Santa Monica Proposes Category C/D Jet Ban at SMO

 - November 29, 2007, 12:20 PM

The seven-member Santa Monica City Council on Tuesday unanimously voted to forward a proposal that would ban Category C and D jets, which includes Gulfstreams and Challengers, from Santa Monica (Calif.) Airport. If enacted, the ban would affect about half of the airfield’s 19,000 annual jet movements. Local officials say they drafted the ordinance to protect public safety, especially for residents living immediately beyond the ends of the airport runway. However, the FAA has vowed to fight the measure, which is set for a final council vote in January. Runway safety has been a hot topic at the airport for some time, as there are homes located only 300 feet from the end of Runway 21 and a drop-off just off the opposite end, not to mention that the field is surrounded by urban development. The FAA has proposed installing collapsible concrete safety beds at the ends of 4,973-foot Runway 3-21, but as a longer-term solution it wants the city to buy and tear down houses close to the ends of the runway, a plan the council vigorously opposes.