Santa Monica Airport Part 16 Hearings Held

 - March 26, 2009, 11:53 AM

Last week, the city of Santa Monica, Calif., was defending its stance on trying to keep larger jets from using Santa Monica Airport at an FAA Part 16 hearing in Long Beach. The Part 16 process is used to address complaints against federally assisted airports like Santa Monica. In this case, the FAA instituted the Part 16 process. The city and the airport have long held that they have the right to restrict traffic at the airport to enhance safety, and the most recent attempt involved an ordinance (not yet in effect) banning aircraft with approach speeds greater than 121 knots. In a brief filed for the hearing, the city claimed that the FAA has failed to prove that the airport ordinance “violates the grant assurances or is otherwise unlawful.” The city has the right to adopt the ordinance “restricting access to preserve safety and limit liability.” And, the city added, “The Tenth Amendment protects the city against federal coercion to accept aircraft in contravention of federal runway safety standards.”