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City Of Santa Monica Approves Runway Shortening

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Old August 15th 17, 10:33 AM posted to rec.aviation.piloting
Larry Dighera
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Posts: 3,850
Default City Of Santa Monica Approves Runway Shortening

City Of Santa Monica Approves Runway Shortening
By Geoff Rapoport August 11, 2017

The City of Santa Monica has approved a contract for shortening of the
runway at SMO from 4,973 feet to 3,500 feet. After years of attempts
to close the airport entirely, the City of Santa Monica entered into
an agreement in January with the FAA that would permit the city to
shorten the runway immediately and to close the airport in 2028. The
excess runway will be converted to blastpad and runway overrun spaces.
While sufficient for piston, turboprop and even light jet traffic,
3,500 feet won’t be enough runway for owners of the largest business
jets, who will have to move their planes elsewhere. The city estimates
shortening the runway will reduce jet traffic by 44 percent.

The exact design is scheduled for completion later this month with
construction work ongoing from October to December of this year. The
airport will be closed overnight for significant portions of this time
and the city says operators can expect the airport to be closed for
seven to 14 days during this period.

Comments (4)

So.... they are chasing away the largest paying customers they have.
What's with CA and their inerrant drive toward a 3rd world economy and
limiting the transportation radius of their people?

Posted by: Mark Fraser | August 12, 2017 8:25 AM

Sometimes peace of mind and contentment mean more to some than more
money. I suspect the folks around the airport have money and are in
search of peace and quiet.

I have flown for over 45 years. If there was a vote to close the local
airport I would be in favor of it. Rude pilots who get their bit of
pleasure while aggravating those down below deserve what they get.

Flying below pattern altitude, dragging a C206 in on a ten mile final
with the propeller at low pitch, a downwind that is five miles from
the airport, full power take off for five or more minutes after
departure, etc., etc. The pilots here obviously don't give a damn.

There are many many airports in the Southern California area that the
Santa Monican's can move to.

Posted by: Jeff Land | August 12, 2017 3:56 PM

Jeff, you know it is not true. I have lived in Santa Monica over 20
years and fly Baron and Mooney out of this airport. Please don't
spread lies. Did someone offer you some money to post comments like
above. This airport fight has nothing to do with pollution or noise-
it is all about greed. Average home value for 20 plus year old home
close to airport is approaching 3 million. People think that they can
get another million if airport is converted to park. That is it. Watch
the highway traffic on highway 10 and 405 close to airport and you
will learn about pollution.

Posted by: kuljit hundal | August 13, 2017 12:25 PM

Though he doesn't clarify, I believe Jeff is talking about his home
local airport and not SMO. I'm guessing that's the case since there
doesn't appear to be anybody with that name on the airman registry in
California. From my experience flying there, pilots in SoCal are very
aware and concerned about noise in attempt to avoid the sad fate of

Posted by: Ryan S | August 14, 2017 1:53 PM
================================================== ====================

Airport News
Wednesday, August 08, 2017


Greetings! I hope everyone is in good health.
I have three important airport updates from last night’s City Council
meeting to share.
Airport Runway Shortening Project
Last night the City Council awarded a construction contract to shorten
the Santa Monica Airport runway. AECOM will be the construction
contractor. The runway is currently 5,000 feet long; after the
shortening, the runway will be 3,500 feet long. Shortening the runway
is permitted by the Consent Decree between the U.S. Government and the
City of Santa Monica. The Consent Decree was signed in late January.
According to our national aviation consultants, there should be a 45%
reduction in jet traffic after the runway is shorten. AECOM’s
construction schedule has the project starting in early Fall and
finishing in December. There will be a 7 to 14 day period of “hard
closure” which will occur at the end of construction, December, 2017.
During those days, the airport will be closed completely to all
traffic regardless of the hour or purpose of the landing. In addition
to hard closures, the airport will also be closed often from October
through November from 9 pm to 7 am, Monday - Friday. Currently, the
airport is open 24 hours a day for landing purposes.

City staff will be providing project and construction notices and
updates during the entire project. At this time the exact construction
details are not yet final but will be shortly. As soon as the
construction schedule details are known, City staff will promptly send
out notices and project updates. The attached media advisory includes
a map of the runway after the shortening.

