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Santa Monica discord continues



 
 
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  #1  
Old February 9th 17, 04:05 PM posted to rec.aviation.piloting
Larry Dighera
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 3,758
Default Santa Monica discord continues

https://www.aopa.org/news-and-media/...ta-monica-deal


Huerta explains Santa Monica deal
February 2, 2017 By Alyssa J. Miller
A deal between the FAA and the city of Santa Monica, California, became
official Feb. 1 when the Honorable John F. Walter of the U.S. District Court
for the Central District of California signed a detailed stipulation and
order/consent decree that requires the city to keep Santa Monica Municipal
Airport open and operating with reasonable services until Dec. 31, 2028, upon
which time it has the option to close the facility.
Santa Monica Municipal Airport. Photo by Mike Fizer.
Santa Monica Municipal Airport. Photo by Mike Fizer.

The agreement has upset many on both sides of the battle over Santa Monica
airport.

“We’re not going to stop fighting for Santa Monica,” vowed AOPA President Mark
Baker. “This gives us some certainty that it’s not going to close tomorrow, or
next month, or next year. Now we have time to change minds and make sure this
airport continues to operate as it should.”

“There’s an extended period of time for the market to adjust,” said FAA
Administrator Michael Huerta in an exclusive interview with AOPA, “but frankly
there’s also a period of time for the industry, for the city, and the aviation
community in Southern California to perhaps think about alternatives that might
be out there as well.” Huerta suggested that the aviation community consider
presenting alternatives to closing the airport to the city during the interim.

“Twelve years is a long time and it does provide, I think, a framework for
those discussions to take place,” Huerta said.

The settlement agreement allows the city of Santa Monica to shorten its
4,973-foot runway to an operational length of 3,500 feet after providing 30
days’ notice. The runway safety areas at both ends of the runway are not
included in the 3,500 feet, but the agreement does not define the length of
those safety areas. The city will be responsible for the cost of shortening the
runway but can still apply for federal funds through the FAA, as other airport
operators can.

During the interim while the city is shortening the runway, Huerta said, “We’re
really looking to them to work in good faith with the users of the airport, to
work in good faith with us,” adding that “based on the conversations that we
have had, I’m feeling pretty good that they will.”

The city can either provide airport services itself, such as fuel sales, or
enter leases with tenants to provide those services. If the city offers leases
to tenants, they must have a three-year minimum, and all terms must be
“reasonable” to those provided at other airports similar to Santa Monica. No
hard limits were set on fuel prices or landing, ramp, or hangar or tiedown
fees.

Huerta said the FAA would not get “in the business of setting prices,”
explaining that “reasonable and customary business practices are what we’re
going to be looking for in terms of how the city operates the airport there.”
He encouraged airport users to talk to the city about prices and their needs
because the city now has an incentive to operate the airport because it must
remain open until the end of 2028.
Decades of litigation settled

The city and the FAA have engaged in litigation for more than three decades
regarding the airport’s future, Huerta noted. The litigation surrounded two
types of contracts the city of Santa Monica and the federal government had
entered. One was a difference of views between the two entities as to when the
contractual obligations for operating an airport after accepting federal
funding expired. Federal grant assurances require that airports remain open and
operating for 20 years after funds have been granted. The city of Santa Monica
had received federal Airport Improvement Program funds in 1994 and then
additional funds through an amendment to that grant in 2003. The point being
contended was whether the 20-year period expired in 2014 or if it would remain
in effect until 2023. The other point of litigation regarded whether the
airport must be operated in perpetuity and is related to two contracts at the
end of the 1940s, when the federal government stopped using the airport for
military purposes after World War II.

The city and the FAA had been in negotiation since 2016, Huerta said, when the
ninth Circuit Court of Appeals
https://www.aopa.org/news-and-media/all-news/2016/may/17/appeals-court-reverses-dismissal-in-smo-case
a district court’s decision granting the FAA’s appeal to dismiss Santa Monica’s
continued bids to close the airport. That unfavorable ruling for the federal
government helped spur the agency to open discussions with the city.

Huerta said the parties had to negotiate the city’s rights to its land and the
aeronautical obligations to the government while providing a level of certainty
and extended operations for tenants at the airport.

“Land use is a local responsibility,” Huerta explained. “The FAA’s interest in
this case and in dealing with any city or any state is really more a
contractual matter. Are they complying with contracts they have entered into
with the federal government?”

