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FAA Reaches Agreement With City Of Santa Monica Not To Close Its Airport

January 28, 2017 - Back in August 2016, Santa Monica city council passed a resolution to close the city’s Santa Monica Airport by 2018. The counsel also adopted a plan that would discourage aviation use by shortening a 5,000 foot runway to 2,000 feet. It would establishing a city-run operator to fuel planes, provide maintenance, and handle other services. A service that was held by the private sector.

However, prior to the city’s counsel vote, the Federal Aviation Administration upheld a previous ruling that barred the city from shutting down the airport from and that the airport would remain open until 2023.

The action for closing the airport stems from local residents complaining about airplane noise and pollution from the airport dating back as far as 1976 when a group of neighbors sued the city over noise. Residents feel the airport does not serve their needs and only serves “exclusive clientele”.

On Friday the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the City of Santa Monica reached a settlement agreement to resolve longstanding litigation over the future of Santa Monica Airport. The agreement requires the city to maintain continuous and stable operation of the airport for 12 years, until December 31, 2028, and after that the City has the right to close the airport.

In recognition of the city's authority to make decisions about land use, the agreement allows Santa Monica to shorten the airport's single runway to 3,500 feet from its current length of 4,973 feet. The city 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.

"Mutual cooperation between the FAA and the city enabled us to reach this innovative solution, which resolves longstanding legal and regulatory disputes," said FAA Administrator Michael Huerta. "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."


Wikipedia - Originally Clover Field, after World War I aviator 2nd lieutenant Greayer "Grubby" Clover, the airport was the home of the Douglas Aircraft company. The first circumnavigation of the world by air, accomplished by the U.S. Army in a special custom built aircraft named the Douglas World Cruiser, took off from Clover Field on St. Patrick's day, March 17, 1924, and returned there after some 28,000 miles (45,000 km). Cloverfield Boulevard—which confuses the field's naming for a crop of green rather than a fallen soldier—is a remnant of the airport's original name.


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