July 13, 2024 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

Letter To The Editor: SMO Is An Economic Engine For Santa Monica:

Editor’s Note: This is an open letter sent to members of the Santa Monica City Council regarding tonight’s discussion on the future of Santa Monica Airport.

Dear Councilmembers,

I have read the staff report that is on the agenda for the March 25th council meeting. As long time user of the airport facilities and as a property owner who has lived under the airport flight path for over 30 years, I am opposed to the conclusions and the direction that the staff proposes to take.

The airport is an important economic engine for Santa Monica and the surrounding area. Nearly $300 million of business and the employment of over 1500 people who then support families, pay taxes and vote stands to be destroyed by the actions you have directed staff to enact. The leases and landing fees support all of the other airport activities including the artist studios and Santa Monica College.

The constant clamoring over issues of noise, pollution and safety by a minority of residents of the surrounding area does not adequately represent the feelings of the majority of either Santa Monicans or the residents of the surrounding communities.

There are fewer flights entering and leaving the airport than at almost any time in its history. There is less noise than ever as total flights diminish and both jets and propeller planes advance technologically and become quieter and more pollution free. In fact, staff has been unable to show any statistics that point to any major health or safety issues at the airport.

In spite of 2010 EPA study that showed no cause for concern about leaded aviation fuel, the FAA, in conjunction with major refiners, has worked diligently to replace leaded fuel and Shell Oil has now applied for a permit to sell unleaded aviation fuel. This will soon alleviate any possible concern about this form of pollution.

No matter what the anti-airport activists would have you believe, in the 90 plus years of the airport’s operation, there has never been an aviation accident that resulted in the death of any resident of Santa Monica on the ground. Residents under the flight path have a larger chance of being hit by lightning than being hit by an airplane.

Not only is the airport a vital reliever for surrounding airports and a lifeline in any crisis such as an earthquake, tsunami or other disaster, it is currently the originator of over 800 Angel Flights per year conducted by volunteer pilots who use their own planes, free of charge, to fly children and adults to receive critical medical care. It is also the start or end point of numerous time-critical and life saving organ donations flown in by jet.

All of these benefits are put in jeopardy by your proposals to shorten the runway or close the airport. Don’t let the constant complaints of a few destroy all the benefits the airport provides to the community.

I ask the council to immediately restore the Airport Commission to its previous balance of all the stakeholders who use and live around the airport and to instruct staff to diligently work to make the historic Santa Monica Airport once again the vital asset to the city that it should be.

Sincerely,

Joseph Bates

Venice

in Opinion
Related Posts

Letter to the Editor: Criticizing Israeli Policy Is Not Antisemitic

July 10, 2024

July 10, 2024

In the past several months, we’ve seen increasing protests against Israel’s actions in Gaza. We have also seen these protests...

SMA.R.T. WISHES ALL A VERY HAPPY 4TH OF JULY WEEK

July 7, 2024

July 7, 2024

We trust you are enjoying this holiday in celebration of Independence. Independence to be embraced, personally and civically, thru active...

SM.a.r.t Column: Santa Monica Under SCAG’s Boot

June 30, 2024

June 30, 2024

Four years ago, our esteemed colleague Mario Fonda-Bonardi wrote the prescient essay below when much of the legislative development juggernaut...

SM.a.r.t Column: The Up Zoning Scam (Part 2)

June 23, 2024

June 23, 2024

Last week’s SMart article  (https://smmirror.com/2024/06/sm-a-r-t-column-the-up-zoning-scam-part-1/)  discussed the ambitious 8895 units (including 6168 affordable units) that Santa Monica is required to...

SM.a.r.t Column: The Up Zoning Scam (Part 1)

June 16, 2024

June 16, 2024

Over the last few years, the State of California has mandated a massive upzoning of cities to create capacity for...

SM.a.r.t. Column: Shape Up – On Steroids

June 9, 2024

June 9, 2024

Nine years ago, SMa.r.t wrote a series of articles addressing the adaptive re-use of existing structures. We titled one “Shape...

SM.a.r.t Column: The Challenge of Running a City When City Staff Have Different Priorities

June 2, 2024

June 2, 2024

Living in a city has its perks, but it can be a real headache when the folks running the show...

SM.a.r.t. Column: A Path to Affordable Ownership in Santa Monica

May 27, 2024

May 27, 2024

[Note: our guest author today is Andres Drobny, a former Professor of Economics at the University of London, the former...

SM.a.r.t. Column: A Path Forward for Santa Monica: Part II

May 19, 2024

May 19, 2024

As referenced in Part I of this article, the state’s use of faulty statistics and forceful legislation has left a...

SM.a.r.t. Column: A Path Forward for Santa Monica: Part I

May 12, 2024

May 12, 2024

To quickly summarize, California grapples with an ongoing housing crisis spurred by state implementation of over 100 policies and mandates...

SM.a.r.t. Column: Where Will Our Huddled Masses Sleep? Navigating California’s Affordable Housing Mandates

May 5, 2024

May 5, 2024

Just as Lady Liberty beckons the “huddled masses” of immigrants to America, cities like Santa Monica have an ethical obligation...

SM.a.r.t Column: SMCLC SPEAKS

April 28, 2024

April 28, 2024

SMart (Santa Monica Architects for a Responsible Tomorrow) periodically invites guest columnists who have made a significant contribution to the...

SM.a.r.t Column: Building Modern Boxes Lacks Identity

April 21, 2024

April 21, 2024

In the relentless pursuit of modernity, cities worldwide have witnessed the rise of so-called architectural marvels in the form of...

SM.a.r.t. Column: Santa Monica Needs Responsible Urban and Architectural Design

April 14, 2024

April 14, 2024

[SMa.r.t. note: Eight years ago, our highly esteemed and recently-passed colleague Ron Goldman documented his thoughts on the need for...

SM.a.r.t. Column: BLINK NOW!

April 7, 2024

April 7, 2024

Nine years ago, I wrote a column for SMa.r.t. titled SANTA MONICA: BEACH TOWN OR ‘DINGBAT’ CITY? (https://smdp.com/2015/05/09/santa-monica-beach-town-dingbat-city/)Here is the...