Santa Monica ban resurfaces

 - January 3, 2008, 8:21 AM

The City of Santa Monica City Council plans to introduce a law that will exclude large jets from landing at the city’s airport. The new law would prohibit operation of aircraft meeting FAA Airport Reference Code B-II, a standard that isn’t supposed to be used to limit operations at an airport, according to the NBAA. The B-II code refers to airplanes with approach speeds of less than 121 knots and wings spanning less than 79 feet.

In a letter to the city council, NBAA wrote, “While the design category and geometry of an airport are useful in airport planning, the FAA does not consider it inherently unsafe for an aircraft of a larger design category to utilize an airport that has been designed to accommodate a lesser design category of aircraft. It is incorrect to assume that aircraft operating at SMO that are larger or faster than B-II aircraft are not compatible with the airport’s Airport Reference Code.”

The FAA is opposed to the city council’s plans and also wrote a letter. “What you are considering by this proposed ordinance is flatly illegal as drafted,” wrote Kirk Shaffer, FAA associate administrator for airports. NBAA added that it is working with the FAA, members of Congress and other alphabet groups to prevent Santa Monica from enacting this new law.