March 3, 2024 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

Santa Monica Officials, Residents Meet With FAA As City Considers New SMO Leases:

A long-awaited meeting to discuss Santa Monica Airport was held Wednesday in Washington, D.C. between the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and local elected officials and residents.

Congressman Ted Lieu (33rd District) and Congresswoman Karen Bass (37th District) hosted the meeting between their constituents and senior FAA officials.

This meeting followed an invitation to meet, which was made at the March 24 Santa Monica City Council meeting.

Attendees at the meeting included Santa Monica Mayor Kevin McKeown, Santa Monica Mayor Pro Tempore Tony Vazquez, Santa Monica Councilmember Sue Himmelrich and 16 other 33rd District constituents who flew to Washington, D.C.

After the meeting, Congressman Lieu said the serious safety, environmental, and health concerns of the Santa Monica Airport date back for several decades.

“After a meeting with the FAA was announced, my office received over 1,000 comment forms from constituents citing the everyday risks they face as they go about their lives,” Lieu said. “Whether it is a mother concerned about her child suffering from lead exposure, a husband worried about his wife’s asthma, or families simply trying to sleep at night, the problems my constituents face on a daily basis are real and hazardous.”

Lieu said he was grateful to his constituents for flying all the way to Washington, D.C. to take part in the meeting.

“I thank the FAA for agreeing to listen to them,” Lieu said. “Today was a productive meeting where each attendee personally shared their story with the FAA face to face. I hope that the FAA will heed the concerns brought forth today and work to address the issues.”

Santa Monica Mayor Kevin McKeown said it is his primary responsibility to protect the health, safety, and welfare of the residents of Santa Monica.

“Santa Monica Airport endangers our residents and our resources,” McKeown said. “What was once a grass landing strip in the midst of bean fields is now often described as ‘an aircraft carrier in a sea of homes.’ The exceptionally close proximity of the runway and residents’ homes presents unacceptable safety risks.”

Back in Santa Monica, the City Council this coming Tuesday will discuss plans for new three-year leases for the airport, a sobering reality to those who thought SMO would close with the July 1 expiration of the 1984 agreement between the city and the FAA.

“Now I know many people had expectations that on July 1, 2015, that it would all change instantaneously,” McKeown said. “We’re working with the federal government. They move slowly.”

The city understandably wants to proceed with caution, considering they do not want to fight more battles in court that could, perhaps, extend an Airport agreement even further than is wanted.

There are currently two legal claims that are making the city proceed with caution. First, in recent years the FAA has claimed that the 1948 Instrument of Transfer obligates the city to use the parcel covered by that instrument as an Airport in perpetuity, according to city staff.

Second, aviation interests have claimed that the city’s federal grant obligation do not expire until 2023, requiring the city to continue to operate the entire Airport until 2023.

The city is currently litigating these claims in federal court and in an administrative proceeding before the FAA. It is uncertain when each will end and most likely neither will conclude for another two to three years, according to city staff.

Until these legal issues are resolved, it appears inevitable that the FAA and aviation interests will prevent the city from exercising any real control over the Airport, the kind of control that would allow for its removal.

Faced with this seemingly immovable object that is the FAA and the Airport, the city, as Airport owner and operator, in the weakest sense of the words, is continuing to operate the Airport lawfully.

To ensure that the Airport is self-supporting and not a drain on the City’s general fund while the City’s authority is being clarified, staff recommends the following leases with Airport tenants on terms listed below.

Consistent with the guidance City Council provided on March 24, 2015, all proposed leases would be at market rate. This will significantly enhance Airport revenues, assist in protecting the General Fund from subsidizing the Airport, and allow for continued repayment of the loans previously made to subsidize Airport operations, according to city staff.

This way it will ensure that Santa Monicans would not bear the costs of the Airport’s operation, which would certainly exacerbate the community’s already short patience with the Airport.

Here are the main points that staff recommends for the leases:

1) Ruskin Theater (3-year term at $3,595.27 per month).

2) Atlantic Aviation of Santa Monica (3-year term at $54,889.93 per month and 40 percent of the net rental revenue from subleasing).

3) Krueger Aviation Inc. (month-to-month at $4,920 per month and 50 percent of the net rental revenue from subleasing) (western parcel).

4) Gunnell Properties LLC (3-year term at $91,170.80 per month and 12 percent of gross revenue above the amount of the City’s base rent).

