Santa Monica Set To Shrink
Santa Monica Airport (KSMO) is preparing to start work next week on shortening its single runway from 4,973 feet to 3,500 feet. Authorization to shorten the runway at the airport was the result of a controversial settlement between the city government and the FAA in January. Initial work will take place in the evenings, with the airport closed from 9 p.m. to 7 a.m. local time, Monday through Friday, starting Monday, Oct.9 and anticipated to run through Dec. 20. The airport is scheduled to be closed continuously from Dec. 20 to Dec. 30 to finish the project. Under plans released by the city in August, the runway won’t be physically shortened, but will have portions of each end repainted as blast pad and overrun areas. Associated taxiways will also be relocated. Under the terms of the settlement agreement, the city will be permitted to close the airport permanently in 2029.
With principally medium and large jet traffic impacted by the runway shortening, the National Business Aviation Association has taken a lead in fighting the settlement agreement between the FAA and the city, suing both parties to vacate the agreement. “NBAA will defend our nation’s critical aviation infrastructure and protect general aviation’s access to airports and airspace,” said NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen. “By allowing ‘local control’ driven by a vocal minority, with complete disregard for system-wide impacts, the loss of this critical reliever airport shifts the burden of accommodating air traffic to other area airports and has a major negative impact on area residents, businesses, general aviation and the flying public.”