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City of Santa Monica NEWS

Posted on 1/28/2017

Santa Monica Airport will Close Forever on December 31, 2028 Santa Monica City Council Reaches Historic Agreement with the Federal Aviation Administration and the Department of Justice

SMO returns to local control and immediate action to shorten the runway will substantially reduce jet traffic and private charters

Santa Monica, Calif. -- On Saturday, January 28, 2017, Santa Monica City Council announced an agreement was reached with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) that secures the complete closure of Santa Monica Airport on December 31, 2028.  

“This is a historic day for Santa Monica,” said Mayor Ted Winterer. “After decades of work to secure the health and safety of our neighborhoods, we have regained local control of airport land. We now have certainty that the airport will close forever and future generations of Santa Monicans will have a great park.”

The City of Santa Monica held a press conference at 2 p.m. today, Saturday, January 28, to share this historic announcement and review the terms of the agreement made with the FAA and the U.S. Department of Justice. Santa Monica Mayor Ted Winterer, City Manager Rick Cole, City Attorney Joseph Lawrence, and Sr. Airport Advisor Nelson Hernandez shared the following:  

  • Closure of Santa Monica Airport to all aeronautical use forever as of December 31, 2028
  • The airport’s runway shall have an operational runway length of 3,500 feet, significantly reducing jet traffic
  • S. Government acknowledgement that City of Santa Monica has the right to establish its own proprietary exclusive fixed based operation (FBO) services
  • Airport property released from all deed restrictions
  • Consent decree
  • Settles all legal disputes between City and the federal government about the Airport

This agreement comes after a longstanding legal battle and multiple court cases between the City and the FAA. This concludes all litigation between the City of Santa Monica and the FAA. 

“No compromise is perfect, but we never wavered from course guided by the City Council and the will of our community,” said City Manager Rick Cole. “Today’s historic Consent Decree agrees to an operational runway of 3,500 feet, which we plan to implement immediately. This will significantly reduce jet traffic flying over our neighborhoods and stops commercial charters until we close operations in 2028.”

“I congratulate the city council, city manager, city attorney, and all of the city staff who have doggedly pursued a successful strategy and brought an end to a decades-long effort,” said Assemblymember Richard Bloom. “As the former Mayor of Santa Monica, I worked on this issue for the nearly 14 years of my council tenure and recognize the tenacity, courage, and resilience that it takes to go up against a massive federal agency that had dug in its heels for decades. Today’s settlement is a watershed moment in Santa Monica history that benefits the city and many surrounding communities.”

“This is a huge win for the residents of Santa Monica and the surrounding region,” said Congressmember Karen Bass. “This is a great example of what can happen when the community comes together to work for change.”

For more information on the litigation history, visit this page.