Contractual compliance with grant assurances had been the FAA’s interest when
it issued a cease-and-desist order late last year after the city of Santa
Monica issued eviction notices to Atlantic Aviation and American Flyers.

The settlement agreement resolves all pending disputes between the city and the
FAA.
Settlement does not set a precedent

With many airport operators and the entire general aviation community following
the Santa Monica case to determine what any decisions could mean for airports
elsewhere, the settlement does not set a precedent, according to Huerta.

“It is an incredibly complicated situation, a very unique set of facts that
relate to Santa Monica,” Huerta said.

Because of the settlement, the courts never ruled regarding federal surplus
property being returned to cities, he said. Huerta also explained that the
length of grant assurance obligations was never a question; Huerta clarified
that the lawsuits over the grant assurances were based on a difference in
opinion of the expiration date, not on the length of the obligations in
general. He also said the agency would continue to ensure that airport
operators comply with the contractual agreements they commit to when accepting
federal funding.

“I don’t think it sets any precedent,” Huerta said.
================================================== ===============================

https://www.aopa.org/news-and-media/...deal-protested

Santa Monica discord continues
Next steps remain in question
February 7, 2017 By Jim Moore

The court-approved FAA settlement with the city of Santa Monica, California,
over the future of its municipal airport was negotiated in secrecy, and the
terms sparked anger and surprise from both airport supporters and airport
opponents when the deal became public. As both sides look to the future, much
remains in question.

AOPA photo by Mike Fizer.

AOPA has been in the thick of the decades-long battle over the airport, and
will continue to work to extend the life of Santa Monica Municipal Airport
beyond Dec. 31, 2028, AOPA President Mark Baker said soon after the surprise
settlement became public.

Protesters and local officials who gathered Feb. 4 at the Santa Monica Business
Park to voice outrage over the agreement decried the fact that the city is now
forced to keep the airport open for at least 12 more years. The city council
narrowly approved the settlement by a 4-to-3 vote.

Meanwhile, AOPA and other airport advocates have clear goals and objectives for
the next 12 years—chief among those is to change local attitudes and views and
educate the community about the value of the local resource.

FAA Administrator Michael Huerta, in an interview with AOPA, said the city is
obligated under the agreement to allow tenants to provide aviation services, or
may, as other municipal airport operators do, provide services (including
aviation fuel) itself.

“We’re really looking to them to work in good faith with the users of the
airport, to work in good faith with us,” Huerta said, referring to city
officials and adding that “based on the conversations that we have had, I’m
feeling pretty good that they will.”

Mayor Ted Winterer, who voted with the majority to approve the settlement,
spoke openly days later about exploiting loopholes, the Santa Monica Daily
Press reported in its account of the Feb. 4 anti-airport rally.

“We will, in six months, shorten that runway to 3,500 feet,” Winterer said,
according to the newspaper, and added that the city believes the shorter runway
will reduce air traffic by 44 percent.

“Winterer went so far as to say the City will exploit every loophole available
to reduce air traffic,” the local paper reported.

Santa Monica Airport Association President Christian Fry told AOPA that he also
attended that Feb. 4 rally, and that city officials openly discussed what Fry
considers “draconian” measures to reduce airport use, including “security
inspections” of every aircraft, and installation of Plexiglas barriers between
observation and aircraft movement areas to discourage airplane watching.

“They’re saying things, even just a couple of days ago, that are pretty
inflammatory in my opinion,” Fry said. He said the local airport advocacy group
continues to consult with attorneys and with advocacy groups including AOPA and
the National Business Aviation Association, and has not yet decided on next
steps.

“We’re really trying to evaluate all of the options,” Fry said, adding that
those will likely include renewed efforts to build public support for the
airport’s long-term existence.

Huerta said the city must present a detailed plan for FAA approval before
shortening the runway to 3,500 feet (as the settlement allows). Huerta said the
FAA will review the runway (de)construction plan in detail with an eye on
several factors, including safety and the impact on local airspace users. Santa
Monica Municipal Airport has long been a reliever for Los Angeles International
Airport, located just eight miles away, and the impact of curtailing Santa
Monica airport use will be among the considerations before the FAA approves any
changes to the layout.

“That’s something we’ll need to evaluate based on what their specific plan
looks like,” Huerta told AOPA.

Santa Monica Municipal Airport has throughout its long history been an asset to
the local economy, creating or supporting tens of thousands of jobs over the
decades, as well as generating tax revenues, local economic activity, and other
benefits for the community such as its availability to provide critical
transportation links in the event of a natural disaster. The settlement
agreement has already begun to curtail economic activity: JetSuiteX had planned
to begin operating low-cost charter flights out of Santa Monica this month, and
placed those plans on indefinite hold soon after the settlement was announced.

