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SaMo Airport Proposal Would Cut Number of Flights in Half

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The Santa Monica Airport Commission is recommending there be a major downshift in the number of flights at the airport after 2015, when the city's lease agreement with the Federal Aviation Authority expires (more on that expiration date later). According to the Santa Monica Patch, the proposed Flight Operations Reduction Rule "would limit daily flights to 53 percent of those from the prior year," and, "It would apply to all aircraft and be administered through a permit process." Whether the lease agreement actually expires in 2015, however, is questionable. The FAA believes that the terms of the lease agreement extend in perpetuity, and is expected to fight any plans to phase out or end use of the airport. The decision to move forward with plans for using the airport after the lease expiration has created some rifts on the airport commission and in the community (Commissioner Stephen Mark, for instance, asked the city to "concentrate on measures to severely modify or shut down Santa Monica Airport's aviation operations in 2015" before reluctantly voting to approve the more gentle FORR). Despite the looming uncertainty about the FAA lease, the Airport Commission has undertaken a "visioning process," now in phase three, for the future of the airport. As part of that process, city staff presented ideas on Monday that included "installing electric power units to replace emission-producing diesel-fueled auxiliary power units; developing a strategy for providing non-leaded fuel; reducing idling time; and improving blast walls."
· Proposal Could Slash SMO Flight Ops by Nearly Half [Santa Monica Patch]
· Imagining a Post-FAA Plan For the Santa Monica Airport [Curbed LA]