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News, Santa Monica, Santa Monica Airport

Congresswoman Karen Bass To Speak At Meeting Tonight On Santa Monica Airport

Karen Bass represents congressional district 37 that encompasses Mid City, West Los Angeles, Century City, Palms, Mar Vista, Sawtelle, Beverlywood, Cheviot Hills,  Pico-Robertson, as well as part of South Los Angeles.
Courtesy Photo
Karen Bass represents congressional district 37 that encompasses Mid City, West Los Angeles, Century City, Palms, Mar Vista, Sawtelle, Beverlywood, Cheviot Hills, Pico-Robertson, as well as part of South Los Angeles.

Posted Feb. 18, 2014, 9:30 am

Parimal M. Rohit / Staff Writer

More than three months after she wrote a letter to the administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) declaring Santa Monica Airport (SMO) a danger to the health and safety of those living near the airstrip, Congresswoman Karen Bass (Dem-37th District) will be speaking Tuesday evening at a special meeting of the North Westdale Neighborhood Association.

North Westdale is a Los Angeles neighborhood almost adjacent to the eastern most edge of SMO.

The meeting will be Feb. 18 at 7 pm and held at Saint Andrew’s Lutheran Church – Sanctuary, 11555 National Boulevard, Los Angeles 90064 (near Federal and National).

Bass’ Nov. 7 letter Michael P. Huerta of the FAA urged the federal agency to allow the SMO permit to expire in 2015 and shut down the airport. She also joined Rep. Henry Waxman in requesting the FAA take part in community meetings with area stakeholders to help determine the future of SMO.

The Nov. 7 letter was written about five weeks after a small plane crashed into a hangar moments after touching town at SMO on Sept. 29.

More information about the North Westdale Neighborhood Associaton can be found on its website,

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Feb. 18, 2014, 10:48:41 am

Won't get my vote said...

Karen Bass is pandering to a small but wealthy group of real estate developers who contribute to hers and Waxman's campaign. There is a lot of money to be made on that airport land. Now she wants to go stir the neighbors up making promises she can't possibly keep - as the FAA just proved yet again. Serious, how do these snakes keep getting elected?

Feb. 18, 2014, 8:04:37 pm

Robert (Bob) Smith said...

Congresswoman Karen Bass should step back from this issue, and study the history of Santa Monica Airport, and then study how adjacent suburbs then encroached on the existing airport. The Airport was there long before most of the people surrounding it were born. Don't worry Santa Monica Council gets a nice amount of taxes out of the airport, but nothing like what it could get with a "Token Park" and the rest as a Office/Residential/Shopping precinct.

Feb. 19, 2014, 6:55:03 pm

Mike said...

The city of Santa Monica will allow whatever reaps them the largest profit and revenue stream. Of course, it will be disguised to look like a project that benefits the community. Don't they all? How about a park with a lake and paddle boats? Get a good laugh with that one.

Feb. 20, 2014, 11:36:01 am

Will said...

This type of stuff happens all the time on the east coast. People moved NEXT DOOR to an airport and wonder what the heck is going on with all these airplanes. Why did they buy that house? That only encourages folks to build there. Looks like we just have a politician doing her thang ;-X

Feb. 20, 2014, 11:39:04 am

Pandering to NIMBYs said...

Here are a few special interests that this lowlife is toadying up to: 1. developers 2. the air cargo association that wants to fly heavy jets lower and more directly over Santa Monica if SMO is closed 3. 150 homeowners who want to steal from everyone else in Santa Monica, from CA, and from the nation to goose their property values ONCE. What an embarrassing, retrograde display from yet another small-time hack.

Feb. 20, 2014, 11:46:23 am

Chainsaw said...

Hello All Well just one more NIMBY Politician trying to shutdown what business we have left. How about we put US Airports on the Endangered Species list as well as Small Business and people that still work and pay taxes? Hey lets get her to focus on our schools which are last, and honest news reporting where the US is now at number 42. I have something even better if she is a NIMBY? How about the Bullet Train from nowhere-to-nowhere; that is slower than the existing Amtrack? How do these people get elected to office? Chainsaw

Feb. 20, 2014, 12:22:23 pm

Seconnjohn said...

