SMO Ban Repealed, Pending Further FAA Action
The city of Santa Monica’s latest attempt to prohibit operation of Category C and D jets at Santa Monica (Calif.) Airport (SMO) is on hold again, following a U.S. District Court ruling. The court held a hearing to consider a temporary restraining order filed by the United States and the Department of Transportation after the city council voted in April to enact the ban on aircraft with approach speeds greater than 121 knots. The temporary restraining order allowed Category C and D aircraft to continue flying into Santa Monica Airport until the hearing. On May 16, District Court judge George Wu issued a preliminary injunction that allows Category C and D airplanes to continue flying into Santa Monica Airport and enjoins the city from enforcing Municipal Code 10.04.06.220, which would not only ban those operations but also calls for jail time and heavy fines for violators. The judge’s injunction remains in effect until the FAA completes a Part 16 administrative proceeding to make a final determination about the legality of the city’s ban on Category C and D operations.