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Airport Temporarily Closed, ‘Peace and Quiet’ Event to Celebrate  

By Lookout Staff

September 20, 2010 -- The Santa Monica Airport (SMO) closed yesterday at 9 p.m. for “repairs and reconditioning.” It will reopen on Friday at 7 a.m. SMO opponents are holding a “Santa Monica Airport Peace and Quiet Vigil” tonight to celebrate the closure. It will take place at the northwest corner of Lincoln Boulevard and Rose Avenue in Venice from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

“We want to give residents in the neighborhoods surrounding Santa Monica Airport the opportunity to celebrate the peace that is possible when we’re free of airport pollution and noise,” said Martin Rubin, director of Concerned Residents Against Airport Pollution (CRAAP). “We want residents to imagine a future for the Westside where peace, quiet and cleaner air is possible, not just for a few days, but permanently.”

City Council member Kevin McKeown, who is up for re-election in November, is expected to attend the event. Also expected to be in attendance are candidates Susan Hartley, Jerry Rubin, and Robert Kronovet. Los Angeles City Councilman Bill Rosendahl, whose district includes West Los Angeles neighborhoods near the airport, will also be there and is expected to speak.

“This is an opportunity to enjoy what will hopefully someday become the way of life, peace and quiet in our neighborhoods,” Rosendahl wrote on his web site.

SMO is on City-owned land, but the federal government via the FAA has complete control of the operation. The City has butted heads with the FAA on various issues through the years. Santa Monica’s 2008 ban of large and fast jets, which the FAA opposed, is expected to be argued in federal court this fall. See: Santa Monica Takes Jet_Dispute to DC Court, April 7, 2010.

Also, the FAA recently conducted a six-month test that forced certain airplanes over a new path that went through the skies of the Ocean Park and Sunset Park neighborhoods. This led to thousands of complaints. The FAA is determining whether it will make that route permanent.

Many residents and Santa Monica City officials are opposed to the new route, which the FAA says reduces delays at SMO and LAX. Rosendahl is in favor of it because, he says, it reduces the amount of time airplanes will be idle in the sky over his district’s neighborhoods.

An agreement between the City and the FAA calls for the airport operation to continue through 2015. Many SMO opponents say that the operation could cease that year. Others say airport closure is a complicated matter that could require a legal battle.

 

“We want to give residents in the neighborhoods surrounding Santa Monica Airport the opportunity to celebrate the peace that is possible when we’re free of airport pollution and noise,” said
    Martin Rubin, director    Concerned Residents    Against  Airport Pollution

“This is an opportunity to enjoy what will hopefully someday become the way of life, peace and quiet in our neighborhoods,”
   
Bill  Rosendahl,Councilman
   
Los Angeles, California


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