NBAA goes to court to appeal Santa Monica decision


The National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) has filed a brief with the US Court of Appeals regarding the legality of a “settlement agreement” between the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the city of Santa Monica about the future of the Santa Monica Municipal Airport.

If the settlement agreement becomes effective, the NBAA argues that it would “restrict and ultimately prohibit aviation access” to the airport.

The FAA and Santa Monica agreed in January 2017 that the airport will close in 2028 and be turned into a public park. Additionally, the FAA agreed to the shortening of the runway to 3,500ft, effectively limiting the use of the airport to smaller aircraft.

The NBAA says that the agreement was completed without public input, and ignored several existing mandatory statutory agreements.

“As this filing makes perfectly clear, NBAA will defend our nation’s critical aviation infrastructure and protect general aviation’s access to airports and airspace,” said Ed Bolen, president and CEO of the NBAA. “By allowing ‘local control’ driven by a vocal minority, with complete disregard for system-wide impacts, the loss of this critical reliever airport shifts the burden of accommodating air traffic to other area airports and has a major negative impact on area residents, businesses, general aviation and the flying public.”

Bolen says the Santa Monica Municipal Airport plays a vital role as a reliever airport for nearby Los Angeles International Airport and as a “critical piece of infrastructure” for local residents, and provides vital support for law enforcement and medical flights.

Five other stakeholders have joined the NBAA in filing the brief – The Santa Monica Airport Association, Bill’s Air Center, Kim Davidson Aviation, Redgate Partners and Wonderful Citrus.

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