SANTA MONICA—The Federal Aviation Association issued a decision on Monday, October 21, approving the use of funds to remove excess pavements at Santa Monica Airport that are no longer in use for aircraft operations.

The FAA’s decision was made in response to a complaint filed on February 6, 2019, by the National Business Aviation Association, Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, and General Aviation Manufacturers Association vs. the City of Santa Monica.

The opponents challenged the use of airport funds for the Runway Shortening Project completed in December 2017 and the Excess Pavement Removal Project scheduled to be completed by November 8, 2019. They argued that the projects were a misuse of the airport funds because the pulverization of the runway would have no aeronautical benefits.

In the complaint written to the FAA they wrote, “airport revenue can only be used for legitimate capital or operating cost of an airport. The work already undertaken at SMO to shorten the runway, and the proposed removal of pavement comprise neither; it is incontestable that the only reason for these projects is the City’s desire to reduce aircraft operations and access.”

The FAA responded that, “SMO met all applicable standards prior to the pavement removal and the airfield remains compliant with all applicable standards following completion of the project.” They added, “the removal of the subject pavements, pavement pulverization and reuse, and soil stabilization at SMO appear justified as an airport operating cost.”

“This is good news that comes as we complete the removal of the excess pavement and hydroseed the areas that are no longer needed for the safe operation of aircraft to our now shortened runway,” said Santa Monica Mayor Gleam Davis. “The FAA determination clearly states that we are working in accordance with the Consent Decree and FAA rules, and the shortened runway ensures safe and proper aviation use until the airport closes in 2029.”