The city of Santa Monica, California, is proceeding with Phase 2 of a runway shortening project at Santa Monica Municipal Airport (SMO), closing the airfield for 10 days beginning at 9 p.m. (PST) on Tuesday, Dec. 12.
The airport will be closed to all traffic until 7 a.m. (PST) Saturday, Dec. 23, when it will reopen with its sole runway reduced from 4,973′ to 3,500′.
Officials with the National Business Aviation Association advise pilots and aircraft owners to relocate aircraft that are unable to operate on a 3,500′ runway before Dec. 12.
According to Alex Gertsen, NBAA’s director of airports and infrastructure, the city is choosing not to wait for the resolution of ongoing litigation by NBAA and others that challenges the legality of the settlement agreement reached earlier this year between the FAA and the city of Santa Monica to close the airport by Dec. 31, 2028.
Last week, NBAA filed its final brief before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, reasserting its position that the FAA failed to comply with numerous federal statutory requirements in reaching the January 2017 settlement.
“Should NBAA prevail in court, the city of Santa Monica is gambling with more than $3 million of airport funds for this potentially temporary runway shortening, which mostly involves changes in runway markings and lighting, taxiway configuration and relocation of navaids,” said Gertsen.
“The 10-day closure and runway shortening will have a significant impact on the local companies that rely on SMO, small businesses at the airport and operators that depend on SMO as a gateway to the Los Angeles area. That role has earned SMO a ‘reliever’ designation by the FAA,” said Stacy Howard, NBAA Western regional representative. “NBAA is concerned about the impact to other Southern California airports and the effect on the national airspace system. NBAA will continue to use all means available to fight access restrictions at SMO and other airports around the country.”
Read the full notification from the city of Santa Monica about the 10-day closure.