The Santa Monica Airport Association (SMAA) is launching a new effort to fight the city of Santa Monica’s efforts to discourage flying and business operation at Santa Monica Airport (SMO). On December 4, the FAA determined, in response to a Part 16 complaint filed by pro-airport interests, that the city is obligated by grant assurances to keep the airport open until Aug. 27, 2023.
While SMAA said, “This is a solid victory in the battle to safeguard our airport,” more needs to be done. “The past is prologue and we are now embarking on a new Part 16 complaint with the FAA. This will address the current egregious state of affairs here at SMO with regard to leases, fuels and landing fees by alleging unlawful discrimination and illegal diversion of revenue contravening various provisions of the Code of Federal Regulations.”
The first step by SMAA was to send a letter to the city, outlining the issues, as per the Part 16 process, which requires parties to try to resolve their issues before filing a formal Part 16 complaint. The issues include loans made by the city to the airport, higher landing fees that also apply to based tenants and the city’s refusal to propose new lease terms for tenants.