5) Ameriflyers of California dba American Flyers (month-to-month at $11,229.58 and 50 percent of the net rental revenue from subleasing) (western parcel).

6) Campclar Corporation dba Spitfire Grill (3-year term at $8,474.40 per month or 6 percent of gross receipts, whichever is greater).

7) Typhoon Restaurant Inc. (3-year term at $6,060.00 per month or 6 percent of gross receipts, whichever is greater).

8) Various month-to-month lease agreements for single space of either land or portions of buildings for artists, aviators and others.

in News
Related Posts

Construction Alert: Topanga Canyon Boulevard Faces Nightly Closures Starting March 4

March 1, 2024

March 1, 2024

Caltrans Announces 18-Mile Project Spanning Chatsworth to PCH Commuters in the Los Angeles area should prepare for significant delays as...

Film Review: Nyad

February 29, 2024

February 29, 2024

FILM REVIEWNYADRated PG-13121 MinutesReleased November 3rdOscar Nominations: Best Leading Actress, Best Supporting Actress “I failed many times, but I can...

Security Officers Being Deployed at Big Blue Bus Stations and Routes

February 29, 2024

February 29, 2024

The Guards will be provided by a firm with other security contracts with the city of Santa Monica  By Zach...

Leap Day Brings Once-in-Four-Year Deals at Popular Restaurants All Day Long

February 28, 2024

February 28, 2024

Krispy Kreme, Dunkin’, and More Roll Out Special Offers to Mark the Occasion Leap Day, that rare additional day occurring...

Sweet Lady Jane’s Social Media Tease Continues As Locations Sport Hiring Notices

February 28, 2024

February 28, 2024

Mysterious Posts Leave Fans Eager for the Return, But Questions Linger By Dolores Quintana After resurfacing on social media, the...

Upcoming Ice Cream Shop on Montana Ave. Will Serve Multitude of Vegan Flavors

February 28, 2024

February 28, 2024

The Company Has Come a Long Way Since Its Humble Beginnings as a New York City Food Truck By Zach...

(Video) Pro-Palestine Protest at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel

February 28, 2024

February 28, 2024

Protesters were there to protest the arrival of U.S. Representative Nancy Pelosi Counter-protesters drove by in a car. @smmirrornews Pro-Palestine...

(Video) Restaurants Replace Glass Front Doors After Late Night Robbery Spree in Del Ray

February 28, 2024

February 28, 2024

Seven restaurants and small businesses in Del Rey and Venice, including Nick the Greek and Dudley Market, were robbed. Council...

SMMUSD Appoints New Asst. Superintendent of Education Services

February 27, 2024

February 27, 2024

Dr. Williamson Will Assume Her Role on March 8, Bringing 17 Years of Education Experience In a special board meeting...

Hollywood Royalty to Shine at 96th Oscars: First Wave of Star-Studded Presenter Lineup Unveiled

February 27, 2024

February 27, 2024

Incredible Lineup of Actors and Previous Oscar Winners Announced Executive producer and showrunner Raj Kapoor, along with executive producers Molly...

Vote Smart, Vote Early: Streamlining Your 2024 Presidential Primary Experience in L.A. County

February 27, 2024

February 27, 2024

Skip the Lines and Save Time – Your Guide to Early Voting Options  In preparation for the upcoming 2024 Presidential...

Iconic Venice Beach Sculpture and Landmark to be Removed, Returned to Artist’s Property

February 27, 2024

February 27, 2024

Since the Money, Effort or Desire to Purchase the Piece Appears to Not Be There, the Artist Wants It Back...

(Video) Heartfelt candlelight vigils in Westchester and West Hollywood for Nex Benedict

February 27, 2024

February 27, 2024

The non-binary 16 year old student with Choctaw ancestry died in Owasso, Oklahoma after being beaten by three older high...

Sweet Lady Jane Sparks Hope of Return – Popular Bakery Hints at Reopening Across LA

February 27, 2024

February 27, 2024

After Abrupt Closures, Beloved Bakery Hints at a Comeback, Leaving Fans Intrigued  Sweet Lady Jane, a Los Angeles cake bakery...

Waymo’s LA Expansion Hits Roadblock: CPUC Temporarily Halts Self-Driving Company’s Plans

February 26, 2024

February 26, 2024

California Public Utilities Commission suspends Waymo’s service expansion for 120 days. California’s Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has put a temporary...