“We apologize to our clients, over half of whom are Santa Monica residents, who
have been adversely affected by the unprecedented recent events concerning SMO
airport,” CEO Alex Wilcox said in a statement issued by the company. The
company had sold about 1,000 tickets since announcing the planned flights in
December, and Wilcox said those customers would all receive full refunds.

Fry said the Santa Monica Airport Association was among the many taken by
surprise as the FAA settlement was announced, having been privy to none of its
details, or even the existence of negotiations.

“We’re certainly not happy at all about the shortening of the runway,” Fry
said, noting that such a move would limit the airport's utility. “We’re also
concerned about the safety implications of a shorter runway.”

Fry said the airport is much like an interstate highway that traverses the
city, in that the airport, while physically located in the city, serves as an
access point to the national transportation infrastructure.

“That on-ramp and off-ramp to the airspace system is part of the national
infrastructure, and I believe should be protected on a national level,” Fry
said. He remains hopeful that six more election cycles will yield new attitudes
from city government about the airport’s value to the community.

Huerta said the FAA will hold the city to its obligations to provide services
and operate the airport.

“Reasonable and customary business practices are going to be what we are going
to be looking for,” Huerta said. “We’re going to be quite vigilant to ensure
that the terms of the agreement are adhered to.”
Ads
  #2  
Old February 14th 17, 01:58 AM posted to rec.aviation.piloting
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 164
Default Santa Monica discord continues

On helped spur the agency to open discussions with the city.

Huerta said the parties had to negotiate the city’s rights to its land and the
aeronautical obligations to the government while providing a level of certainty
and extended operations for tenants at the airport.

“Land use is a local responsibility,” Huerta explained. “The FAA’s interest in


Can't wait for the 2030 opening of Leisure World, Santa Monica. This change will lead to billions of dollars in upgrades in West LA and Santa Monica.
  #3  
Old February 17th 17, 07:19 PM posted to rec.aviation.piloting
Larry Dighera
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 3,758
Default NBAA Challenges Santa Monica Deal (Was: Santa Monica discord continues)


http://www.avweb.com/avwebflash/news...-228508-1.html

NBAA Challenges Santa Monica Deal

By Russ Niles | February 16, 2017

NBAA and four businesses have petitioned the U.S. Court of Appeals to review
the FAA’s deal with the City of Santa Monica to shorten the airport’s runway.
Under the deal, the runway would be cut immediately to 3,500 feet from almost
5,000, limiting its use and likely forcing some of the current tenants to
immediately find other accommodation. Those who can use 3,500 feet will have
the airport until 2028 but it’s likely the City of Santa Monica will become the
fuel and maybe even the maintenance provider. "Santa Monica's airport is a
vital asset to our aviation system, both locally as well as nationally, and
serves as a critical transportation lifeline for the entire Los Angeles basin,"
Bolen added. "NBAA remains committed to aggressively supporting unrestricted
business aviation access to SMO, through this petition and other available
channels."

NBAA alleges the deal leaves a lot of loose ends including some complaints
filed by NBAA and others about the city’s administration of the airport. Among
those is an allegation the city mishandled airport money. The organization is
joined in the petition by two airport businesses, Bills Air Center Inc. and
Davidson Aviation Inc. and two businesses that use the airport, Redgate
Partners LLC and Wonderful Citrus LLC.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

https://www.nbaa.org/news/pr/2017/20170213-017.php

NBAA Requests Appeals Court Review of Santa Monica Airport Settlement Agreement

Contact: Dan Hubbard, 202-783-9360,

Washington, DC, Feb. 13, 2017 – The National Business Aviation Association
(NBAA) today joined with five additional aviation stakeholders to petition the
U.S. Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit, asking the court to review
the recent agreement between Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the city
of Santa Monica, CA over the future of Santa Monica Municipal Airport (SMO).

Last month, the FAA announced it had reached a settlement with the city, which,
in addition to permitting closure of the historic airfield at the end of 2028,
would also allow the city to immediately begin the process of reducing the
length of the SMO's sole runway from 4,973 feet to 3,500 feet.

NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen termed the FAA’s seeming acquiescence to a
vocal minority of Santa Monica residents, "a one-of-a-kind development" that
would severely restrict aviation access throughout Southern California and
across the U.S.

