Committee Backs City in Battle with FAA
By Lookout Staff
June 24 -- A resolution urging the Federal Aviation Administration
(FAA) to respect Santa Monica’s ban on large jets flew through
an Assembly Committee Monday.
Sponsored by Assembly member Ted Lieu (D-Torrance), the resolution
approved by the Assembly Transportation Committee also encourages
the FAA to review flight operations at the 62-year-old municipal
The resolution comes two months after a Federal Judge blocked Santa
Monica’s ban on high-speed jets, granting the Federal Aviation
Administration’s (FAA) request for a temporary restraining
order. The City is challenging the decision in an appellate court
in what promises to be a lengthy legal battle.
“Once again, the Federal Aviation Administration has shown
us where its loyalties are,” said Lieu, who respresents neighboring
“It is obvious that their main concern is not the safety
and protection of the American people, but to cater to the demands
of the wealthy elite, whether they are airline companies or those
who can afford large private jets.”
In ordering the City to suspend the ordinance approved by the council
in April, the FAA argued that the measure -- --which bans jets with
approach speeds of between 139 and 191 mph -- is unnecessary and
would harm jet operators.
The City has called the federal government’s challenge a
“legal assault” on an ordinance responding to increasing
concerns that soaring jet traffic -- from 4,829 jet operations in
1994 to 18,575 last year -- is putting neighboring homes, as well
as pilots, in danger.
The City Attorney's office earlier this month bolstered its motion
asking an appellate court to allow the City to enforce the ordinance
by filing a brief. The brief argues that the City is likely to prevail
on the merits of the case against the FAA's determination that the
ordinance is illegal because the City is merely trying to implement
federal runway standards.
“I would also like to commend the Santa Monica City Council
for standing on principle and placing the safety of its citizens
above the profit-driven values of the FAA,” Lieu said.
“It is comforting to know that local leaders are willing
to take on the FAA’s misguided policies and regulations,”
The resolution, supported by Concerned Residents Against Airport
Pollution, will be heard on the Assembly floor in the coming weeks.