I’ve read the comments that Congresswoman Karen Bass sent to the FAA Administrator Huerta. I agree with Congresswoman Bass that the safety issue with SMO needs to be addressed. There are way too many residential areas in close proximity. We need to identify these residential areas that have encroached on the airport and have them condemned, and have them bulldozes. The area west of 25th St, South of Ocean Park, down to 16th and Dewey would be ideal. We could extend RWY 21 into Penmar Golf Course “ people could get killed from flying golf balls”, and add 1000 foot displacement thresholds to the runway 3 and 21. This will increase safety, planes will be flying higher over the existing houses yielding lower noise. The areas where encroaching houses were removed, can be zone industrial to increase tax revenues, as well as increase the already very useful airport for commerce.

Feb. 20, 2014, 12:47:42 pm

Jim Allmon said...

Why is that whenever there's an airport to be closed down it's always a democrat pushing to close it? They never consider the positive economic impact of the airport. They love sound bites of "it's dangerous and peoples lives are at stake!!" I agree with one of the writers; condemn all houses within a 3-5 mile radius and year them down. That should quiet the whining down.

Feb. 20, 2014, 1:00:36 pm

Dwain Munyon said...

Does the fact that an accident Happened at SMO means that Is a reason to close the field? Government officials who are Uninformed about the benefits Of general aviation airports Should not Voice their opinions Untill they learn the facts .l

Feb. 20, 2014, 1:36:54 pm

tigerpilot said...

Henry Waxman-the west coast answer to NY's Schumer. The airport was there first and will be there last. This entire attempt to close SMO has been nothing but welfare for lawyers. Give up!

Feb. 20, 2014, 1:41:03 pm

Jim Klick said...

The reason these cretins are continually elected is that the majority of the voters are incredibly stupid. I'm from Chicago, and what Daley did to Meigs was criminal, but he kept getting elected

Feb. 20, 2014, 2:18:59 pm

james ottaviano said...

Don't count it can't happen IF a lot of money and lawyers fight the FAA.We have seen it before in Mayor Daley and Like Klick said HE should be in jail.BUT some times what goes around comes around

Feb. 20, 2014, 2:30:23 pm

Eric Woodman said...

The claims in this article are nothing more than an assertion the "Sky is Falling" as an effort to keep an issue politically charged. The data doesn't support such conclusion. For decades, no accidents have caused damage outside of Santa Monica Airport boundaries. The fear that such could happen doesn't justify closing an alternate airport vital to air transportation and that is a substantial economic contributor to the local economy. Even one such accident wouldn't justify closure. The same fear arguments made now were heard and rejected after the San Diego and Los Angeles aircraft collision disasters decades ago that resulted in loss of life and property on the ground. Certain representatives continue to spend exorbitant amounts of tax payer money trying to defeat an obligation cast in stone and voluntarily taken on decades ago by the City of Santa Monica. Efforts to reverse the obligations undertaken decades ago by recorded documents undermine the US system of recording real property obligations. IF successful, no owner of real property can safely rely on the recorded benefits and obligations running with land they purchase. The little guy , especially, will loose to big money, land development interests. Current residents should aim their attacks at their own city for failing to use zoning laws to protect inbound and outbound pathways from residential encroachment. Current residents didn't purchase the "quiet enjoyment" they now seek to take by force. Recent court action by Santa Monica seeking to close the airport was terminated. Termination of the suit was based on ordinary real estate and contract law. Each past attempt to close the airport was rebuffed. There is no reason to believe additional efforts will fare any differently Breach of the recorded obligation for Santa Monica to operate the property in perpetuity as an airport justifies FAA action to take back the airport for assignment to others for operation. Further action by Santa Monica in attempting to shut down the airport risks efforts to remove the airport from Santa Monica's jurisdiction. It's unrealistic to think that somehow further attempts to close the airport will succeed and can justify continuing to spend tax payer money to "beat a dead horse."

Feb. 20, 2014, 2:33:25 pm

Richard said...

City of Santa Monica just got their butts kicked in court and their back for more, employing the efforts of two more "hacks" Waxman who isn't running again after 40 years and Bass. More DNA from the Democrats! (Distraction, Nitpick and Attack) When these folks don't get their way this is what they'll resort to. They will persist until they have their way, so we must be as persistent.

Feb. 20, 2014, 2:38:56 pm

Mark Hargis said...

