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Opinion, Letters To The Editor, Santa Monica, Santa Monica Airport

Letter To The Editor: Helicopter Pilots Endorse Initiative To Keep SMO Open

Posted Mar. 29, 2014, 7:33 am

Letter To The Editor

Dear Editor,

The Professional Helicopter Pilots Association endorses the citizen initiated ballot measure that would put the future of any City actions to change the airport in voters’ hands.

The City Council has demonstrated an unwavering campaign to close the airport over the objections of supporters and numerous failed attempts to abrogate the City’s legal obligations to keep the airport open.

During the March 25, 2014 Council meeting the City Council again reaffirmed its commitment to close the airport no matter the cost, after its most recent loss to the federal government in court.

The city had sued the Federal Aviation Administration to gain control of the property, which was dismissed by the judge presiding over the case. One of many such dismissals.

The PHPA joins with AOPA and airport supporters in their concern that the city fathers will redevelop the airports 227 acres into high density land use thereby increasing traffic and pollution, negatively impacting the people of Santa Monica.

According to a study commissioned by the city and conducted by H R & A Advisors, Inc, Santa Monica Airport generates an economic impact of $275 million annually, is the base of 175 businesses, and provides 1500 jobs within the city, 900 on the airport.

The PHPA is dismayed in this time of economic recession that the city would ignore the airports economic benefits and would work to put people out of their jobs.

The Professional Helicopter Pilots Association (PHPA), based in Los Angeles represents both private and public helicopter pilots and supporters.

The PHPA has had a long-standing commitment to its Fly Neighborly, Safety, and Community Relations programs.

For four decades since 1967, PHPA members have conducted helicopter missions within the L.A. area that serve the needs of the community, such as law enforcement, emergency medical services, aerial firefighting, utility construction & maintenance, as well as support the business community.

The PHPA, along with other leaders in the helicopter industry, have always made safety their number one priority.

Anthony Byrnes

Profession Helicopter Pilots Association

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Comments

Mar. 29, 2014, 12:04:39 pm

JohnF said...

Aviation proponents say they want to work together: But why then hasn’t a single city-subsidized muffler been installed? Why hasn’t a single meeting to discuss compromise happened? Why did it take landing fees to get flight schools to modify their behavior? Why did they wait till last night’s airport commission meeting to offer cooperation? Why did jet traffic increase by 31% year over year in January? Why is the fly-friendly route still routinely flouted? Why is AOPA planning a deceptive ballot initiative to tie the city’s hands? and why have all these pilots from around the country been mobilized to stop any change? The truth is for the most part they have no intention of compromising, and are just as intransigent as the FAA. They leave us with no choice. Aviation proponents say the airport is an economic engine: But it has racked up a $13 million subsidies and debt to the city over the years. These claims are based on a flawed HR and A study that merged aviation and non-aviation revenues, and modeled aviation income using tourism percentages from commercial airports like LAX. I’d be amazed if more than a handful of tourists arrive via SMO each year. Aviation represents just 1 of 42 industry sectors at SMO, and with 178 jobs is 19% of total jobs. The data shows aviation benefits could be replaced by a single medium sized office building. All that revenue they quote from the HR and A study, it comes from non-aviation activity at the airport! It takes 4,600 square feet per aviation job at the airport. Leased to commercial tenants that same space would support more than 3,000 additional jobs. Of course we wouldn't want that many jobs. there but you get the point. Moreover, if existing buildings were leased to non-aviation tenants, the city would bring in $5-10 million extra revenue per year. The truth is the airport is an economic disaster no matter how you look at it. Aviation proponents say the City can’t win and we should all stop whining: But none of the threatened litigation materialized, because the City has these rights, and litigation would be futile. Other cities regularly succeed in closure - GA airports are closing at the rate of one a week. Why not here? The truth is we can and will succeed in closing this airport. Aviation proponents say beware of development: But Airport2Park is growing and continues to vigorously campaign for a park. The Council has publicly stated many times that this land belongs to the people and would not be developed as commercial land might be. The truth is that aviation opponents will say just about anything to maintain the status quo and keep the airport open at the expense of the health, safety, and wellbeing of the neighbors. The REAL truth is: we the people of Santa Monica and surrounds are fed up with this airport, we are legion for we are many, and we mean to win.

Mar. 29, 2014, 4:15:08 pm

Anti Aviation Exterminator said...

To John Fairweather terrorist: Come on terrorist. You have a big mouth. Want a chance in person to back it up asshole? Come on terrorist fuck!! You want to steal the jobs and businesses of those who have worked so hard to build up and run. You want to to act like Hitler himself asshole? You waged this fucking war and so let's do this asshole!!!

Mar. 30, 2014, 11:42:37 am

JohnF said...

James Sloat - master of ready wit and repartee. While your dexterity with the fringes of the language is clear, you have merely succeeded in proving my points about the character of the aviation proponents involved in this debate. Thank you.

Mar. 30, 2014, 10:30:41 pm

Santa Monica said...

I wish the moderator would step in and ban both of these guys. Neither one is doing their cause any favors.

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