SANTA MONICA—Nearly two dozen Santa Monica city officials, activists and residents met with members of the FAA in Washington D.C. earlier this week to advocate for the closure of the Santa Monica Airport.
According to Santa Monica Mayor Kevin McKeown, the airport fails to meet minimum safety requirements and pollutes the local environment.
“Santa Monica Airport endangers our residents and our resources,” McKeown said. “What was once a grass landing strip in the midst of bean fields is now often described as ‘an aircraft carrier in a sea of homes.’ The exceptionally close proximity of the runway and residents’ homes presents unacceptable safety risks.”
Marty Rubin, director of Concerned Residents Against Airport Pollution, agreed with McKeown on the airport’s adverse environmental impact on the city.
“I have been involved with addressing the airport’s negative impacts for more than 15 years,” Rubin said. “Air quality studies have monitored very high levels of Santa Monica Airport aircraft pollutants within the community of North Westdale where homes are located less than 300 feet from the jet blast.”
Among those who made the cross country trip include the mayor, Santa Monica Councilmember Sue Himmelrich and Congressman Ted Lieu.
“Today was a productive meeting where each attendee personally shared their story with the FAA face to face,” Lieu said in a statement released shortly after the meeting. “I hope that the FAA will heed the concerns brought forth today and work to address the issues.”
An FAA representative told the Santa Monica Daily Press that FAA officials listened but did not comment during the meeting due to “pending ligation about the airport.”
The 31-year-old agreement between the city and the FAA expired earlier this month.
Although city council members voted several months ago to develop a parcel of land at the airport for “recreation purposes,” the city continues to await for feasibility plans and inspections.