In its continued attempt to close Santa Monica (Calif.) Airport, the city of Santa Monica is now claiming that the statute of limitations on the FAA’s interests in the airfield should be applied with an earlier date. The city’s latest court filing, submitted late last week, follows a complaint–a quiet title action–filed against the federal government on October 31 that seeks to force the issue of determining whether or not the city can close the airport without the government taking over the airport property.
U.S. District Court judge John Walker is scheduled to hear the city’s “reply in support of motion to dismiss” on Monday. The city is claiming that the FAA’s “case is jurisdictionally deficient both because it was not brought within the 12-year statute of limitations of the Quiet Title Act (QTA), 28 U.S.C. § 2409a, and because it is unripe.”
In other words, the city claims that the statute of limitations ran out years ago–that the 12-year clock began ticking after the government expressed an interest in the land with the 1948 Instrument of Transfer. This transfer returned the airport to city control following World War II and required that the property be operated as an airport in perpetuity.