"Santa Monica's airport is a vital asset to our aviation system, both locally
as well as nationally, and serves as a critical transportation lifeline for the
entire Los Angeles basin," Bolen added. "NBAA remains committed to aggressively
supporting unrestricted business aviation access to SMO, through this petition
and other available channels."

City officials have repeatedly attempted to curtail access by aviation users
and other stakeholders to the airport, in defiance of established historical
precedents dating back to the original 1948 instrument of transfer agreement
that returned control of the former military airfield back to the city, as well
as the city's federal grant obligations.

In addition to today’s filing, NBAA and other stakeholders continue to review
all additional options in response to the settlement agreement, including
continued pursuit of several ongoing administrative complaints – not covered
under the settlement – by NBAA and others over the city's federally mandated
obligations.

This includes a Part 16 complaint, filed by NBAA and other airport proponents,
alleging that the city has mishandled airport finances, landing fees and other
terms, in part through continued failure to offer leases to longstanding
aviation-related businesses on the field.

Other parties to the petition include the Santa Monica Airport Association, a
longstanding proponent for maintaining the airport’s current presence; two
airport businesses – Bill's Air Center, Inc. and Kim Davidson Aviation, Inc. –
that would be directly impacted by restricted access to, and eventual closure
of, SMO; and two operators, Redgate Partners, LLC; and Wonderful Citrus, LLC.

View the petition. (PDF)
https://www.nbaa.org/ops/airports/sm...for-Review.pdf

------------------------------------------------------

http://www.planeandpilotmag.com/arti.../#.WKdKQTWHdp8
Plane & Pilot
Published February 16, 2017
NBAA Speaks Up About Santa Monica Settlement
Business aviation has a surprise in store for FAA, Santa Monica.
By Kate O'Connor

After the FAA’s surprise settlement with the City of Santa Monica last month,
which seemed to many in aviation like a betrayal by the FAA, those hoping to
keep the historic Santa Monica Municipal Airport open beyond 2028 finally got
some good news.

On February 13, the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) announced
that they have filed a petition with the U.S. Court of Appeals to review the
FAA’s decision in regards to SMO. This includes reviewing the agreement to
immediately shorten the runway by 1,473 feet.

The petition argues that the FAA can’t legally release the City of Santa Monica
from the obligations it accepted when it got deeds and grant money for the
airport from the federal government. It also holds that, because of regulations
and policies already in place, the FAA can’t change the terms and conditions
governing the City’s future operation of SMO or their own oversight of it. If
the Court finds that those arguments are correct, the settlement will not be
upheld.

NBAA isn’t alone in putting forward this petition. It was joined by the Santa
Monica Airport Association and several other airport stakeholders. “Santa
Monica's airport is a vital asset to our aviation system, both locally as well
as nationally, and serves as a critical transportation lifeline for the entire
Los Angeles basin,” said NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen. “NBAA remains
committed to aggressively supporting unrestricted business aviation access to
SMO, through this petition and other available channels.”

The petition isn’t a last stand. NBAA and other airport stakeholders are
exploring further options to keep SMO open. These include a complaint alleging
that the City mishandled airport finances and additional administrative
complaints over the City’s failure to meet its federally mandated obligations.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

https://www.nbaa.org/ops/airports/sm...ponse-role.php

Red Cross and Citizens Highlight Santa Monica Airport’s Emergency-Response Role

Jan. 15, 2017

On the otherwise unremarkable morning of Jan. 14, 10 airplanes from five
airports across Los Angeles County landed at Santa Monica Municipal Airport
(SMO), to demonstrate the importance of the historic airfield in serving the
community during times of crisis.

In a simulated disaster-response exercise, pilots in the drill hopped out of
their airplanes and immediately began unloading boxes marked “Water
Purification” or “Emergency Shelters,” and quickly handed off the supplies to
Red Cross volunteers.

The pilots and volunteers in attendance showed how SMO, as formally confirmed
in city records, serves as an irreplaceable hub for emergency response. Those
involved in the simulation are known as Santa Monica Airport’s Disaster Airlift
Response Team (DART).

“Our mission is to activate in an emergency, and act as an air bridge for the
Red Cross and incident commanders,” said Dave Hopkins, vice president of the
Santa Monica Airport Association (SMAA). “A drill like this is a practical
example of how we could use the airport as critical infrastructure in case of
an emergency.”
When Roads Are Impassable...

