Blog | Political Winds of Change at Santa Monica Airport

Starting the New Year by building bridges across political borders.

A very encouraging meeting regarding Santa Monica Airport (SMO) took place on January 10, 2013 at the home of Los Angeles Councilman Bill Rosendahl.

At the request of the councilman, Congresswoman Karen Bass and newly elected Santa Monica Councilman Tony Vazquez joined in the meeting along with Bill's chief of staff, Mike Bonin; also CA Senator Ted Lieu joined in on the conversation by conference call. The meeting was arranged by Bill so that both Joan and I could have the opportunity to discuss Santa Monica Airport with our new Congresswoman.

Bill Rosendahl:

I met with Congresswoman Karen Bass, Santa Monica City Councilman Tony Vazquez, constituents Joan and Marty Rubin, Chief of Staff Mike Bonin and Senior Counsel Norman Kulla to discuss ways of putting more pressure on the federal government to support closing Santa Monica Airport, and create a safer and healthier environment for my constituents who live near the airfield.

Among the items discussed, Bill said he wanted official Los Angeles representation with regard to the future use of the Santa Monica Airport land.

New political activity regarding Santa Monica Airport:


  • Due to redistricting, Congressman Henry Waxman's constituent base not only includes Santa Monica, but Venice as well.
  • The remaining areas immediately surrounding SMO (Mar Vista and West Los Angeles) are now a part of Congresswoman Karen Bass's constituent base.


  • Due to redistricting Senator Ted Lieu will have the unique distinction of representing all the areas surrounding SMO until the next state election.
  • In the State Assembly, former Santa Monica Council Member and Mayor Richard Bloom and Assemblywoman Holly Mitchell will now represent the areas surrounding SMO.


  • Two newly elected Santa Monica City Council Members, Tony Vazquez and Ted Winterer bring experience and new energy to the Council.
  • Los Angeles Neighborhood Councils continue their efforts to have SMO impacts addressed.


