SMO Reports Fewer Jets, More Helicopters

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The operators of Santa Monica Airport shortened the sole runway in December, but the airport’s data for February shows that while jet operations were down 80 percent compared to the 2016-17 average, helicopter and turboprop operations both increased by about 40 percent. Piston operations remained about the same, with a slight 2 percent drop. Overall, the total takeoffs and landings were down just over 1 percent for the month, compared to the 2016-17 average. “Perhaps jet setters are choosing other ways to beat the traffic over the 405,” noted the local Malibu Times. The runway was shortened from 5,000 to 3,500 feet.

The city has said it plans to close the airport by the end of 2028. NBAA is challenging that decision in the courts. Oral arguments in that case are set for May 14 in the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. NBAA has said it hopes ultimately the courts will force the city to restore the runway to its original length.

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