Museum of Flying
The City Council also approved a new lease with the Santa Monica
Museum of Flying. The lease is for 5 years with an additional 5 year
option. The lease is for $1 per year and it is the City’s contribution
to helping the Museum stay viable for the long-term in order to
preserve Santa Monica’s aviation history. FAA regulations allows the
City to offer deeply discounted lease terms to an aviation museum.
Today, the Museum hosted an event to celebrate the partnership with
the City of Santa Monica. Please see the attached media advisory for
more details.
Airport Leasing Guidelines
Last, the City Council approved two modifications to the Airport
Leasing and Licensing Guidelines. One modification is to acknowledge
the requirement of the consent decree that the City offer three-year
terms, based on reasonable commercial standards, to aviation service
providers. Additionally, the City Manager is now authorized to sign
leases with terms of five years, or less, provided the City Manager
determines the use is consistent with the leasing policy.

The last word--once again, be on the lookout for notices and updates
from the City regarding the runway shortening construction project

Until next time.

Nelson Hernandez
Senior Advisor to the City Manager

Runway Shortening Media Advisory
Museum of Flying Media Advisory

Airport News
Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Runway Shortening Update
The runway shortening project remains on schedule. The tentative date
for project completion is December. On August 8, staff will recommend
award of a construction contract. Assuming the contract is awarded,
construction will occur from September through early December.

I have been asked, why would it take until December to complete the
construction? First, let me say we agree--the faster and safer the
better and that is why the project is on a fast track. However,
shortening the runway consists of far more than a bucket of paint.
Please refer to our staff reports of February 28, and May 24 for more
detail. On August 8 when the construction contract is awarded you will
find the complete construction description and I am confident you will
have a better appreciation of the safety considerations, construction
activities and schedule.

In addition to the time it takes to procure a public contract, we also
held one airport community stakeholder meeting, a meeting with the
Airport Commission, and a hearing with the City Council in order to
select the preferred design option. As community activists, I am sure
you understand the importance of public informational meetings.
Lastly, the City is not the only public agency involved; there is also
FAA. Hence, when all factors are considered: contracting (including
appeal period), legal review, safety review, environmental analysis,
community meetings, FAA coordination and review, new flight procedures
(issued by FAA only every 56 days), and actual construction, the
project has moved on an accelerated pace.
NBAA Letter to City Regarding Leasing
Recently the City released Requests for Proposals to lease to
properties at Santa Monica Airport. The NBAA has submitted a letter to
the City regarding the RFP. Attached you will find NBAA’s letter and
the City’s response.
Museum of Flying
The Museum of Flying is an important institution and a super cool
place to visit. If you have not visited the Museum you really should
consider it because the Museum is truly worth checking out. I am sure
you will enjoy the experience and probably learn something new—I know
I did. The Museum offers free tours for school children where they too
can learn about aviation. It also can be rented out for private and
community events. Preserving aviation history is important and that is
why the City and the Museum of Flying are in lease negotiations to
ensure the long-term viability of the Museum at Santa Monica Airport.
We expect to execute a new lease with the Museum this summer.

EV Charging Company to Deploy Solar Charging Station at Santa Monica
by Robin Whitlock
EV charging company Envision Solar International, Inc., has announced
that its EV ARC solar charging station has been selected for
deployment at Santa Monica Municipal Airport.


The City of Santa Monica, California will deploy Envision Solar’s EV
ARC solar charging station at the Santa Monica Municipal Airport to
provide emissions free EV charging and emergency power. The EV ARC was
invented in California and is manufactured in Envision Solar’s San
Diego facility by combat veterans, the disabled, minorities and other
highly talented team members. It fits inside a parking space and
generates enough clean solar electricity to power up to 225 miles of
EV driving per day. The system’s solar electrical generation is
enhanced by EnvisionTrak which causes the array to follow the sun,
generating up to 25 percent more electricity than a fixed array.

The energy generated by the EV ARC is stored in its energy storage
unit for charging day or night and to provide emergency power during a
grid failure. The EV ARC requires no trenching, foundations or
installation work of any kind and can be deployed in minutes while
also being able to be moved to a new location with ease.

