by local
politicians since the 1980s, citing safety and environmental concerns. Under
the terms of the deal, the airport has to be maintained in “continuous and
stable” operating condition until Dec. 31, 2028, and allows the city to chop
almost 1,500 feet from the runway. The airport has 270 aircraft and about 450
landings and takeoffs a day. It’s likely the short runway will curtail
itinerant operations and may force some of the aircraft based there to move.
Until the runway is shortened, the FBOs and flight schools at the airport can
stay in business but after the bulldozers are finished the city can assume
services at the airport. The deal is significant because it mentions local land
use decisions as a factor in making decisions about aviation services and EAA
Chairman Jack Pelton was quick to point that out. It's also clear that none of
the aviation groups were in on the discussions.

"It is certainly a disappointing development, first concerning the immediate
ability to shorten the runway, and the ultimate ability to close the airport in
2028," Pelton said in a statement. "While we can only guess at the inside
discussions to reach this settlement as to our knowledge, the airport’s
stakeholders were not a part of it, the founding principles of FAA grant
assurances are to maintain stability for an airport and its users as part of
the national airspace system, above local political maneuvering.”

NBAA and AOPA both suggested they'll fight the agreement. NBAA President Ed
Bolen said they're still analyzing the agreement but on first blush it has
concerns. “We are disappointed that the government decided to settle this case,
especially given that NBAA has long been committed to aggressively supporting
business aviation access to SMO, through every legislative and legal channel
available. If there are further avenues available to us, we intend to explore
them.” AOPA President Mark Baker said his group is also studying the agreement
but opposing the decision. "Our main goal—to keep this airport permanently open
and available to all general aviation users—remains unchanged. We are not done
fighting for Santa Monica”

Meanwhile, Santa Monica officials were quick to trumpet the news, saying the
airport will be turned into a park. “The agreement ends a longstanding legal
battle and secures, with absolute certainty, that the 227 acres of aviation
land will be returned to the residents of Santa Monica,” the city said in a
statement. The FAA and the city have been in a pitched battle recently over the
city’s attempt to effectively evict airport businesses with a goal of closing
the airport in two years. FAA Administrator Michael Huerta called the agreement
“a fair resolution for all concerned” in a statement released Saturday. “… It
strikes an appropriate balance between the public's interest in making local
decisions about land use practices and its interests in safe and efficient
aviation services,” he said.

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