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

Saturday, 29 Mar 2014, 7:33:00 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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