“Putting in EV charging infrastructure is actually quite complex and
this technology hopscotches most of the headaches” said James Conway,
Senior Sustainability Analyst for the City of Santa Monica. “This
investment marks an early and important demonstration of how
distributed energy generation can work for us. It is modular and
flexible and supports our mission to provide innovative, renewable,
reliable, and convenient sources of energy to get us closer to our
ambitious goal of carbon neutrality by 2050.”

Envision Solar CEO Desmond Wheatley added that airports have some of
the busiest parking lots in the country and trenching and other
construction work is generally even more complicated and expensive
than in other locations.

Airport News

Friday, June 2, 2017


I hope that my email finds you with great health.

As you all know by now, on May 24th, the City Council selected a
runway design that will shorten the Santa Monica Airport runway from
4,973 feet to 3,500 feet as permitted under the consent decree with
the Federal Government. When the Council voted to select the runway
design option they also determined the project is categorically exempt
from the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). Project sponsors
are required to file corresponding notices after taking the public
vote. Accordingly, the City filed the Notice and for your view I have
attached a copy of the Notice of Exemption. The Notice of Exemption
was filed the day after the vote, May 25. We continue to proceed to a
shorten runway!

Nelson Hernandez
Senior Advisor to the City Manager

Notice of Exemption Filed
Airport News
Wednesday, May 31, 2017


An update since my last communication regarding our progress to
shorten the runway at Santa Monica Airport. This Thursday, June 1st,
the runway will be closed from 11 pm until Friday, June 2nd, at 7 am.
The runway will be closed to provide our consulting firm, AECOM, the
opportunity to conduct boring tests that are required as part of the
geotechnical analysis needed for the new proposed taxi ways. For us
non-engineers, this means AECOM needs to drill holes, take samples,
and test the soil conditions in order to construct the new taxiways

Nelson Hernandez
Senior Advisor to the City Manager
Airport News
Thursday, May 25, 2017

Attached you will find a supplemental report that was given to the
City Council tonight regarding the runway shortening project. As you
will note, the supplemental report is a rebuttal to a letter submitted
by the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) regarding the
runway shortening project. The NBAA’s letter is also attached.

Essentially, the 1985 Report cited by NBAA is not relevant to current
conditions and staff has not relied upon it in finding the runway
shortening project is categorically exempt.

First, this outdated Report refers to a study that did not consider
runway shortening to a length of 3500 feet. According to the 1985
Report, the consultant studied only the noise effects of a displaced
threshold at 500 feet for landings on Runway 21 on the existing 5000
foot runway. The runway shortening project before the City Council
relocates the runway thresholds, it does not allow for displaced
thresholds. The two projects are not comparable. In addition, there is
no data or information identifying where the noise monitoring for the
1985 Report occurred. Nor is the speculative assumption in the 1985
Report that a threshold displacement could have a detrimental impact
west of the runway supported by any evidence. In fact, the 1985 Report
clearly states the opposite: that noise levels were expected to
decrease but to a degree that would be insignificant and less than the
decibel level necessary to be noticeable to the human ear. Finally,
this antiquated study was conducted over 30 years ago, and was based
on a completely different aircraft fleet mix that differs from the
aircraft fleet mix that would exist under the proposed
runway-shortening project.

Second, the City’s consultants have prepared studies made part of the
record before the City Council that demonstrate that reducing the
runway to an operational length of 3,500 feet will not have a
significant adverse impact to the surrounding communities, but rather
would offer significant environmental benefits.

Nelson Hernandez
Senior Advisor to the City Manager
Supplemental Report to City Council
NBAA Letter to Mayor of Santa Monica and City Council - 05 19 17
================================================== ===========================

2017 has so far been one of the toughest years SMO has ever faced. In
January, just as administrations in Washington were changing, the FAA
Administrator and temporary acting Secretary of Transportation used
the opportunity to make a clandestine deal with Santa Monica’s Mayor
and City Manager. This settlement agreement would allow the City to
potentially shorten the runway to 3,500 feet as soon as December, 2017
and possibly close our 100 year-old airport forever at the end of
2028. The SMAA’s leadership role in new legal challenges to combat
these threats has never been more vital.

