AOPA is asking pilots who live near Santa Monica, California, and know the historic and economic value of Santa Monica Municipal Airport (SMO) to take immediate action to support the airport.
An email message sent to AOPA members in the area urged them to attend a Santa Monica City Council meeting scheduled for March 24 at 5:30 p.m. At the meeting, the council is scheduled to address airport issues, including the potential closure of the field.
“Courts have repeatedly refused to allow the city to close the airport, so those who oppose the airport have turned to strangulation tactics like taking away land, restricting operations, limiting leases, and taking other steps to make it difficult to operate at Santa Monica,” said AOPA President Mark Baker. “The airport is vitally important to the community and to the air transportation system in the busy L.A. Basin. We can’t allow a vocal minority to slowly squeeze the life out of this field.”
At the meeting, the council is slated to consider a series of recommendations from the city attorney that include:
The full staff report is available at the city council’s website.
If you are a resident of Los Angeles County, AOPA encourages you to attend the meeting, to be held at 1685 Main Street in Santa Monica.
“Your fellow pilots need your help to keep this airport open and operating,” said Baker. “I hope you’ll take part in this meeting—it’s a great way to show the city and the public at large that the aviation community is united behind the airport.”
AOPA has long fought to keep open the historic airport, which occupies 227 acres in the heart of Santa Monica and was home to Douglas Aircraft. Not only is it a significant economic engine for the community but it is also a bellwether for more than 200 other airports established under similar federal land agreements following World War II. Santa Monica Municipal also acts as a vital general aviation reliever airport for nearby Los Angeles International, delivers some $250 million in annual economic impact, hosts 175 businesses, and is responsible for 1,500 jobs in Santa Monica.