In fact, the City of Santa Monica’s All Hazards Mitigation Plan (a
state-mandated preparedness document for all California cities) lists SMO among
the “facilities critical to government response and recovery.” It’s a function
served by general aviation (GA) airports across the country, and the DART
concept came out of GA pilots’ response to California’s devastating Loma Prieta
earthquake of 1989.

In this exercise at Santa Monica, the DART volunteers simulated an earthquake
that has closed the 405 and 10 Freeways, and the Pacific Coast Highway. In the
scenario, SMO’s runway could be damaged, but still usable.

Together, the 10 planes involved in the scenario could carry over 2,000 pounds
of supplies into SMO, and if needed, could fly five missions per day, getting
critical supplies to Red Cross volunteers on the ground, as well as the
hospitals they serve.

“LA-area hospitals depend on us, because the Red Cross provides 40 percent of
the nation’s blood supply,” said Jeanne Woo, disaster program manager for the
Red Cross Los Angeles Region. “So, any disruptions to logistics can cause huge
shortages of blood.”
....A Reminder of Airports’ Role in Crisis Response

During the Northridge earthquake of 1994, “a section of the 10 Freeway cracked
and broke,” snarling the relief efforts of first responders and the Red Cross,
said Woo, “so we’re seeing how volunteer pilots might be another way to deliver
services, when communities get cut off. If they can land 10 airplanes in one
hour, and each of them can carry 30 packets of blood, that could be a
significant contribution.”

More than 30 Red Cross and SMAA volunteers played essential roles in the DART
exercise, such as dispatching flights, marshalling aircraft, loading and
stockpiling supplies. Volunteer pilots flew from Van Nuys, Whiteman, Brackett
Field, Compton/Woodley and Torrance Airports. The supplies used in the Jan. 14
simulation were later donated to local charities.

Like SMAA, the Torrance Airport Association (TAA) has also assembled a DART
team and is planning their own emergency preparedness drill, according to TAA
Member Anne O’Brien, who flew into SMO for the Jan. 14 exercise. “As soon as
the city council, mayor and city mangers see the capabilities of the airport
for disaster response,” she said, “they get it.”
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------










On Thu, 09 Feb 2017 08:05:07 -0800, Larry Dighera wrote:

https://www.aopa.org/news-and-media/...ta-monica-deal


Huerta explains Santa Monica deal
February 2, 2017 By Alyssa J. Miller
A deal between the FAA and the city of Santa Monica, California, became
official Feb. 1 when the Honorable John F. Walter of the U.S. District Court
for the Central District of California signed a detailed stipulation and
order/consent decree that requires the city to keep Santa Monica Municipal
Airport open and operating with reasonable services until Dec. 31, 2028, upon
which time it has the option to close the facility.
Santa Monica Municipal Airport. Photo by Mike Fizer.
Santa Monica Municipal Airport. Photo by Mike Fizer.

The agreement has upset many on both sides of the battle over Santa Monica
airport.

“We’re not going to stop fighting for Santa Monica,” vowed AOPA President Mark
Baker. “This gives us some certainty that it’s not going to close tomorrow, or
next month, or next year. Now we have time to change minds and make sure this
airport continues to operate as it should.”

“There’s an extended period of time for the market to adjust,” said FAA
Administrator Michael Huerta in an exclusive interview with AOPA, “but frankly
there’s also a period of time for the industry, for the city, and the aviation
community in Southern California to perhaps think about alternatives that might
be out there as well.” Huerta suggested that the aviation community consider
presenting alternatives to closing the airport to the city during the interim.

“Twelve years is a long time and it does provide, I think, a framework for
those discussions to take place,” Huerta said.

The settlement agreement allows the city of Santa Monica to shorten its
4,973-foot runway to an operational length of 3,500 feet after providing 30
days’ notice. The runway safety areas at both ends of the runway are not
included in the 3,500 feet, but the agreement does not define the length of
those safety areas. The city will be responsible for the cost of shortening the
runway but can still apply for federal funds through the FAA, as other airport
operators can.

During the interim while the city is shortening the runway, Huerta said, “We’re
really looking to them to work in good faith with the users of the airport, to
work in good faith with us,” adding that “based on the conversations that we
have had, I’m feeling pretty good that they will.”

The city can either provide airport services itself, such as fuel sales, or
enter leases with tenants to provide those services. If the city offers leases
to tenants, they must have a three-year minimum, and all terms must be
“reasonable” to those provided at other airports similar to Santa Monica. No
hard limits were set on fuel prices or landing, ramp, or hangar or tiedown
fees.

