Reps. Bass, Lieu join FAA officials, constituents to discuss future of Santa Monica Airport
WASHINGTON --After meeting with officials from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the City of Santa Monica and residents who live near the Santa Monica Airport, Congresswoman Karen Bass (D-Los Angeles) and Congressman Ted Lieu (D-Torrance) renewed their support for the FAA to not renew its lease for the Santa Monica Airport, thus ending flights to the facility.
"I want to thank my good friend Congressman Lieu for his work in organizing today’s meeting, and I appreciate everyone who traveled to Washington to meet with me and FAA officials to express their concerns," said Rep. Bass. "We have lost too many lives, had too many crashes and have had too many close calls from planes taking off from Santa Monica Airport. The time has come to close this airport."
“The serious safety, environmental, and health concerns of the Santa Monica Airport date back several decades,” said Rep. Lieu. “After a meeting with the FAA was announced, my office received over 1,000 comment forms from constituents citing the everyday risks they face as they go about their lives. Whether it is a mother concerned about her child suffering from lead exposure, a husband worried about his wife’s asthma, or families simply trying to sleep at night, the problems my constituents face on a daily basis are real and hazardous. I am grateful to my constituents for flying all the way to Washington, DC to take part in this meeting, and I thank the FAA for agreeing to listen to them. Today was a productive meeting where each attendee personally shared their story with the FAA face to face. I hope that the FAA will heed the concerns brought forth today and work to address the issues.”
In 2013, a small plane crashed into a hangar at the airport, killing four people on board. And earlier this year actor Harrison Ford crashed into a golf course after taking off from Santa Monica Airport.
In November 2013, Rep. Bass sent a letter to the FAA encouraging the agency to consider allowing the Santa Monica Airport permit to expire, which would lead to the airport closing.
Both Reps. Lieu and Bass submitted a letter to the Santa Monica Mayor and City Council in March concluding that the Santa Monica Airport presents ongoing pollution and lead concerns, which is a danger to health and safety of surrounding residents and endorsed a 7-point Community Plan for the Santa Monica Airport calling on all aviation and non-aviation leases on Santa Monica Airport land be allowed to convert to month-to-month leases as well as the elimination of airport tenancies that are incompatible with neighborhood residential land as well as the elimination of fuel sales.
The agreement between the FAA and the Santa Monica Airport expired on July 1, 2015.