The Senate approved a joint resolution by Assembly Member Ted Lieu (D-Torrance) to request the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to review the safety of flight operations at Santa Monica Municipal Airport. “I am very pleased the California State Legislature has recognized the need for the FAA to fix the dangerous air traffic situation at Santa Monica Municipal Airport,” said Assemblymember Lieu. “This resolution, AJR 37, sends a strong message from the Legislature to the FAA that it needs to start working with local communities, including the cities of Santa Monica and Los Angeles, to address critical concerns about aircraft safety and pollution.”
With both ends of the airport’s runways less than 300 feet from densely populated residential communities, Santa Monica Municipal Airport (SMO) is one of the most residentially encroached airports in the entire nation. Jet traffic at SMO has increased over 1,500 percent since 1983, from approximately 1,000 to over 18,000 total operations, making it the busiest single runway airport in the nation. The massive increase in jet operations has also caused significantly increased health risks to those residents who live near the airport and breathe in jet exhaust on a daily basis.
On April 24, 2008, the City of Santa Monica passed an ordinance that would restrict the faster class C and D jets at Santa Monica Municipal Airport in an effort to ensure public safety and protect local residents. The city-owned airport has no runway safety areas to act as buffer zones in the event that jets overrun the runway. With homes sitting less than 300 feet from the ends of the runway and a dramatic increase in the amount of faster jets using the airport, the City of Santa Monica was forced to take these actions to protect its residents. Unfortunately, the FAA responded to the local city’s decision by filing for a preliminary injunction to prevent the city from enforcing the safety ban.
AJR 37 is supported by Concerned Residents Against Airport Pollution and the City ofSanta Monica. Copies of this resolution will be sent to the FAA, the U.S. Secretary of Transportation, and the California Congressional delegation.