Santa Monica Votes To Restrict Runway Despite FAA
City commissioners in Santa Monica, Calif., voted last week to cordon off nearly 1,200 feet of a runway at the Santa Monica Airport, despite assertions from FAA officials that such restrictions would not be allowed. The move is the latest effort from the city to restrict jet traffic. The airport has become increasingly popular over the last two decades, much to the dismay of neighbors. A few hundred residents and politicians rallied at the airport recently to protest noise and air pollution. The new resolution would block 600 feet at each end of the 5,000-foot runway as a "safety area." Commission vice-chair Susan Hartley told The Lookout News she voted for the measure because "it will protect Los Angeles and Santa Monica residents." FAA officials have told the commission that any action that would restrict access is "not acceptable." The FAA has asked the city to reduce its existing "safety area" on the west end of the runway from 300 feet to 165 feet. More than 18,000 jet movements occur at the airport each year.