Huerta said the FAA would not get “in the business of setting prices,”
explaining that “reasonable and customary business practices are what we’re
going to be looking for in terms of how the city operates the airport there.”
He encouraged airport users to talk to the city about prices and their needs
because the city now has an incentive to operate the airport because it must
remain open until the end of 2028.
Decades of litigation settled

The city and the FAA have engaged in litigation for more than three decades
regarding the airport’s future, Huerta noted. The litigation surrounded two
types of contracts the city of Santa Monica and the federal government had
entered. One was a difference of views between the two entities as to when the
contractual obligations for operating an airport after accepting federal
funding expired. Federal grant assurances require that airports remain open and
operating for 20 years after funds have been granted. The city of Santa Monica
had received federal Airport Improvement Program funds in 1994 and then
additional funds through an amendment to that grant in 2003. The point being
contended was whether the 20-year period expired in 2014 or if it would remain
in effect until 2023. The other point of litigation regarded whether the
airport must be operated in perpetuity and is related to two contracts at the
end of the 1940s, when the federal government stopped using the airport for
military purposes after World War II.

The city and the FAA had been in negotiation since 2016, Huerta said, when the
ninth Circuit Court of Appeals
https://www.aopa.org/news-and-media/all-news/2016/may/17/appeals-court-reverses-dismissal-in-smo-case
a district court’s decision granting the FAA’s appeal to dismiss Santa Monica’s
continued bids to close the airport. That unfavorable ruling for the federal
government helped spur the agency to open discussions with the city.

Huerta said the parties had to negotiate the city’s rights to its land and the
aeronautical obligations to the government while providing a level of certainty
and extended operations for tenants at the airport.

“Land use is a local responsibility,” Huerta explained. “The FAA’s interest in
this case and in dealing with any city or any state is really more a
contractual matter. Are they complying with contracts they have entered into
with the federal government?”

Contractual compliance with grant assurances had been the FAA’s interest when
it issued a cease-and-desist order late last year after the city of Santa
Monica issued eviction notices to Atlantic Aviation and American Flyers.

The settlement agreement resolves all pending disputes between the city and the
FAA.
Settlement does not set a precedent

With many airport operators and the entire general aviation community following
the Santa Monica case to determine what any decisions could mean for airports
elsewhere, the settlement does not set a precedent, according to Huerta.

“It is an incredibly complicated situation, a very unique set of facts that
relate to Santa Monica,” Huerta said.

Because of the settlement, the courts never ruled regarding federal surplus
property being returned to cities, he said. Huerta also explained that the
length of grant assurance obligations was never a question; Huerta clarified
that the lawsuits over the grant assurances were based on a difference in
opinion of the expiration date, not on the length of the obligations in
general. He also said the agency would continue to ensure that airport
operators comply with the contractual agreements they commit to when accepting
federal funding.

“I don’t think it sets any precedent,” Huerta said.
================================================= ================================

https://www.aopa.org/news-and-media/...deal-protested

Santa Monica discord continues
Next steps remain in question
February 7, 2017 By Jim Moore

The court-approved FAA settlement with the city of Santa Monica, California,
over the future of its municipal airport was negotiated in secrecy, and the
terms sparked anger and surprise from both airport supporters and airport
opponents when the deal became public. As both sides look to the future, much
remains in question.

AOPA photo by Mike Fizer.

AOPA has been in the thick of the decades-long battle over the airport, and
will continue to work to extend the life of Santa Monica Municipal Airport
beyond Dec. 31, 2028, AOPA President Mark Baker said soon after the surprise
settlement became public.

Protesters and local officials who gathered Feb. 4 at the Santa Monica Business
Park to voice outrage over the agreement decried the fact that the city is now
forced to keep the airport open for at least 12 more years. The city council
narrowly approved the settlement by a 4-to-3 vote.

Meanwhile, AOPA and other airport advocates have clear goals and objectives for
the next 12 years—chief among those is to change local attitudes and views and
educate the community about the value of the local resource.

FAA Administrator Michael Huerta, in an interview with AOPA, said the city is
obligated under the agreement to allow tenants to provide aviation services, or
may, as other municipal airport operators do, provide services (including
aviation fuel) itself.

“We’re really looking to them to work in good faith with the users of the
airport, to work in good faith with us,” Huerta said, referring to city
officials and adding that “based on the conversations that we have had, I’m
feeling pretty good that they will.”

Mayor Ted Winterer, who voted with the majority to approve the settlement,
spoke openly days later about exploiting loopholes, the Santa Monica Daily
Press reported in its account of the Feb. 4 anti-airport rally.

