The National Business Aviation Association has
joined with five additional airport stakeholders to petition the U.S. Court of
Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit, asking the court to review the recent
decision by the FAA that negatively affects the future of California’s Santa
Monica Municipal Airport (SMO).
Last month, the FAA announced it had reached a
settlement with the city of Santa Monica, 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
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 Tuesday'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 based at the airport,
Redgate Partners, LLC; and Wonderful Citrus, LLC.
View the petition