This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Pilot Dave January 15, 2013 at 09:01 PM
Captain, I am not sure I understand your floating airport idea. We have a perfectly good airport right in the heart of Santa Monica. There is no need for a high speed rail because the airport is centrally located. For your information class C and D aircraft have nothing to do with the weight of the aircraft, rather the approach speeds.
Pilot Dave January 15, 2013 at 09:03 PM
Ed, I think you are falling for the lies listed on Rubin's CRAPPY website. There have been numerous studies to show that Santa Monica airport has no health or safety issues. They are certainly not "obvious".
Nan Waldman January 15, 2013 at 09:36 PM
Pilot Dave suggests that it is time to put Americans back to work and I could not agree more. I can't think of a better way for Americans to work than creating a park for public enjoyment, and creating it from land now used as a dangerous airfield populated with airplanes spewing leaded pollutants through avgas. The health impacts on the children and families living in surrounding neighborhoods and attending schools near the current Santa Monica Airport runways should be considered whenever we think about putting Americans back to work; it is hard to work when you cannot breathe due to asthma or other chronic respiratory diseases which are impacted (or created) through constant exposure to such airplane-caused pollutants. Let's not be short-sighted. Adverse health impacts can last for generations.
Pilot Dave January 15, 2013 at 10:12 PM
Sean, Martin Rubin works for real estate developers. He pretends that Santa Monica airport is dangerous so it will be closed. Then they can clear the way for ultra high density housing and big box stores. The "fruits of his labor" will be more traffic, pollution and density.
Pilot Dave January 15, 2013 at 10:51 PM
Nan, A park? Really? Once this park is built how many people will it employ? Who will pay for this park? This is the most hair-brained idea I have ever heard in my life. Look at what happened last time they decided to turn an airport into a park..... http://articles.latimes.com/2013/jan/10/local/la-me-0110-great-park-20130110 Santa Monica Airport is not dangerous and it does not pollute. A small group of people working for real estate developers have perpetuated this myth so they can build high density housing.
Local January 15, 2013 at 10:58 PM
Jets were not landing here when I bought my house. I was aware of the airport and did not mind small aircraft at all. However now that a large jet can land on a 5000ft runway we have had to put up with the pollution and noise. Naturally you would not agree with any studies etc, because you want your own way. The leaves on my trees are black with soot, that to me is "obvious" that we are being poisoned. Never happened before your jets came in. Thousands of people are being disturbed for the pleasure of a few. Now you want the whole entire area from SMO to the ocean to become your little playground. You are quite obviously a megalomaniac, extremely selfish and rather stupid to boot. A bad combination for a fulfilling life.
Pilot Dave January 15, 2013 at 11:58 PM
The Jets came in the 60's. When did you buy your house? The jets of the 60s were much louder than they are today. In fact they are not be allowed to land at SMO today due to their noise level. Perhaps your trees are black due to the 405 and 10 freeway, which are shown to be major polluters. Countless studies have shown Santa Monica Airport does not pollute. Take the 1997 study by the California Geo Technical Institute for instance. Do not be fooled by rich fat cat developers who want to add additional housing and big box stores to the city. I want to expand Santa Monica airport not so I can have a "little playground" but so we can land larger planes and create industry, jobs and growth to the region. I would like to see Santa Monica Airport to be turned into a major cargo hub and hopefully a base for our military's largest bombers and cargo planes.
SM Pilot for Change January 16, 2013 at 12:48 AM
I've met Martin Rubin, and he is not a real estate developer. He is a concerned neighbor of the airport, nothing more. Pilot Dave, to ignore the complaints of the community is fruitless. I've flown out of SMO for years, and I hope to continue to do so, but that will only come by working in tandem with the neighborhood. Your relentless opposition to change is not representative of the rest of the aviation community.
Susan Griffin January 17, 2013 at 12:06 AM
I'd like to thank Pilot Dave, whoever he is, for representing the truly foolish mindset of the airport supporters. With friends like these, who needs enemies? And as the daughter of an enthusiastic recreational pilot, I'm sorry that his attitudes make the closing of this local airport to recreational traffic ever more likely.
Arlene Encell January 17, 2013 at 03:23 AM
I enjoy the open space and horizontal plain of the airport. the small single engine airplanes but not the noisey jets. When I moved here in 83' there were very few small jets but that number has grown out of proportion to the airports size. I hope some compromise can be made to the safety and satisfaction of the neighbors and the pilots, expanding the airport is not a rational solution. This is a neighborhood airport and should be treated as such with health and safety regulations.
Arlene Encell January 17, 2013 at 03:29 AM
