City Brief Says FAA Wrong about SMO Limits

 - September 2, 2008, 12:10 PM

The city of Santa Monica, Calif., expects that the next step in its ongoing battle over runway restrictions at Santa Monica Airport (SMO) will be oral arguments later this year or early next year. Last week the city filed a reply brief in the Ninth Circuit court challenging the preliminary injunction and FAA interim cease-and-desist order, which prevented the city from implementing a ban on category C and D aircraft operations at the airport. The city believes that safety will be enhanced if jets with approach speeds that exceed 121 knots are not allowed to use the airport, which is located in a dense residential area. “Despite the fact that safety is its primary responsibility,” the brief noted, “the FAA has denied the City the opportunity to implement the agency’s own runway safety standards.” SMO’s situation is unique, the city argued, and because the FAA “has acted outside the scope of its authority and in derogation of the City’s proprietary and Tenth Amendment rights, the interim orders and the preliminary injunction should be overturned.”