SANTA MONICA—Attempts made by pilots James Babinski and Kate Scott to stop the construction process to shorten the Santa Monica Airport Runway, were successful for a temporary period. Judge Ronald Lew decided to allow the construction process after claims that the construction work required “permits, public hearings, and environmental reviews” were dismissed.
Babinski and Scott argued in court that the process the airport will be going through is a “shortening” process. In the case of a “realignment” or “extension” of the runway, the city of Santa Monica would require a permit.
Earlier this month, the plaintiffs argued a violation of the Brown Act between the city of Santa Monica and FAA where Judge Lew decided to halt the process, and give the public a chance to speak. Lew announced that the city of Santa Monica will move forward with shortening the runway from 5,000 feet to 3,500 feet.
Construction is expected to resume this week as planned, and access to the SMO Airport will be closed overnight during Phase 1 and closed all day and night during Phase 2.
The deal agreed upon between the FAA and the city of Santa Monica, once completed in December 2028, will give City Manager, Rick Cole the opportunity to turn the SMO Airport into a park.