“We will, in six months, shorten that runway to 3,500 feet,” Winterer said,
according to the newspaper, and added that the city believes the shorter runway
will reduce air traffic by 44 percent.

“Winterer went so far as to say the City will exploit every loophole available
to reduce air traffic,” the local paper reported.

Santa Monica Airport Association President Christian Fry told AOPA that he also
attended that Feb. 4 rally, and that city officials openly discussed what Fry
considers “draconian” measures to reduce airport use, including “security
inspections” of every aircraft, and installation of Plexiglas barriers between
observation and aircraft movement areas to discourage airplane watching.

“They’re saying things, even just a couple of days ago, that are pretty
inflammatory in my opinion,” Fry said. He said the local airport advocacy group
continues to consult with attorneys and with advocacy groups including AOPA and
the National Business Aviation Association, and has not yet decided on next
steps.

“We’re really trying to evaluate all of the options,” Fry said, adding that
those will likely include renewed efforts to build public support for the
airport’s long-term existence.

Huerta said the city must present a detailed plan for FAA approval before
shortening the runway to 3,500 feet (as the settlement allows). Huerta said the
FAA will review the runway (de)construction plan in detail with an eye on
several factors, including safety and the impact on local airspace users. Santa
Monica Municipal Airport has long been a reliever for Los Angeles International
Airport, located just eight miles away, and the impact of curtailing Santa
Monica airport use will be among the considerations before the FAA approves any
changes to the layout.

“That’s something we’ll need to evaluate based on what their specific plan
looks like,” Huerta told AOPA.

Santa Monica Municipal Airport has throughout its long history been an asset to
the local economy, creating or supporting tens of thousands of jobs over the
decades, as well as generating tax revenues, local economic activity, and other
benefits for the community such as its availability to provide critical
transportation links in the event of a natural disaster. The settlement
agreement has already begun to curtail economic activity: JetSuiteX had planned
to begin operating low-cost charter flights out of Santa Monica this month, and
placed those plans on indefinite hold soon after the settlement was announced.

“We apologize to our clients, over half of whom are Santa Monica residents, who
have been adversely affected by the unprecedented recent events concerning SMO
airport,” CEO Alex Wilcox said in a statement issued by the company. The
company had sold about 1,000 tickets since announcing the planned flights in
December, and Wilcox said those customers would all receive full refunds.

Fry said the Santa Monica Airport Association was among the many taken by
surprise as the FAA settlement was announced, having been privy to none of its
details, or even the existence of negotiations.

“We’re certainly not happy at all about the shortening of the runway,” Fry
said, noting that such a move would limit the airport's utility. “We’re also
concerned about the safety implications of a shorter runway.”

Fry said the airport is much like an interstate highway that traverses the
city, in that the airport, while physically located in the city, serves as an
access point to the national transportation infrastructure.

“That on-ramp and off-ramp to the airspace system is part of the national
infrastructure, and I believe should be protected on a national level,” Fry
said. He remains hopeful that six more election cycles will yield new attitudes
from city government about the airport’s value to the community.

Huerta said the FAA will hold the city to its obligations to provide services
and operate the airport.

“Reasonable and customary business practices are going to be what we are going
to be looking for,” Huerta said. “We’re going to be quite vigilant to ensure
that the terms of the agreement are adhered to.”

  #4  
Old February 18th 17, 02:21 AM posted to rec.aviation.piloting
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 164
Default NBAA Challenges Santa Monica Deal (Was: Santa Monica discord continues)

On Friday, February 17, 2017 at 1:20:00 PM UTC-6, Larry Dighera wrote:


In this exercise at Santa Monica, the DART volunteers simulated an earthquake
that has closed the 405 and 10 Freeways, and the Pacific Coast Highway. In the
scenario, SMO’s runway could be damaged, but still usable.

Together, the 10 planes involved in the scenario could carry over 2,000 pounds
of supplies into SMO, and if needed, could fly five missions per day, getting
critical supplies to Red Cross volunteers on the ground, as well as the
hospitals they serve.


WOW, a whole FIVE missions in some cock-a-mammy scenario where the runway survives but the freeways are closed. Note that LAX, the big airport, could handle FIVE, FIFTY or FIVE Hundred flights under this ditzy scheme.
  #5  
Old February 18th 17, 02:35 AM posted to rec.aviation.piloting
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Posts: 2,872
Default NBAA Challenges Santa Monica Deal

wrote:
On Friday, February 17, 2017 at 1:20:00 PM UTC-6, Larry Dighera wrote:


In this exercise at Santa Monica, the DART volunteers simulated an earthquake
that has closed the 405 and 10 Freeways, and the Pacific Coast Highway. In the
scenario, SMO’s runway could be damaged, but still usable.

