After arriving home in Santa Monica last week after a trip to Washington D.C. to discuss Santa Monica Airport with Federal Aviation Administration officials, Santa Monica Mayor McKeown wrote a letter of thanks on behalf of himself, Mayor Pro Tempore Tony Vazquez and Councilmember Sue Himmelrich to Congressman Ted Lieu (33rd District) and his staff.
The letter was written following a meeting Wednesday hosted by the Congressman with senior representatives of the FAA in Washington, DC to speak on the future of the Santa Monica Airport (SMO).
“The constituents,” wrote Mayor McKeown, “who attended yesterday’s meeting conveyed effectively their frustrations, fear and anger” about the jet usage of the Santa Monica City Airport.
“In 2023, at the outside, it is game over for jets,” said Congressman Lieu to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) representatives. In the “fight for local control,” Mayor McKeown wrote to Congressman Lieu, “Your assistance is invaluable and deeply appreciated.”
Below, is the text of letter sent to Congressman Lieu.
Dear Congressman Lieu:
Mayor Pro Tem Tony Vazquez, Councilmember Sue Himmelrich and I all want to thank you and your staff for arranging yesterday’s meeting with FAA Associate Administrator Eduardo Angeles about the Santa Monica Airport.
As you well know, and as testimony from multiple community members should have made clear to Mr. Angeles, the Airport’s adverse impacts have become intolerable to residents of both Santa Monica and Venice. I thought the constituents who attended yesterday’s meeting conveyed effectively their frustrations, fears and anger about safety risks created by jet usage of a runway which does not meet current safety standards and ends within 300 feet of homes; about documented health risks arising from aircraft emissions; and about the destruction of their peaceful enjoyment of their homes by aircraft noise. I know they valued the opportunity you made possible to personally express themselves to the FAA.
Those present seemed to me to be particularly heartened by your clear and direct remarks to the FAA, including your admonition to the FAA that “in 2023 at the outside, it is game over for jets.” Your remarks, and those of your staff at a subsequent meeting yesterday, helped the community members understand the challenge posed by the fact that the FAA will not willingly release its claims on the City’s land. Our fight for local control will therefore, inevitably, require a dedicated and persistent effort over the next few years.
My colleagues and I look forward to continuing to work with you during that time to reduce the Airport’s detrimental impacts, and ultimately regain local control of the City land so that it can be used to benefit our communities. Your assistance is invaluable and deeply appreciated.
Very Truly Yours,
Mayor of Santa Monica
cc: City Council
Rick Cole, City Manager
Marsha Jones Moutrie, City Attorney