Santa Monica Airport Near Closure

SANTA MONICA—The Santa Monica City Council has officially established new leasing policies for Santa Monica airport tenants.

The new policies are part of a plan laid-out by the city council to eventually close the local airport, as hard limits have been placed on the length of leases for several different sections of the facility.

A hang-up in the council’s efforts to close the airport has been the reality that several of the aviation establishments are strictly protected by federal pacts to preserve the facility.

Santa Monica Airport
Protestors against the continuation of three-year lease agreements at Santa Monica Airport.

Unless, the U.S. Government approves a different use for these plots of land, the council would face the task of filing a number of potentially lengthy lawsuits to reverse these agreements.

The council has agreed to permit Atlantic Aviation, The Museum of Flying, VW-Audi, and the Milstein law firm to negotiate three-year leases with the airport.

Tenants looking to lease the Western section of the facility will be able to negotiate month-to-month leases. The council is hoping to seize control of the Western wing, ceasing current aviation traffic and shortening the runway to prevent jets from flying in and out of Santa Monica.

Against a recent recommendation made by the Santa Monica Airport Commission, there was no move to ban jets that emit sizeable amounts of exhaust, as the Federal Government’s control over emission standards prevents any city regulation.

Prior to Tuesday night’s unanimous decision to establish the new leasing policies, the council heard arguments from citizens both for and against the closing of the airport.

The issue impacts economic, environmental, and public safety ramifications if the airport is closed.