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News, Santa Monica, Santa Monica Airport

City Of Santa Monica Has Upward Battle Challenging FAA To Take Control Of SMO

Posted Jan. 11, 2014, 9:15 am

Brenton Garen / Editor-in-Chief

The City of Santa Monica has an upward battle in its attempt to take control of Santa Monica Airport (SMO), with attorneys for the Federal Aviation Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation, and U.S. Department of Justice arguing the City's lawsuit filed in October 2013 was filed too late.

The Los Angeles Times reports that federal attorneys contend that federal law related to title disputes required Santa Monica to sue within 12 years of learning about the federal government’s interest in the airport.

The Times reports that the 1948 transfer agreement, which was signed by city officials, documents that interest -- something that was demonstrated three more times in 1952, 1956 and 1984 when the government released three airport parcels from required aviation uses.

“Consequently, this case is jurisdictionally deficient because it was brought too late,” The Times quotes attorneys for the Federal Aviation Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation and U.S. Department of Justice.

The City of Santa Monica sued the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in October 2013 to establish the City’s right to control future use of the Santa Monica Airport property, which the City has long owned.  

The lawsuit, filed in federal court in Los Angeles, asked the court to declare that the City holds clear title to the land. And, it also challenges, as unconstitutional, the FAA's claim that the City must continue to operate the Airport indefinitely, even after contracts establishing the City's Airport obligations expire.

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Jan. 11, 2014, 9:53:57 am

neil c. kaufman said...

what does the Federal Gov. want to do with the airport? Personally I would like to see an end of jets taking off over my neighborhood.

Jan. 11, 2014, 11:28:27 am

Andy Kaufman said...

It's because the city of Santa Monica is dead wrong on this one. And the "me me me" residents who ignorantly or conveniently forgot there was an airport nearby should pack their rears up and move to North Dakota where it's plenty quiet. This is nothing more than a land grab for the city. STOP RICH DEVELOPERS FROM DUPING EVERYONE!

Jan. 11, 2014, 11:34:03 am

Truth said...

Argue all you like. In the end the Feds win this one. It's a matter of national security and interstate commerce that is bigger than a few petty people and a greedy city council of a little city. I wouldn't expect the minions to see past their own noses and understand this concept.

Jan. 11, 2014, 11:58:27 am

Kayak said...

When the commerical development was taking place around the airport in the late 1970s, developers wanted to create a buffer zone between the air strip and vacant and/or underutilized land that might otherwise wind up residential, causing the same kinds of problems faced on the North side of LAX. The City of SM refused to allow those lands to be anything but residential. The City required that lots directly in the flight path just before touchdown be residential. Since this makes no logical sense from a land use perspective, another reason needed to be at work. Did the City want more residents/voters to protest the continued use of the airport because they had bought homes right under the flight path? Can anyone figure out another logical reason for forcing more homes into those areas?

Jan. 11, 2014, 12:53:16 pm

stewart said...

theres that ol, who was here first the nimbys or the general aviation entities and who came along trying to flip things, about 50 years too late huh?

Jan. 11, 2014, 2:57:32 pm

Henry Hall said...

It's always greed - airplanes and airports are in our future. If somebody doesn't like living near an airport don't buy a home there. I didn't.

Jan. 12, 2014, 11:11:27 am

josh walters said...

The residents that live around the airport ONLY think about THEMSELVES. The airport has been their since 1917 with few sites (forgot which ones) saying 1907 or 1914. I would move next to SMO or even LAX. About 99% of residents are newer to that area. and that 1% or way less lived there since the1990s. Santa Monica wont win again. Just a waste of millions and millions of dollars by the city. it would be great if the FAA takes over the airport and expand the runway to 10,000x250ft and lessen the values so it can help.

Jan. 12, 2014, 4:07:57 pm

Luke Atmadik said...

I LIKE AIRPLANE AND JET NOISE! I hope to see much more of it at SMO!!! SCREW ALL OF YOU FOR BUYING A HOME NEAR AN AIRPORT! I Just landed there and made extra noise in your honor! I would like to see someone point out to the tax paying SMO public HOW MUCH THE CITY COMMISSIONERS HAVE BEEN SPENDING ON THIS LOSS! I BETCHA THE CITY KEEPS A LID ON IT AND CENSORS IT FROM THE TAX PAYERS! because they have pissed away a LOT OF MONEY OVER THIS !!! SMO YOU SUCK!

Jan. 12, 2014, 4:10:41 pm

Luke Atmadik said...

Any of you whining SMO residents want to sell me your crappy noisy home? I would like to buy it and sell it to an airplane friendly person. No I would not reside there SMO sucks! Down with the Republic of SMO

Jan. 13, 2014, 3:44:42 pm

Jerry McCutcheon said...

Is there anybody in Santa Monica listening ??? In the interim while Santa Monica fights for the airport; Santa Monica can pass an ordinance requiring high horse power airplane engines to have three bladed propellers. Three bladed propellers will cut out most of the noise. We have same problems in Alaska. Some pilots deliberately make as much noise as they can and some are just stupid. They deliberately drive the propeller tip speed up near the speed of sound barrier and it makes the prop blat something terrible . They can’t get the prop speed up to near the sound barrier on a three bladed prop. Santa Monica can require the three bladed propellers under a noise abatement ordnance.

Jan. 14, 2014, 2:17:54 pm

L. Charles Murphy said...

I live in Santa Monica and I'm also a pilot. I honestly don't hear very many high horsepower planes turning their props at high pitch. I think most of the pilots are courteous and pull the prop RPMs back a notch on climb out. I know I do and so do all the guys in my flying club. High prop RPM isn't really a problem. I'm sure there are a few vocal neighbors but the real fight over SMO continues to be real estate investors who want to develop the land. If I was a neighbor this would scare me worse than the airport does. Can't see passed their noses on this I suppose.

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