How many studies does it take to determine the air quality around an airport? In California, apparently seven is not enough.
A bill before the California Assembly would require the taxi and idle operations of all aircraft at Santa Monica Municipal Airport be monitored for one year to determine the impact jets have on air pollution. That would be the eighth study on that airport, and AOPA believes that's just a tad extreme.
"It is unclear what authorizing an eighth study would achieve," AOPA Vice President of Regional Affairs Gregory Pecoraro wrote Assembly Speaker Fabian Núñez, further explaining, "This bill would set a restriction at an airport that is not appropriate.... GA airports should not be required to meet the extensive and burdensome monitoring requirements of this bill."
The South Coast Air Quality Management District and the county of Los Angeles each have or are currently conducting three studies. The Los Angeles Unified School District Environmental Health and Safety Branch has conducted another.
AOPA also says the bill would set a bad precedent and would unfairly impose the burden of cost on the airport because it does not provide state funding. The airport would have to hire extra staff to monitor the aircraft operations, requiring funds that most GA airports, including Santa Monica, don't have.
May 18, 2006