Santa Monica Airport Association – Press Release – December 6th, 2017.
Los Angeles – Wednesday, December 6, 2017 - Santa Monica Airport Air Traffic Controllers provide critical support to firefighting, newsgathering and emergency response aircraft fighting Skirball Fire today.
Santa Monica FAA Air Traffic Control Tower today provided critical support to aircraft fighting, reporting on and responding to the Skirball Fire. Aircraft using SMO airspace included water-dropping helicopters, Los Angeles Police Department Helicopters and newsgathering aircraft. Despite Santa Monica City Council efforts to close 100 year-old Santa Monica Municipal Airport, the airport and it’s FAA-staffed Control Tower continue to provide critical air traffic services for fighting hazards of all kinds.
Surprisingly, SMO is designated as “Critical Infrastructure” by the City’s own “All Hazards Mitigation Plan:”
Yet the city council is silent on how they will replace this key local disaster-response asset if they are successful in closing the airport. With all the natural disasters surrounding Los Angeles, fires, hurricanes and earthquakes, local community lives will depend on SMO in any kind of disaster. SMO also generates around 1,500 jobs and at least $241 million dollars annually in economic activity (a City of Santa Monica 2011 study).
Santa Monica Airport Association is a party to a lawsuit seeking to overturn a backroom deal between FAA and City of Santa Monica from February 2017, entitled a “Consent Decree” to shorten the SMO single runway to 3,500 feet in 2017 and close the airport at the end of 2028. Loss of SMO as an airport, and the City’s stated “creative reuse” of its structures, will additionally greatly exacerbate population density and traffic congestion within the City limits and in neighboring communities.
About Santa Monica Airport Association, (SMAA)
Santa Monica Airport Association, (SMAA) a local, non-profit organization of airport businesses, citizens and pilots. SMAA is run by volunteers. SMAA Board is the most-trained, experienced and qualified aviation entity in the City of Santa Monica. SMAA depends on the generosity of sponsors and donors to perform its mission of passing on SMO to the next generation for all the community benefit. Visit http://www.santamonicaairport.info
Dave Hopkins (310) 990-2045 daveh at santamonicaairport.info
Christian Fry (310) 849-1976 christianf at santamonicaairport.info