The FAA has upheld an earlier decision by an FAA hearing officer to prevent the city of Santa Monica from banning certain types of jets from the municipal airport based on approach and landing speeds.
In a 57-page opinion issued July 8, FAA officials rejected an appeal by the city of Santa Monica, which claimed it had the authority to ban certain jets for what it claimed were safety reasons. An FAA report on May 14 concluded such a ban would “unjustly and unreasonably” discriminate against specific aircraft. FAA officials also said the city lacks the authority to ban certain types of aircraft. An injunction against the city’s enforcement of the ordinance issued by the U.S. District Court and upheld by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals remains in effect.
The city contends that jets with faster landing speeds, such as most Gulfstreams and some Cessna Citations and Challengers, are at risk of running off the runway and crashing into surrounding neighborhoods. Such aircraft, however, have never crashed at the airport and Santa Monica has blocked previous efforts to build barriers designed to protect the neighborhoods that were offered by FAA.
The FAA’s decision brings to a close the administrative process begun in early 2008. Santa Monica is expected to challenge the FAA decision in the U.S. Court of Appeals.
Learn more in AOPA’s issue brief.