SMCLC Urges Congressman Waxman to Lean on FAA for Full Environmental Review of Recent Flight Path Change at Santa Monica Airport

August 14, 2010

Congressman Henry Waxman
8436 West Third Street, Ste 600
Los Angeles, CA  90048

RE:     Full Environmental Impact Study for flight path change at Santa Monica Airport

Dear Congressman Waxman,

The Santa Monica Coalition for a Livable City is a nonprofit resident group, formed in 2005.  We represent residents city-wide to ensure that we have meaningful input at an early stage into the development decisions that affect us and that residents be given full access to public records about proposed developments, as well as full and accurate information about their environmental impacts and long-range consequences.  Our recent efforts include a successful campaign to require the Macerich Corporation to adaptively redevelop the downtown mall (known as Santa Monica Place) instead of building an additional one million square feet of office, residential and retail space on the site; and an initiative to limit the amount of new commercial growth that could be approved in Santa Monica under the City’s General Plan, which garnered the support of over 18,000 voters in 2008 (45% of the votes cast).

Over the past several years, the Coalition has joined with neighborhood groups and our public officials in expressing residents’ concerns to the FAA about: 1) the serious safety issues regarding Category C and D jets using Santa Monica Airport; 2) the lack of Runway Safety Areas; and 3) the indifference and intransigence of the FAA in meaningfully addressing these real-world concerns.

We write you regarding the recent FAA test of a new flight path for piston-powered IFR aircraft, known as “the 250 heading” that was instituted from December 2009 to June 2010.   We have received complaints from residents throughout Santa Monica who had never contacted us before who were disturbed about the noise and safety issues resulting from this test flight path over our City.  These residents urged us to do our part to see that the test results, including complaints logged from residents, be fully considered by the FAA, and that there be a full-scale environmental review, so that the adverse impacts would be fully disclosed to the public and the FAA before making this flight path permanent.  We know that many others, including neighborhood groups in Santa Monica and City officials, also stand united on this issue, having independently contacted you and/or met with you.

Therefore, we urge you to represent all Santa Monicans in persuading the FAA to undertake a full Environmental Impact Study under NEPA to address all of the environmental consequences of making this flight path permanent and to explore all reasonable alternatives to doing so. 

Thank you for all that you do to ably represent us every day and for your present, invaluable leadership on our City’s behalf.


Diana Gordon
Co-Chair, SMCLC

Cc:  Neighbors for a Safe and Healthy Community
       Friends of Sunset Park
       Ocean Park Association
       Wilshire/Montana Neighborhood Coalition
       Rod Gould, City Manager
       Marsha Moutrie, City Attorney
       Bob Trimborn, Santa Monica Airport Director
       Santa Monica City Council
       Santa Monica Airport Commission