Santa Monica Drops Efforts To Ban Large Aircraft at SMO
NBAA welcomed an announcement last week by Santa Monica, Calif. city officials that they would not contest a federal court’s ruling that the city could not ban “Category C and D” aircraft from Santa Monica Airport. This brings to an end a three-year battle over such operations at the airport. “The city’s decision…clears the way for representatives from industry, the airport and the local community to refocus on effective ways to address all stakeholders’ concerns,” noted NBAA president and CEO Ed Bolen. The council’s announcement follows a January 21 ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals in favor of an FAA decision that the city’s most recent attempt to ban the aircraft amounted to “unjust and unreasonable” discrimination and violated the terms of a grant agreement for accepting federal funds for the airport. The controversy dates to 2008, when Santa Monica city officials adopted a ban against the Category C and D jets at SMO on alleged safety grounds. The FAA immediately challenged the move and later ruled that the airport did not have the authority to impose the ban. The matter ended up in the Court of Appeals after Santa Monica officials filed an appeal in 2009. NBAA and AOPA then submitted a “friend of the court” filing that supported the FAA’s position.