– In February 2016, the City filed a tenant eviction lawsuit against Justice Aviation, the largest flight school at SMO. In response, Justice Aviation filed a Part 16 Complaint as well as a federal lawsuit and request for injunctive relief. Justice and the City subsequently reached an agreement to resolve all of their disputes and litigation. Justice Aviation agreed to cease all operations at SMO by May 11, 2016. Additionally, Justice Aviation agreed to withdraw from its District Court Action, two Part 16 actions, and a Class Action Lawsuit.
– A major tenant at SMO since 1986, Gunnell Properties agreed to vacate the airport by February 29, 2016. In December, the City issued a warning to Gunnell and another owner of aircraft fuel tanks to clean up possible contamination before their leases expired. It said Gunnell caused a variety of environmental problems over the years, and the City was concerned about the possible release of hazardous substances.
– On March 22, the City Council adopted a new Airport Lease Policy, seeking an airport tenant mix that is harmonious with the nearby built environment by protecting the health and safety of Airport neighbors; maintains a sustainable Airport Fund; comports with any applicable legal requirements; continues to provide opportunities for arts, education, and culture; establishes practices and procedures for evaluating potential leasehold interests; and fosters uses that are sensitive to the environment and protect the health of Airport neighbors and users.
– On May 10, the City Council approved a lease with Snapchat for office space at SMO. The approximately $3 million-a-year lease is In line with the recently-adopted Santa Monica Airport Leasing Policy. Snapchat is set to take two office buildings located at 2772 and 2800 Donald Douglas Loop North, as well as eight hangars. The combined square footage of the office buildings is 70,473; the eight hangars total 8,900 square feet. The base rent at full occupancy begins at $3.07 per square foot and includes an annual escalator of 3 percent. The property was formerly leased from the City by Atlantic Aviation.
– On May 16, the federal 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled for the City of Santa Monica and against the Federal Aviation Administration in the City’s lawsuit to establish its right to control use of the 227 acres of land now occupied by the Santa Monica Airport. The City filed suit in September 2013, seeking a judicial decision quieting title and establishing the City’s right to control the land’s future use. In February 2014, the District Court granted the federal government’s motion to dismiss the case based on its conclusion that the case was untimely and barred by the statute of limitations. On appeal, the City argued that the merits of the City’s lawsuit were “inextricably intertwined” with the statute of limitations issue. The 9th Circuit panel agreed. Its unanimous decision reverses the District Court ruling and remands the case back to the District Court for trial on the merits of the case.
– An Orange County pilot was indicted on May 19 by a federal grand jury on two counts of allegedly flying a plane without a valid pilot’s license. He was accused of flying a Cessna Citation turbojet aircraft from Santa Monica to Phoenix, Arizona in January 2015, and a Falcon 10 turbojet aircraft from Van Nuys Airport to Las Vegas in April 2016. He faces a maximum of three years in prison for each charge if convicted.
– At approximately 1:34 PM on May 22, the Santa Monica Fire Department was notified of a single engine private aircraft crash, at the east end of the Santa Monica Airport Runway. Four Engines, a Ladder Truck, a Hazardous Materials Unit, and a Chief Officer responded. No injuries were reported.
– On June 18, 2016, from 11 AM to 2 PM, the City has invited the community to discuss concepts, alternatives, amenities and features for the new 12 acres at Airport Park. The event will be an opportunity for the community to hear from acclaimed designer Mark Rios about the parameters of the project for expanding Airport Park on land the City has reclaimed from aviation use, and his preliminary ideas for the possibilities there, as well as give feedback to Mr. Rios on what residents would like to see in the expanded park.
For media coverage, click on “SM Airport in the News” on the right side of this page.
If you are interested in Santa Monica Airport issues, you can be added to our notification list by contacting Cathy Larson, Friends of Sunset Park Airport Committee Chair, at FOSPairport@rocketmail.com. Please include your name, email address, street address, and phone number.
Stelios Makrides, Airport Manager
3223 Donald Douglas Loop South, Santa Monica, CA 90405
Hours: 7:30 AM to 5:30 PM on Monday-Thursday; 8 AM to 5:30 PM on alternate Fridays
Web site: http://www.smgov.net/departments/airport/
Noise Hotline: 310-458-8692
Email: Noise@smgov.net – Include the complaint, date, time, and location.
Online SMO complaint form: http://smgov.net/departments/airport/SMOforms.aspx?ekfrm=47425
Helicopter Noise Complaint Hotline: http://heli-noise-la.com or phone 424-348-4354
Even if you don’t feel that your complaint will make a difference, please be aware that the Airport staff logs all complaints. The records are useful to the City of Santa Monica as verification of Noise nuisance in communicating with other government agencies (i.e., the FAA) and in court if there is litigation.
On Oct. 23, 2001, the Santa Monica City Council approved the Revised Airport Noise Ordinance
(No departures allowed except for medical emergencies and police activities)
11 PM to 7 AM Monday through Friday
11 PM to 8 AM Saturday and Sunday
The Commission meets the 4th Monday of the month 10 times a year. (Usually December and either July or August are off). Agendas are posted on the airport web site the Thursday prior to the meeting date. http://www.smgov.net/Departments/Airport/Airport_Commission/Airport_Commission.aspx