As in all wars, it is not who wins or loses individual battles that
counts, it’s who is ultimately victorious in the end. Our association
is 100% committed to winning the war to save SMO and we still have
time and the undeniably real value of this irreplaceable
transportation asset on our side. We are in this to the finish and as
in the past, we need your continued intellectual, emotional and
especially financial help.

On a positive note, the SMAA has been ramping up our community
outreach efforts. With your support, we are now hosting monthly public
aviation events at SMO (7 so far this year) for kids, families and
enthusiasts highlighting the many community benefits of our municipal
airport. Fly-in’s and more member events are planned for later this
year and into 2018. SMAA members attend every SM City Council meeting
and Airport Commission meeting advocating for SMO. Additionally, we
are building local alliances with other community organizations, such
as the Red Cross who has a strong interest and commitment in keeping
SMO open and operating.

Christian Fry, President
================================================== ======================

FAA Caves In to City Demand To Close Santa Monica Airport
by Matt Thurber
- January 29, 2017, 8:14 PM
After the city of Santa Monica shortens SMO airport's runway to 3,500
feet, large business jets like those in the background will no longer
be able to use the iconic airport. (Photo: Matt Thurber)

California's Santa Monica Airport (SMO), both historically important
and a key part of the National Airspace System (NAS), will close at
the end of 2028, the FAA said on Saturday following two weeks of
negotiations between city leaders and the agency. Somewhat sooner,
possibly within a year, the city of Santa Monica, which owns the
227-acre airfield, will cut the 4,973-foot runway down to 3,500 feet,
effectively eliminating access to the larger jets that currently fly

Before Saturday's surprise settlement, the city and FAA had been
embroiled in multiple lawsuits, with the city council and its airport
commission firmly arguing for closing the airport while the FAA and
pro-airport proponents repeatedly pointed out that after World War II,
the city had signed an instrument of transfer to keep the airport open
in perpetuity.

Despite that requirement and the FAA’s and airport proponents’ efforts
to retain this important link in the NAS, the FAA and the city have
signed a settlement agreement allowing the city to close the airport
forever on Jan. 1, 2029. Probably in recognition of the city’s claim
that a portion of the airport is not subject to the 1947 instrument of
transfer with the government, the FAA also consented to allow the city
to close nearly 1,500 feet of runway, a portion of which can be used
to build runway safety areas and/or an emergency overrun with
crushable concrete.

The consent agreement took airport users and organizations that have
worked for years and spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to try to
protect the airport by complete surprise. It was, said Santa Monica
Airport Association (SMAA) president Bill Worden, “a shock to us.”

“The news that FAA has reached a settlement to close and restrict SMO
with the current city council governing Santa Monica is obviously very
disappointing,” added SMAA vice president Dave Hopkins.

While the city had attempted to evict the airport’s two FBOs—Atlantic
Aviation and American Flyers—and refused to sign new leases with
airport businesses after allowing all airport leases to expire last
July, the city, according to the FAA, “is obligated to enter into
leases with private aeronautical service providers to ensure
continuity of those services until the runway is shortened and it
decides to provide such services on its own.” While the city has the
right to take over FBO services, it cannot restrict the sale of leaded
fuel for piston engines as long as the FAA permits such fuel to be
used for aircraft in the U.S. The agreement also requires the city to
give 30 days' notice before shortening of the runway and before
closing the airport.

Precedent-setting Decision

Having long argued the importance of SMO to the NAS, the FAA gave no
reason why it acceded to the city’s demands to allow it to close SMO.
Airport proponents fought not just to keep SMO open but also to
prevent its closing from setting a precedent for other local
governments seeking to shutter their airports. According to FAA
Administrator Michael Huerta, “Mutual cooperation between the FAA and
the city enabled us to reach this innovative solution, which resolves
longstanding legal and regulatory disputes. This is a fair resolution
for all concerned because 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.”

SMAA’s Fry doesn’t agree, and he told AIN, “At a time when the country
is focused on rebuilding infrastructure, closing an airport that was
supposed to remain a public-use airport ‘in perpetuity’ makes no
sense. This action immediately increases the closure threat to an
additional 230-plus airports across the U.S. that were deeded to towns
and cities from the federal government after World War II to develop
our freedom of movement by air.”

