Touching Bases: Santa Monica ups noise fine to $10,000

 - May 29, 2008, 10:11 AM

Last month, the Santa Monica city council adopted an ordinance that increased the fines for repeat violations of the Santa Monica Airport noise abatement provisions from a maximum of $500 to as much as $10,000. The ordinance was adopted despite a written request from the FAA to defer action. In a letter to the city council, the FAA expressed concern that the new ordinance should be subject to public review and comment under FAR Part 161 regulations because it makes access to the airport more restrictive. The FAA also noted that only reasonable increases in fines for violations of the noise abatement code would be consistent with Part 161 and other federal obligations of Santa Monica. The FAA has spoken out strongly against the town of Islip, Long Island, N.Y., which imposed a whopping $50,000 nighttime landing fee at Republic Airport (ISP) in an effort to curb aircraft operations. In a letter, the agency told the town it must conduct an FAR Part 161 study before imposing such a fee “because the [fee] makes access to your airport more restrictive.”