The City of Santa Monica`s Response to the Federal Aviation Administration`s Director`s Determination that Santa Monica Airport`s Grant Assurances Run until 2023

December 4, 2015 4:15 PM

SANTA MONICA, Calif., - From Paris, Mayor Kevin McKeown expressed his exasperation in response to the long awaited Director’s Determination by the Federal Aviation Administration on the Santa Monica Airport Part 16 Complaint. The FAA ruling finds that the City of Santa Monica is obligated by grant assurances to operate Santa Monica Airport until August 27, 2023.

“Unending bureaucratic review is no answer to Santa Monica’s immediate safety and pollution concerns regarding the airport and the land we own,” said Mayor McKeown. “The FAA cannot hide, in a tangle of red tape, the simple truth that Santa Monicans have voted to take control of our airport land, and we will not be stopped.  It is highly unfortunate, though hardly surprising given its past actions, that yet again the FAA favors aviation interests to the detriment of the health and safety of the families that live near the Airport.”

The City of Santa Monica maintains that the City’s obligations expired June 29, 2014.   

“The FAA's decision is inconsistent with best grant management practices,” says Nelson Hernandez, Senior Advisor for Airport Affairs. “In the meantime, we will continue to take every action necessary to promote the health and safety of our residents.”

After the fourth extension the FAA filed in October, the City has been demanding the FAA do their job and expedite the release of their decision.

“The decision from the FAA is no surprise, particularly since the FAA gets to be essentially its own judge and jury”, said City Attorney Marsha Moutrie. “Once we have had time to carefully review the Director’s Determination, we will make recommendations to the City Council.  This decision is not yet final.  There are two more levels of appeal within the FAA, followed by judicial review in the federal court of appeals.”

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Debbie Lee
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City Manager's Office