Together, the 10 planes involved in the scenario could carry over 2,000 pounds
of supplies into SMO, and if needed, could fly five missions per day, getting
critical supplies to Red Cross volunteers on the ground, as well as the
hospitals they serve.


WOW, a whole FIVE missions in some cock-a-mammy scenario where the
runway survives but the freeways are closed. Note that LAX, the big
airport, could handle FIVE, FIFTY or FIVE Hundred flights under
this ditzy scheme.


Runways don't have overpasses, underpasses, or bridges over them, which
are what usually closes a freeway.

LAX is a long way from SMO.

How would you get from LAX to SMO with no freeways?


--
Jim Pennino
  #6  
Old February 21st 17, 12:21 AM posted to rec.aviation.piloting
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 164
Default NBAA Challenges Santa Monica Deal

On Friday, February 17, 2017 at 8:46:04 PM UTC-6, wrote:
wrote:
On Friday, February 17, 2017 at 1:20:00 PM UTC-6, Larry Dighera wrote:


In this exercise at Santa Monica, the DART volunteers simulated an earthquake
that has closed the 405 and 10 Freeways, and the Pacific Coast Highway.. In the
scenario, SMO’s runway could be damaged, but still usable.

Together, the 10 planes involved in the scenario could carry over 2,000 pounds
of supplies into SMO, and if needed, could fly five missions per day, getting
critical supplies to Red Cross volunteers on the ground, as well as the
hospitals they serve.


WOW, a whole FIVE missions in some cock-a-mammy scenario where the
runway survives but the freeways are closed. Note that LAX, the big
airport, could handle FIVE, FIFTY or FIVE Hundred flights under
this ditzy scheme.


Runways don't have overpasses, underpasses, or bridges over them, which
are what usually closes a freeway.

LAX is a long way from SMO.


It looks like 8 miles, fence line to fence line. "Long" if you have to walk..


How would you get from LAX to SMO with no freeways?


Surface streets: CA-1, Centinela, Sepulveda, Culver, etc.

Plus with my plan the SMO runway would become an extension of National Blvd.. so the pavement would still be there.

  #7  
Old March 8th 17, 05:07 PM posted to rec.aviation.piloting
Larry Dighera
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 3,758
Default NBAA Challenges Santa Monica Deal



NBAA Pursues Court Challenge To SMO Closure
http://www.avweb.com/eletter/archive...3607-full.html
NBAA filed a motion in a federal appeals court on Monday seeking a stop to
any actions that would affect aviation operations at Santa Monica Airport,
while the matter is under judicial review. The FAA and the city have
announced plans to close the airport in 2028 and to immediately reduce the
length of the sole runway from 4,973 feet to 3,500 feet. NBAA and others
asked the appeals court last month to review the legality of that
settlement. The new motion responds to a request by the FAA to dismiss that
petition.


On Mon, 20 Feb 2017 16:21:48 -0800 (PST), wrote:

On Friday, February 17, 2017 at 8:46:04 PM UTC-6, wrote:
wrote:
On Friday, February 17, 2017 at 1:20:00 PM UTC-6, Larry Dighera wrote:


In this exercise at Santa Monica, the DART volunteers simulated an earthquake
that has closed the 405 and 10 Freeways, and the Pacific Coast Highway. In the
scenario, SMO’s runway could be damaged, but still usable.

Together, the 10 planes involved in the scenario could carry over 2,000 pounds
of supplies into SMO, and if needed, could fly five missions per day, getting
critical supplies to Red Cross volunteers on the ground, as well as the
hospitals they serve.

WOW, a whole FIVE missions in some cock-a-mammy scenario where the
runway survives but the freeways are closed. Note that LAX, the big
airport, could handle FIVE, FIFTY or FIVE Hundred flights under
this ditzy scheme.


Runways don't have overpasses, underpasses, or bridges over them, which
are what usually closes a freeway.

LAX is a long way from SMO.


It looks like 8 miles, fence line to fence line. "Long" if you have to walk.


How would you get from LAX to SMO with no freeways?


Surface streets: CA-1, Centinela, Sepulveda, Culver, etc.

Plus with my plan the SMO runway would become an extension of National Blvd. so the pavement would still be there.

 




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