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FAA will investigate Santa Monica's 'starvation strategy' to shut down its municipal airport

The Federal Aviation Administration announced Tuesday that it would investigate Santa Monica’s so-called starvation strategy that could close the city’s embattled airport within two years. It also issued a sharply worded warning for the city to put the brakes on the pending eviction of two airport businesses, a move some see as the first steps in Santa Monica’s plan. Santa Monica officials have told Atlantic Aviation and American Flyers, two major tenants that provide a variety of aircraft… ( More...

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Richard Smith 9
Remember how Mayor Daily closed Meigs Field in Chicago? Bulldozers ripped up the runway during the night.
And not going to prison for that is such an oddity...wait, this is "ill noise"
joel wiley 2
Not 'ill noise', Chicago, a curious intersection in the multiverse where physical laws do not consistently apply.
ken young 4
Yeah well the Daly family were a bunch of felons that never got caught. The Daly family was the poster child for having Dillon's Rule in every city. This is the "weak mayor" system. It prevents the mayor from acting unilaterally in creating policy. The state may closely scrutinize local government policy and prevent local govt from creating ordinances that violate state statutes.
Mike Mohle 3
Those rascally Daley's remind me of someone else, a woman currently running for President and her husband.....
joel wiley 3
Or her opponent. Tweeledum and Tweedledee
Didnt Obama come from there...and his Chief of Staff go to there? Oh...wait...YES...
scott8733 5
That's the exact thought that crossed my mind.

The fact that one excuse from the city is the potential for a jet to crash into nearby homes says it all. They're reaching. That's the case with nearly every flipping facility nationwide.
fef99 1
Then why not shown all interstates and major roadways, vehicles crash on then and kill people. There's something more behind this. Let the Feds take over and get operators in there to run the show.
joel wiley 5
'something more behind this': take a look at the elected officials pushing this, the funding of their campaigns, and who provided the funding. I suspect a certain amount of 'developer dollars' went into those pots. As they say, you cannot buy a politician, only rent them until the next election.
Hap Arnold 1
Precisely and well put.
Ed Merriam 1
I work by Santa Monica: they DO want to shut down anything wider than 2 lanes going to their secluded beach community (as they think of themselves); they poured millions into nuisance suits fighting the Expo Line and turned it into a race-baiting circus sideshow
it's like how new McMansion developments have no sidewalks--isolation's a status symbol

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canuck44 16
The ultimate solution is for the Feds to take over the airport as an essential service using eminent domain and then bid out the operations to a private organization.If in fact it is a reliever airport to LAX, the essential part is easy to substantiate. Then the noise from the whining will exceed that of the aircraft operations.
joel wiley 6
Maxed out on monthy LA Times access and couldn't access the link. A couple alternate sites:

And the FAA Notice to the People's Republic of Santa Monica:
linbb 3
Very well said about the PSA as they run the city just needs the res star above the name.
ToddBaldwin3 3
Thank you Joe.
david lindsey 2
To avoid maxing out your LAT access, right click the LAT link into a a private/incognito browser window. This way you will not be limited on LAT access since the cookies won't be tracked----just sayin'
Awesome. Absolutely. Just sayin'.
Repeat ad nauseum.
Just sayin' ....
96flstc 9
Lets hope this slams the brakes on Santa Monica's central committee's plans. Your local airport could be next!
Don Whyte 3
Reminds me of our own situation in Edmonton Canada where the city used its leverage and influence to shut down the historic city center airport Blatchford Field, by "encouraging" airport businesses to relocate elsewhere, notably Edmonton International airport. This was to allow taller high rise towers to be built on the flight paths to/from Blatchford and to turn the airport lands into residential areas. They were successful at this despite many campaigns to keep the airport open, including presentations from concerned doctors and citizens from the north who have always relied on the city airport to allow medevac flights efficient and rapid access to downtown hospitals.

In addition Blatchford Field had a long and storied history. It occupied a vital position to open up Canada's north and saw famous pilots like Wop May, Punch Dickens and Grant McConachie during the early bush pilot days. During WWII it saw US air movements with the North West Staging Route and with the Commonwealth air training program it was the busiest airport in the British commonwealth. None of that mattered to the powers that be and the airport was bulldozed. Edmonton has a poor record of preserving history. Oh they did name the new residential area Blatchford. Wow.
canuck44 3
Closure of city center airports has been common, virtually always "justified" by the vested interests as "development" and/or "increased tax base". What is does is cut off those business that have fly in meetings from scheduling to locales where the convenience of downtown access still exists. Cities with their main airport adjacent to downtown or a mid city facility have a competitive advantage for business development. Who in their right mind would want to drive through Chicago traffic from one of the peripheral airports to downtown and back again after a 2 our meeting.
Guy Cocoa 3
I'm surprised the FAA hasn't put the mayor and city council members on the no fly list. I expect that would get their attention.
Mayor is quoted as saying "Despite the FAA’s efforts, we will not falter on our commitment to safeguard our community from the negative impacts of the airport until the courts make a final determination.”