I'd like to know her qualifications to make such claims. As a corporate pilot with well over 4,000 landings at Santa Monica in high performance turboprops and jets I find the airport certainly safe at all times. Her claims are without merit and I suspect she is a liberal just sounding off for other liberal city attorneys wanting the property. Like all liberals they will say and do anything to get what they want and will do so saying things that show how stupid they are. Show me the scientific data about your claims. Just another whacko liberal running their mouth.

Feb. 20, 2014, 2:44:12 pm

Richard Lee said...

Ms. Bass is apparently unaware of actual risk verses implied risk. Far more people die on the freeways of Los Angeles than at the Santa Monica Airport. I suppose her next move is to shut down the freeways to avoid that clear risk. Tell me Ms. Bass, do you have any idea just how many millions of dollars the Santa Monica airport puts into the community each and every year? The value of being a reliever airport? How police, fire and emergency rescue can base their operations out of there? Just being alive poses risk. There is no possible way to avoid it. The airport is vital to the economic health of the area and that was understood when the Federal Government deeded it to the City of Santa Monica. It is to be operated as an airport in perpetuity. Clear enough?

Feb. 20, 2014, 3:15:46 pm

G Morton said...

Let's throw out the baby with the bath water… Allow me to put the closing of Santa Monica Airport into some kind of perspective. Instead of an airport for comparison I'll use the 405 Freeway. The scenario is this… News Flash!!! Today two school buses were stuck by a large 18 wheeler. The collision was so massive all 42 children on both buses were killed along with the school bus drivers and the truck driver. Four additional people were also killed in their home below the overpass from which all vehicles fell. Today Santa Monica area residents have called to permanently close the 405 freeway to make sure this will not happen ever again. Congresswoman Bass remarked: that would not solve this issue and it would be foolish to close the 405 freeway. She said it would be like throwing the baby out with the bathwater

Feb. 20, 2014, 4:19:26 pm

Unknown Rider said...

Follow the money. If the SMO mayor is a Dem., airport backers better stand watch round the clock to stop the runway from being bulldozed at midnight, as was Chicago's Meigs Field. FAA did little about that.

Feb. 20, 2014, 4:33:44 pm

Liberal Pilot said...

Watch it with the partisan politics, fellas. I can site dozens of things that make me sick about the tea party and such. I'm a pilot and a Democrat and I'm on your side with keeping the airport open. Let's keep political polarizing out of out the discussion and deal with coming together on an issue we can agree on. In other words, don't alienate people who may cross the isle to help you out.

Feb. 20, 2014, 5:52:08 pm

Jack Mulqueen said...

When intellectually vacant people are elected to office, it seems they take every opportunity to display their ignorance. Notice it is all liberal Democrats that want to shut down the airport. So a small plane had an accident, if we apply the same ignorant logic to the highway, we should shut them all down decades ago.

Feb. 20, 2014, 5:57:12 pm

Ron Baklarz said...

Really. Move the homeownwer folks out of the area- the economics of the airport business should trump theirs.

Feb. 20, 2014, 6:08:46 pm

sndzsl said...

If one aircraft plowing into a hanger at an airport, what the hell does Karen Bass think about all of her constituents banging around each other on the LA freeway? Maybe she'll try to shut it down for row homes for the needy.

Feb. 20, 2014, 6:29:49 pm

David Froble said...

My, my, my ... Why not present something that will make the city and the developers and such come clean on their objectives. Offer to shut down the airport, and deed it to me, totally tax free, no property taxes to ever be paid, and no way they can get their hands on the property. In other words, the city loses all benefits, forever, and the developers can never get their hands on the property, forever. Oh, yes, and all properties around the airport will have their assessment raised, maybe doubled or tripled. If I missed anything, someone can add it to the proposal . Then see if anyone really wants the airport closed ....

Feb. 20, 2014, 7:14:18 pm

Bill Osborne said...

Keep up the fight. If you don't want aircraft noise, don't live next to an airport. We lost an airport for that reason. Developers again at work.

Feb. 20, 2014, 7:25:58 pm

j sharkey said...

To anyone doing business at SMO, come on over to Ventura County. We've got three GA airports and would love to have you!

Feb. 20, 2014, 11:01:42 pm

Dark Tan Yon said...

SMO will turn out to be the same way MCAS El Toro did. After years of Douglas building planes there and dumping who knows what on the ground, SMO will end up on the Super Fund for clean up. Let the city pay for core samples. They will say this land in contaminated and not safe for anything.

