FAA Vows To Meet Deadline for SMO Lawsuit Response

 - January 7, 2014, 3:15 PM

After the city of Santa Monica, Calif., filed a complaint on October 31 against the FAA seeking “to establish the city’s right to control future use of the Santa Monica Airport property,” the FAA had until December 31 to respond. The FAA filed for an extension, looking to move the response date to February 12, but on December 16 U.S. District Court Judge John Walter refused to grant the extension.

In his ruling, Walter wrote, “The court concludes that defendants have failed to demonstrate good cause for the requested extension. Indeed, the United States, its agencies, and officers are already afforded an extended period of 60 days to file a responsive pleading instead of the 21 days afforded to private litigants.” Walker reset the deadline to January 10 in recognition of “professional and personal commitments during the holidays.”

“The lawsuit…asks the court to declare that the city holds clear title to the land,” the city said in a statement. “It also challenges as unconstitutional the FAA’s claim that the city must continue to operate the airport indefinitely, even after contracts establishing the city’s airport obligations expire.” An FAA spokesman told AIN that the agency will meet the January 10 deadline.