I enjoy the open space and horizontal plain of the airport. the small single engine airplanes but not the noisey jets. When I moved here in 83' there were very few small jets but that number has grown out of proportion to the airports size. I hope some compromise can be made to the safety and satisfaction of the neighbors and the pilots, expanding the airport is not a rational solution. This is a neighborhood airport and should be treated as such with health and safety regulations.
natalie mcadams January 19, 2013 at 06:20 PM
Pilot Dave I think you are only concerned about your own welfare and based on what I read of your comments, you probably should be because I doubt anyone else is. That said, there a many things that could employ people which are outlawed because of their detrimental effect on others such as brothels, casinos, legalized drugs, etc. SMO is a toxic waste dump that is polluting thousands of its neighbors in Mar Vista, Santa Monica, Venice and other parts of West Los Angeles. No one is telling you not to be a pilot, just do it somewhere else where it does not impact so many lives. And you should probably start figuring that out b/c in 2015, things are going to change.
George Justice January 19, 2013 at 06:20 PM
These people against the airport should get a life. Most of them are aging hippies searching for another... Well guys, Vietnam is over. Get a life. Stop smoking so much weed, get off welfare dole and go back to work. If in fact you were working and contributing to the American economy, you would have less to harp about. And, please, please don't say again, "It's for the kids," because it's not. It's for you, and your delusions of self righteousness. gj
Charles January 29, 2013 at 05:44 PM
Ahhh the Selfless George Justice and Pilot Dave. They speak for what is best for ... ??? It isn't for the children, it isn't for the health of those surrounding the airport, is isn't for the safety of those surrounding the airport, ... so what or who could it be they are speaking for? It seems as though they are speaking for sustaining the airport as it is for their own leisure, financial benefit and convenience. I have seen studies that show the airport costs the City of Santa Monica -- not that it generates revenue for the city. We don't need it to be here for emergency purposes, we don't need it here for heavy cargo, and we certainly do not need it here for any logical reason outside of those entitled few who can afford and fly jets into our neighborhoods. The independent studies that evaluate safety factoirs such as the fine particulate air pollution from SMO, its shortened runways which make taking off and landing of the jets unsafe, and side effects of the noise pollution all ultimately say the best option is closing the airport. UCLA CHAT (Community Health and Advocacy Training) Program. Santa Monica Airport Health Impact Assessment. UCLA Medical Center. Feb 2010. [www.hiaguide.org/sites/default/files/SM_Airport_Health_Impact_Assessment.pdf] Let's look at the issues of air and noise pollution and safety...
Charles January 29, 2013 at 05:54 PM
Noise Pollution Before reading the following please be aware that SMO decibel level for incoming jets is supposed to be 95 dB. What might this mean for the children at Richland Avenue Elementary, Daniel Webster Middle School, and pre-schools that surround SMO and are affected by the aircraft? Trimmel M, Atzlsdorfer J, Tupy N, Trimmel K. Effects of low intensity noise from aircraft or from neighbourhood on cognitive learning and electrophysiological stress responses. Int J Hyg Environ Health. 2012 Nov;215(6):547-54. [http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22257928] This study investigated the impact of neighbourhood noise (of 45 dB[A], n=20) and of noise coming from passing aircraft (of 48 dB[A] peak amplitude presented once per minute; n=19) during computer based learning of different texts (with three types of text structure, i.e. linear text, hierarchic hypertext, and network hypertext) in relation to a control group (35 dB[A], n=20). Results showed impairments in cognitive learning was changed structurally in the aircraft noise group and was accompanied by higher sympathetic activity. An additional cardiovascular load appeared for aircraft noise when combined with time pressure as indicated by heart rate for the announced last 5 min of the learning period during aircraft noise with a peak SPL of even 48 dB(A).
Charles January 29, 2013 at 06:07 PM
Air Pollution This study was performed by the independent Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences at the University of California, Los Angeles, California. It analyzed the real time air pollutant concentrations that were "measured downwind from Santa Monica Airport (SMA)." Hu S, Fruin S, Kozawa K, etal. Aircraft Emission Impacts in a Neighborhood Adjacent to a General Aviation Airport in Southern California. Environmental Science & Technology. 2009, 43 (21): 8039–45. [http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19924920] "An impact area of elevated ultrafine particle (UFP) concentrations was observed extending beyond 660 m downwind and 250 m perpendicular to the wind on the downwind side of SMA." "The observation of highly elevated ultrafine particle concentrations in a large residential area downwind of this local airport has potential health implications for persons living near general aviation airports." Residents, both adults and children are adversely affected by SMO's UFP production: Ultrafine particle concentrations and exposures in six elementary school classrooms in northern California. [http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21029184] Ultrafine particle concentrations and exposures in seven residences in northern California. [http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21029183]
