SANTA MONICA—According to a press release from the city of Santa Monica, the United States District Court, Central District of California dismissed in its entirety a case challenging the Consent Decree between Santa Monica and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for the immediate shortening of the runway at Santa Monica Airport (SMO) and the closure of the airport after 2028 on Monday, December 18.
The plaintiffs in the case, Kate Scott and James Babinski argued that the city of Santa Monica failed to follow certain state law requirements when it entered the Consent Decree. In October 2017, Judge Ronald Lew granted a temporary restraining order halting the shortening of the runway, but was later dissolved and denied the plaintiffs’ request for a preliminary injunction.
The ruling by Judge Philip S. Gutierrez dismisses all of the plaintiffs’ claims and closes the case. Judge Gutierrez noted in his order a state court’s ruling that Santa Monica followed the requirements of the Brown Act when it entered the Consent Decree; and he held that Public Utilities Code provisions raised by the plaintiffs did not apply.
“This ruling reaffirms the validity of the historic agreement between the City of Santa Monica and the FAA, entered as a Consent Decree by the U.S. District Court,” said Mayor Ted Winterer. “Reducing flights by large jets will improve the lives our residents and neighbors living adjacent to SMO. This is another victory for Santa Monica.”
The agreement with the FAA follows years of work by the Santa Monica community to mitigate impacts of airport operations on local communities. The runway shortening will bring relief to residents and become effective on Sunday, December 24, when the construction concludes.
Phase one of the construction project ended on October 23, where work was completed Mon-Fri between the hours of 9 a.m. and 7 p.m. A closure of the airport started on December 13 to shorten the runway to 3,500 feet and complete Phase two of the project. After December 23, specific large jets will no longer be able to utilize SMO. For additional details on the project visit, www.smgov.net/airport.