Aviation International News is reporting that the FAA has reacted to the city of Santa Monica’s plan to close Santa Monica Airport (SMO) in 2018.
In a letter sent to mayor Tony Vazquez, FAA director of airport compliance and management analysis Kevin Willis reminded the mayor that under a recent Part 16 decision, “the city is required to continue to operate the airport for public use on reasonable terms and without unjust discrimination.”
At a city council meeting last week, members voted unanimously to close the airport by July 1, 2018, along with several moves that appear to be designed to discourage pilots from using the airport, including: Applying to the FAA to remove 2,000 feet from the existing 4,973-foot runway, rigorously enforcing the noise ordinance, changing hangar leases to permits, eliminating leaded fuel sales and enhancing airport security.
In a recent move, the city has asked tiedown tenants to sign a new lease that includes a 24-hour cancellation clause. Airport tenants have been limited to 30-day leases.
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