Judge terminates temporary restraining order at Santa Monica Airport


Aircraft operators using California’s Santa Monica Municipal Airport (SMO) will soon need to prepare for runway closures and construction, as a district court judge denied a preliminary injunction and dissolved a temporary restraining order (TRO) to halt the city’s planned runway-reduction project.

The city of Santa Monica has been authorized to reduce the length of SMO’s only runway under the terms of a settlement agreement with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced in January. Read more on this here.

Construction is expected to begin today (October 23) and in Phase 1, the airport will be closed to all aircraft from 9pm to 7am local time, Monday to Friday. During Phase 2 of the city’s plan, SMO will be closed entirely for approximately 10 consecutive days. The airport will operate with a 4,973ft (1,515m) length runway through Phase 1 and will re-open at the end of Phase 2 with the shortened 3,500ft (1,066m) runway.

NBAA members and other operators will need to check NOTAMs regularly and plan accordingly. Alex Gertsen, NBAA director of airports and ground infrastructure, said, “Judge Lew’s decision to rescind the TRO opens the door for the city to act on its plan, but we continue to exercise our legal options for maintaining access to this airport, as we have done for decades.”

Stacy Howard, NBAA Western regional representative, added, “Santa Monica is an important airport in the national airspace system, and in particular to southern California. Shortening the runway – which essentially denies airport access to a variety of aircraft operators – will have a major negative impact on area residents, businesses, general aviation and the flying public.”

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Kirstie worked full-time on Business Airport International for over two years and is now a freelance journalist. Away from her writing commitments, you will find her blogging on her lifestyle website or training for her next charity run.

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