The City of Santa Monica is distributing this advisory to notify and encourage members of the community to attend one of the upcoming public workshops scheduled by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to review and receive public input on the FAA’s Draft Environmental Assessment (EA) of the Southern California Metroplex (SoCal Metroplex) Project.
SoCal Metroplex is part of the FAA’s Next Generation Air Transportations System, or NextGen, a proposal by the FAA to improve airspace efficiency and reduce emissions nationwide by upgrading from a ground-based navigation system to satellite-based technology. SoCal Metroplex encompasses a large geographic area, which including multiple airports serving major metropolitan areas from as far north as Santa Barbara, south to San Diego, and east to Palm Springs.
According to the FAA, SoCal Metroplex’s main objective is to improve efficiency of the airspace by optimizing aircraft arrival and departure procedures at a number of Southern California airports, including SMO. The SoCal Metroplex project involves changing aircraft flight paths and/or altitudes in certain areas. It provides for new flight procedures that are more precise and creates a narrower flight path resulting in a concentration of flights over certain areas. Residents in areas under the concentrated flight path may replica watches experience more noise. The Draft EA studies the potential environmental impacts of the FAA’s implementation of the SoCal Metroplex Project.
The City is not a sponsor of this project and has not been involved in identifying or evaluating changes to flight procedures. City staff continues to reiterate to the FAA, Santa Monica’s opposition to any modifications that would change headings on takeoff from the current heading, by which aircraft fly directly to the coast, rather than over Santa Monica’s hills and more residences.
The City urges the community to learn about the FAA’s SoCal Metroplex project by attending one of these workshops and to submit comments directly to the FAA. Representatives from the FAA will be available during the workshops to provide information about the project.
The Draft EA is scheduled to be published and made available on June 10, 2015. Public workshops are scheduled hereafter from June 16, 2015 through July 1, 2015. Both the Draft EA and the full schedule for public workshops can be found at http://www.metroplexenvironmental.com/socal_metroplex/socal_introduction.html.
At the request of City staff, the FAA has scheduled one of the public workshops in Santa Monica:
June 17, 2015
4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Santa Monica Public Library
601 Santa Monica Boulevard
Santa Monica, CA 90401
For additional information or to submit comments about the Draft EA, please contact the FAA directly at the following address:
SoCal Metroplex EA
FAA, Western Service Center – Operations Support Group
1601 Lind Avenue SW
Renton, WA 98057