The decision to close Santa Monica Airport was announced in August, after the city council voted unanimously in favor, with the action to be carried out as soon as is legally permitted. Since the announcement, the airport’s two FBOs – Atlantic Aviation and American Flyers – have received eviction notices, asking them to comply within 30 days.
In a statement, the council said that its decision to close the airport was based on a number of reasons, including noise and air pollution, and also safety issues. The council will work toward a date of closure of July 1, 2018, and until then will take measures to reduce the airport’s adverse impacts, including reducing the runway length by 2,000ft. It also announced that it would be closing the FBOs as soon as possible, replacing the private companies with temporary support services provided by the city.
The council had been debating the closure of the airport – with plans to turn the site into a public park – long before the meeting in August. The leases for the two FBOs expired earlier in the year and had not been renewed, with both operating on a month-to-month basis. The airport’s largest flight school, Justice Aviation, closed in May.
Mayor pro tem Ted Winterer said, “Our council and community in solidarity want to close the airport that predominantly caters to the 1% that can afford to travel by private jet. We have directed the city manager to take every step possible to expedite the transformation of our land from airport to park. There are real legal obstacles, and while we need to be conscientious as we navigate the court system, our resolve to close the airport is firm.”
Mayor Tony Vazquez added, “The land needs to be transformed from a source of pollution and potential danger into a community asset.”