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City, FAA Agree to Close Santa Monica Airport in 2028  

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By Lookout Staff

January 28, 2017 -- City officials announced Saturday that a landmark agreement had been reached with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to close Santa Monica Airport on December 31, 2028.

The agreement puts an end to a longstanding legal battle and concludes numerous court cases currently being fought between the City and the FAA.

It also curbs jet traffic and halts commercial flights by immediately reducing the length of the runway.

“This is a historic day for Santa Monica,” said Mayor Ted Winterer. “After decades of work to secure the health and safety of our neighborhoods, we have regained local control of airport land.

"We now have certainty that the airport will close forever and future generations of Santa Monicans will have a great park,” Winterer said.

In addition to setting a closure date, the consent decree:

Sets the airport’s operational runway at a length of 3,500 feet, effective immediately,

Acknowledges the City's right to establish its own proprietary exclusive fixed based operation (FBO) services,

Releases all airport property from all deed restrictions, and

Settles all legal disputes between City and the federal government about the Airport

“No compromise is perfect, but we never wavered from course guided by the City Council and the will of our community,” said City Manager Rick Cole.

“Today’s historic Consent Decree agrees to an operational runway of 3,500 feet, which we plan to implement immediately," Cole said. This will significantly reduce jet traffic flying over our neighborhoods and stops commercial charters until we close operations in 2028.”

Assemblymember Richard Bloom called the settlement "a watershed moment in Santa Monica history that benefits the city and many surrounding communities."

Bloom congratulated City officials and staff "who have doggedly pursued a successful strategy and brought an end to a decades-long effort.”

“As the former Mayor of Santa Monica, I worked on this issue for the nearly 14 years of my council tenure and recognize the tenacity, courage, and resilience that it takes to go up against a massive federal agency that had dug in its heels for decades.”

Congressmember Karen Bass called the settlement "a huge win for the residents of Santa Monica and the surrounding region."

“This is a great example of what can happen when the community comes together to work for change,” she said.

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