Doesn't an FAA determination have preference over the Courts in aviation matters?
Mike Mohle 6
What about millions the airport/city have received in federal funds over the past 65+ years? Maybe the FAA should send them a bill. Of course, when some of these aircraft end up at LAX, then these same people will complain about the delays there. Short-sighted idiots!
linbb 0
Well not in there minds as they rule by there methods and don't think they are in our USA either. Isnt some of Fondas friends there in power?
cane 3
The noise will never go away even if the airport is shut down. That area would be a prime flight training area just north and away from LAX. My friends in Santa Monica don't want the airport to close. They are afraid of more development, more people, and more traffic.
ken young 2
I read the story. I originally thought this was the City govt wanting the airport shut down to develop the real estate. Now I see the reason as the NIMBY factor.
All of the reasons( excuses) are typical NIMBY whining. "Pollution" , "Noise", "possibility of a crash"....None of which are valid. The residents near the facility had a choice. If they found life near an airport undesirable, they could have chosen to live elsewhere.
joel wiley 4
Don't discount the developers completely. Am sure NIMBY is alive and well too.
tim mitchell 2
I say let them close it..At the end of the day they are only going to hurt themselves and the cities revenue.
tim mitchell 1
What really ticks me off is the fact that people move near an airport then complain about the airport; many of which started out as military fields during WWII...Airports aren't only used by rich guys with money; they are a staple in a communities commerce....Basically the front door.
Don Whyte 1
I would think they are going to hurt everyone who benefits from the airport. But if it stays open they are going to "hurt" the developers who are drooling over the potential profits.

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tim mitchell 1
I love aviation...Like I said; they would only be hurting themselves....Read with comprehension.

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Sean Hodginsq 1
There have been certain instances in Canada were local or Provincial authorities have attempted to thwart aviation or aviation related land-use activities. These have almost always failed on the basis that aviation is controlled by federal law and therefore things like demolition orders on hangers constructed demonstrably for aviation use are held to be unlawful.

There is currently an interesting case pending at the Supreme Court of Canada where the local government of Sacre-Coeur in Quebec is attempting to have an appeal court ruling overturned. The appeal court held that a Transport Canada licensed seaplane operator essentially could ignore the bylaw attempting to limit its use of a local lake and a lakeside dock (together defined as an aerodrome by Transport Canada) where the seaplane tour business operates from.

In this instance it would seem that Santa Monica is similarly treading on an area of U.S. federal jurisdiction and exceeding its authority, and the FAA is legitimate in trying to protect the reasonable and long-standing airport related activities.
Hugh Somsen 1
More from the People's Republic of Santa Monica.
209flyboy 1
Sounds to me like another Meigs Field and that idiot mayor, Daley.
canuck44 1
Idiot Daley 1 or Daley 2?
Cecil Clark -3
Put it up for a vote. If the majority of citizens don't want an airport, close it. Don't leave it up to the half dozen local socialistic politburo elites, who think they know whats best for the other 99.99% of their constituency. Frankly, I'm surprised the FAA under this administration is even blinking an eye. It's done more to kill GA in the last 7 years than all previous administrations combined.
ken young 3
Pure democracy (50% plus one) is not the way to go. Plus, in these types of votes turnout is often very low allowing a small number of voters to make city policy.
josh homer 2
If you did that we'd still have slavery in Southern states. Voters aren't always the brightest.
canuck44 -3
Please do no characterize the Southern states with the usual Northeastern rhetoric. There is a lot less racism here in the South than in the Northeast. Sure we have areas of economic deprivation, but unlike the cities of the NE and Midwest, these zones are inhabited by blacks, Hispanics and Caucasians. No doubt the past was as you describe, but thirty years here I have watched a magnificent change from "Old Florida" to a culture of the three principal races living and working together for the most part peacefully...and many of each struggling to get out of poverty.

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Er.A.K. Mittal -2
Santa Monica ' starvation strategy ' ... I wonder whether good offices of Food and Agriculture Organisation of the UNO have been invited to overcome the "starvation" ?
After all FAO is meant to help ensuring good nutrition and food security for all. Its Latin motto, fiat panis, translates as "let there be bread".
No malice towards any Americano .

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dee9bee 4
I learned how to fly at KSNA where the noise fights started in the mid-late 60s when the DC9s and 737s started service. Maybe SNA fared better than SMO because there is a better mix of traffic there, general, business, airline. My bold prediction: There will never be a new airport built in California, so you'd better protect what you've got. A little off topic...John Wayne lived six miles south of SNA, on Newport Harbor and despised that airport. What does the county do after his death? They name the airport after him!


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