NBAA president and CEO Ed Bolen isn’t happy with the FAA’s
capitulation to the city of Santa Monica. “We are disappointed that
the government decided to settle this case,” he said, “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.”

“We were surprised at the announcement of the settlement between the
FAA and the city of Santa Monica regarding its airport,” said Jack
Pelton, chairman and CEO of the Experimental Aircraft Association. “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. 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.”

NATA lamented the eventual loss of the airfield and the fact that
airport businesses weren't consulted during negotiations between the
FAA and city. “The agreement…is clearly a compromise that will have to
be studied closely to fully understand its implications to both SMO
and the entire national airport system. Certainly, it does not change
the necessity of airports like SMO to the L.A. region. Ultimately, the
city of Santa Monica is simply diverting a segment of its traffic to
neighboring airports,” said NATA president Martin Hiller. “It is
disappointing that businesses both on and off the field that depend on
SMO were not part of the negotiations.”

However, he is “pleased that the FAA has stated the city is obligated
to extend leases to current aeronautical service providers until such
time as the city is ready to operate a proper aeronautical service
operation…providing services consistent with industry standards and
expectations and selling the kinds of fuel widely used in the industry
and support use of the field—a point we note is covered in the weekend
agreement.” Hiller said that the reduction in runway length is a “game
changer” and will certainly change the mix of traffic in and out of
SMO, requiring a review by the city, other regional communities and
private investors as to the “appropriate type of aeronautical service
businesses to operate at the field.”

Questions remain about how the city will manage the airport, and
especially how it will make up for the reduction in landing fee and
fuel flow revenue from the larger aircraft that currently use the
airport once the runway is shortened. Jet charter and fractional-share
customers, for one example, might find SMO’s new 3,500-foot runway too
short to meet regulatory requirements. It is not clear whether the
settlement agreement addresses the city’s ability to raise landing
fees and fuel fees to such a high level that all types of operators
are discouraged from using the airport and possibly hastening its

“The devil is in the details,” said AOPA president Mark Baker. “We are
working to learn more about the fine points of the settlement, but our
main goal—to keep this airport permanently open and available to all
general aviation users—remains unchanged.”

Santa Monica city manager Rick Cole said that the city plans to
implement the shortening of the runway to 3,500 feet immediately.
“This will significantly reduce jet traffic flying over our
neighborhoods and stops commercial charters until we close operations
in 2028.”

Local attorney and airport proponent David Shaby, however, believes
the entire process will take longer. “It is my understanding that that
process will take approximately one year,” he said.

“This is a historic day for Santa Monica,” said mayor Ted Winterer.
“After decades of work to secure the health and safety of our
neighborhoods, we have regained local control of airport land. We now
have certainty that the airport will close forever and future
generations of Santa Monicans will have a great park.”
Old August 17th 17, 01:59 AM posted to rec.aviation.piloting
[email protected]
external usenet poster
Posts: 176
Default City Of Santa Monica Approves Runway Shortening

On Tuesday, August 15, 2017 at 4:33:20 AM UTC-5, Larry Dighera wrote:
City Of Santa Monica Approves Runway Shortening
By Geoff Rapoport August 11, 2017

The City of Santa Monica has approved a contract for shortening of the
runway at SMO from 4,973 feet to 3,500 feet. After years of attempts
to close the airport entirely, the City of Santa Monica entered into
an agreement in January with the FAA that would permit the city to
shorten the runway immediately and to close the airport in 2028. The
excess runway will be converted to blastpad and runway overrun spaces.
While sufficient for piston, turboprop and even light jet traffic,
3,500 feet won’t be enough runway for owners of the largest business
jets, who will have to move their planes elsewhere. The city estimates
shortening the runway will reduce jet traffic by 44 percent.

The exact design is scheduled for completion later this month with
construction work ongoing from October to December of this year. The
airport will be closed overnight for significant portions of this time
and the city says operators can expect the airport to be closed for
seven to 14 days during this period.

Someone tell Harrison Ford about the "overrun space". As for the Jets, LAX just bought out a bunch of houses near them, so fewer people will be bothered by the noise.

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