Santa Monica Lookout
|Council Members Want Resolution Calling for Santa Monica Airport Closure||
By Jonathan Friedman
July 25, 2016 -- It’s no secret that most, if not all, City Council members want Santa Monica Airport closed in the near future. But two council members want to get this opinion on the record.
Mayor Tony Vazquez and Councilmember Ted Winterer have proposed a measure calling for a resolution “expressing the City Council’s intention to close the Santa Monica Airport to aviation use, as soon as that is legally permitted with a goal of June 30, 2018 and earlier if possible.”
The measure also calls for the resolution to feature language about beginning the transition of the City-owned airport property's designated use, including the legal and planning processes that go with this.
If a majority of the council supports the measure at the meeting on Tuesday, it would then vote on a resolution during the August 23 session.
This resolution would not be an actual action to shut down the airport. There are legal hurdles to overcome before that could happen.
However, the resolution would likely bother Santa Monica airport supporters, including the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), who say the City does not have the authority to close the airport--at least not before 2023.
The City and the FAA have been battling on airport issues in the court system and other venues for many years.
The intensity has increased since last summer when a 1984 agreement between the two entities saying the property should be used for aviation purposes expired. Activists and some City leaders say this means the airport can close and be replaced by a park.
The FAA ruled in December that the airport must remain open until 2023 (“FAA Rules Santa Monica Airport Must Stay Open,” December 7, 2015).
U.S. Rep Ted Lieu, whose district includes Santa Monica, wants the federal General Accountability Office to investigate this decision (“Congressman Seeks Probe of Santa Monica Airport Ruling,” July 20, 2016).
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