OPA AIRPORT UPDATE
The OPA Airport Committee has been diligently following the City of Santa Monica’s efforts to implement Measure LC and maintain local control over our airport land. Here is what is happening in the world of our airport and the FAA…
The OPA Board voted unanimously to send a letter to the FAA opposing the FAA’s proposed Metroplex “efficiency” procedures for all aircraft above. Metroplex proposes a “260 Heading right turn” of aircraft before the shoreline, very similar to the failed 250 Heading from 2010 that created a 900% increase in complaints.
OPA also opposed Metroplex because it failed to meet basic environmental review standards and excluded public participation during its creation. Metroplex is a Trojan horse, supposedly increasing efficiencies but also allowing SMO aircraft to take off without restraint, allowing more jet and turboprop traffic than ever.
On July 1, 2015, the 31-year “1984 Agreement” with the FAA for operation SMO expired, although the FAA has yet to acknowledge this. In efforts to avoid legal conflicts, the City has only to date approved interim or short-term leases for aviation uses, and recently acted to postpone further aviation leases until Staff can research a multitude of restrictions if the City moves forward with aviation leases (see Oct. 27 below).
FAA Part 16 Delayed Ruling
The FAA has for the 4th time postponed their ruling (Part 16 Hearing) on the expiration of 1994 Grant Assurances that tied the City to the FAA’s 20-year terms thru mid-2014. So the City Council has partnered with local Congressional Reps Ted Lieu and Karen Bass to pressure the FAA to stop delaying and make a ruling, so that the City may move forward with plans for our airport land. Residents can go to smgov.net/faadoyourjob to read and sign the City petition (or #FAAdoyourjob).
Oct. 27, 2015
City Council directed staff to come up with policies to reduce emissions at Santa Monica Airport (SMO):
- Ongoing leases to only permit unleaded fuel sales (for prop planes) and bio-fuel for large planes/jets.
- Explore if City can take over current fuels sales.
- Explore ending all fuel sales at SMO.
- Determine how to move aviation uses off of Western parcel.
- Explore limiting hours of SMO-base operator’s aircraft to daylight hours.
- Explore eliminating flight school leases.
- Explore security options for screening passengers, pilots, those with access to aircraft and airfield.
- Begin CEQA (environmental review) process to implement Measure LC park uses, alternatives.
The City Council also re-committed to no long-tern aviation leases.