Feb. 21, 2014, 5:11:57 am

Mike said...

The California freeway system is a danger to the health and safety of those using and living near the freeway. Carnage on the road, air pollution, road rage, DUI, etc all create a greater danger than one small airport. Maybe Congresswoman Bass should address the dangers of the freeway system as well.

Feb. 21, 2014, 8:01:25 am

Andy said...

I hope the residents of Santa Monica are prepared to see many businesses leave your city when your airport closes.

Feb. 21, 2014, 8:28:22 am

Dennis Faver said...

It's such a shame that the most ignorant can occupy the bully pulpit on a critical issue like this. Ms. Bass' pandering is pure electioneering without real information. Why not do some real homework on the issue for once.

Feb. 21, 2014, 8:39:30 am

Barnabas Path said...

Well, well, well. Everyone is up in arms over this latest example of political transgressions as if land grabs by the wealthy are some newer phenomenon. Sorry Charlie, hate to wake you from your slumber. And BTW, for those whose power quadrant appears to have but two settings, Idle and Max Thrust, let me point out that it is not really a party label that can be ascribed to such shenanigans, but rather, two words: Greed. Money. From a strategic point of view the SMO end game is probably to let the leases expire and then physically destroy the runways. Their consultants have provided counsel that the community will not fight such an action and that the expense will be far outweighed by the future tax revenues. I’m unfamiliar with the legal differentiations between this case and Meigs, however in the absence of such I’m afraid it will be game, set, match. And ‘Developer’? I don’t think so. These people are exploiters, nothing more. They attempt to squeeze every last dime from whatever morsel of land they manage to park on, regardless of the outcome to the resident’s quality of life. And parks? You have to drag them kicking and screaming to get any concessions that have nothing to do with maximizing their transactional return. So, in the end, the citizens who are the holders of the rights to their quality of life, who are the ones that should be demanding accountability for the taxes they pay, and who are the ones that could control their destiny at the ballot box – because in a democratic process we are all “free”, right? – are the ones who are trampled. Their “representatives” represent money and power, neither of which the citizens can provide. And a final, BTW: This is a well-heeled town, well above the median income, and probably in the top 10% or less as far as education goes. You know something is really messed up when the wealthy few can run City Hall as they please, even in this environment.

Feb. 21, 2014, 9:12:18 am

Charlie Branch said...

The City of Santa Monica signed a letter of agreement to operate the airport in perpetuity. The judge was correct in throwing out the City's suit to close SMO. The NBAA and AOPA, and leaseholders are not planning to go away, and I would hope that voters respond to prevent the City's support of another welfare program for attorneys with a budget balanced on the backs of taxpayers, city workers and infrastructure maintenance. Airports should be recognized for the economic engines they are (and can be) for the long term, rather than as potential residential developments that provide the City with short-term benefit and long-term liabilities to maintain for streets, police, fire, EMS, schools, parks, public utilities, and more.

Feb. 21, 2014, 12:42:07 pm

dave walker said...

nonsense.santa monica airport is one of the safest in the nation. you had better shut down the 405 there are hundreds more accidents there.

Feb. 22, 2014, 2:02:01 pm

Grandpa said...

Waiving the "danger" flag when there is none, is a despicable act. How about Washington National Airport? The danger there is so much greater. A plane could fall on the capitol and injure or kill one of those very important people there.

Feb. 22, 2014, 3:49:48 pm

Paul Schluter said...

I'm saddened to hear that the future of Santa Monica airport is in jeopardy. Aviation represents an efficient and fast method of travel. The public should be encouraged to increase reliance of air travel. Too often the real estate value of airports becomes the over riding factor in residential suburbs. The situation in Sydney Australia is poor with only one airport accommodating for general aviation. Hands off Santa Monica airport!

Feb. 25, 2014, 11:07:42 pm

gblash said...

The airport affords imagination to young minds all around it. It should never be closed. Developers need to focus on redeveloping low density properties around that area to higher density-high rise domiciles. Stop encroaching on OUR freedoms. Get rid of this woman. Stop making laws for every little issue. Stop indirect freedom theft.

Feb. 25, 2014, 11:09:35 pm

tony said...

NO ! Don't close the airport.

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