Yesterday, U.S. District Court judge John Walter dismissed the city of Santa Monica, Calif.’s complaint against the U.S. government, in which the city sought to clarify its rights to do what it wishes with the Santa Monica Airport (SMO) property.
As the aviation world awaits U.S. District Court Judge John Walker’s ruling in a case involving the city of Santa Monica’s attempts to close Santa Monica Airport, AOPA and NBAA filed an amicus curiae (friends of the court) brief to support the FAA’s motion to dismiss the city’s complaint.
In its continued attempt to close Santa Monica (Calif.) Airport, the city of Santa Monica is now claiming that the statute of limitations on the FAA’s interests in the airfield should be applied with an earlier date.
On Friday, the U.S. government filed a response to a lawsuit filed against it by the city of Santa Monica, which is seeking to establish its right to control future use of the Santa Monica Airport property. The city believes that it did not relinquish title to the airport when it leased the property to the U.S. government during World War II. When the government relinquished the leasehold on Aug. 10, 1948, it stipulated that the property must remain an airport.
After the city of Santa Monica, Calif., filed a complaint on October 31 against the FAA seeking “to establish the city’s right to control future use of the Santa Monica Airport property,” the FAA had until December 31 to respond. The FAA filed for an extension, looking to move the response date to February 12, but on December 16 U.S. District Court Judge John Walter refused to grant the extension.
The city of Santa Monica, Calif., has filed a complaint against the FAA that might finally decide the issue of who has control of its beleaguered airport and also set precedents in legal disputes about airport ownership and control throughout the U.S.
The city of Santa Monica, Calif., has filed a complaint against the FAA that will force resolution of the issue of who controls the airport. The complaint, filed on Thursday in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, seeks “to establish the City’s right to control future use of the Santa Monica Airport property.”
Three anti-airport groups in Southern California have formed a new organization–Airport2Park–that seeks to turn part or all of Santa Monica Airport into a large park. Formed by the Community Against Santa Monica Airport Traffic, Concerned Residents Against Airport Pollution and Sunset Park Anti-Airport, Airport2Park held a “community vision workshop” last week to promote its agenda. More than 150 people attended, including local anti-airport politicians Ted Lieu, a California state senator, and Los Angeles city council member Mike Bonin.
Bob Trimborn, director of Santa Monica Airport in Southern California, retired on July 1 and has joined airport operations company American Airports, which is headquartered in Santa Monica, as director of business development. “Bob’s lasting legacy will be his impassioned advocacy, which made a real difference in the lives of airport neighbors and users,” said representative Henry Waxman (D-Calif.). “He worked tirelessly with elected officials, the commissioners and the surrounding community to promote transparency and seek solutions to the challenges facing the airport.”
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