Charles January 29, 2013 at 06:17 PM
Run Way Safety This is another independent study produced by University of California, Los Angeles attempting to assess issues of health and safety regarding SMO. Aside from the health, noise and air pollution, the issue of run way safety was clearly delineated. UCLA CHAT (Community Health and Advocacy Training) Program. Santa Monica Airport Health Impact Assessment. UCLA Medical Center. Feb 2010. [http://www.hiaguide.org/hia/santa-monica-airport-health-impact-assessment] The following is about Santa Monica Airport (SMO) "The location of the airport contributes to the burden on the community. First, unlike other Los Angeles area airports, there is no buffer zone between the airfield and the surrounding community which, as mentioned above, is primarily comprised of homes, schools, and parks." Their recommendations were regarding runway buffer zones which at SMO are 300 meters at this time: "Maintain a runway buffer zone of at least 660 meters to protect surrounding residents from the harmful health effects of jet fuel exhaust byproducts during idling and take-off."
Charles January 29, 2013 at 06:21 PM
It is important that we all see what the independent task force from the UCLA CHAT concluded in their extensive 2010 study of health and safety issues surrounding SMO. In the interests of reducing exposure to toxic jet fuel exhaust byproducts and noise pollution and preventing their deleterious health effects, we recommend the following interventions: 1. Maintain a runway buffer zone of at least 660 meters to protect surrounding residents from the harmful health effects of jet fuel exhaust byproducts during idling and take-off. 2. Eliminate or significantly decrease the number of jet takeoffs to reduce exposure to both the byproducts of jet fuel exhaust and the loud “single event” noise of jet takeoff. 3. Install HEPA (high efficiency particulate absorbing) filters in surrounding schools and residential homes to mitigate the indoor effects of pollution 4. Implement additional noise abatement policies such as soundproofing of schools and significantly affected homes near SMO. 5. Adopt the precautionary principle, given the evidence of the potential harm of UFPs and other byproducts of airport pollution on animal and human health. 6. Notify all potential property buyers, residents, and affected community members in the vicinity of SMO of the noise and air pollution risks. 7. Closure of SMO would eliminate all health risks associated with airport air and noise pollution.
Ron Wynn February 02, 2013 at 11:15 PM
Does the Patch have a Real Estate section- Who provides the current information?
Dr D A Hanson March 20, 2013 at 11:02 PM
Just close the airport!
Michael S March 21, 2013 at 12:13 AM
Pilot Dave continues to lie about studies showing the airport has no health issues. He made made them up. His claim is : "The University of Haifa, California Geo-technical Institute and Bureau of Air Resources completely dispute your data." I looked them up, something Dave was hoping no one would do, and they don't exist. One need only google "Santa Monica Airport Health Studies" and they will come up with studies showing there is a health risk.
Michael S March 21, 2013 at 12:17 AM
Notice that Dave again claims a study that does not exist is proof that the airport is safe. "1997 study by the California Geo Technical Institute:" He would post a link if one did. Here is a link for a real study: https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&q=cache:kpG4-GU2ZrQJ:www.healthimpactproject.org/resources/document/Santa-Monica-Airport.pdf+santa+monica+airport+health+studies&hl=en&gl=us&pid=bl&srcid=ADGEESigE-Ebyh5QtmRe0ZkzyZtFPaOyFG2CBOMxA6ZI72LpmX1JodXG4T0P3GRuZ5p7ucJ9sYo07O3oHD0XB6fSVRlfpbRHvORG7h-_IzuBRPupCjiCt7qULM0RBT3u6zWYIym5hoS1&sig=AHIEtbSq5cL4oWODXnjnH8_4C0xYj7T96A
Michael S March 21, 2013 at 12:20 AM
Ah yes, the right wing talk radio version of debate. Is it any wonder these guys lose elections?
Jon Mann May 01, 2013 at 01:41 AM
What pilot Dave failed to mention is this is a democracy and the voters of Santa should be free to make this decision, not the FAA and certainly not a city council that is in the pocket of developers AND SMRR! THROW THE BUMS OUT AND TAKE BACK OUR CITY!~)
Danielle Charney May 01, 2013 at 02:12 AM
They can fly that cash from SE Asia in that is ruining and supporting the over-development of this city - to say nothing of paying for those many lunches at The Lobster for so many that work for the whole developer industry -
Danielle Charney May 01, 2013 at 02:14 AM
A little overhead noise has not bothered me nearly as the massive on the ground car nightmare does- and people die far more often on the ground- crashes are very rare-
Danielle Charney May 01, 2013 at 02:15 AM
He is in it for the money- he is a developer lap dog Sean
Danielle Charney May 01, 2013 at 02:17 AM
Beyond me how many people have no clue about the facts of the airport- or car deaths and exhaust danger- and who is on the developer gravy train- no wonder we are in a mess- we aren't the informed or intelligent town we pretend to be - thanks Pilot Dave for your actual real information here-
Danielle Charney May 01, 2013 at 02:20 AM
Nan - Pilot Dave is dead on- and it IS A PARK ALREADY - jeesh- what is wrong with people? Learn who the players are here wanting a "park" - sure - then it will be more hideous density and lots more cars- because it wont' be a park - it's a ruse to turn it into another foreign money scam
Danielle Charney May 01, 2013 at 02:24 AM
Hear !!! Hear !!! RECALL Open your eyes- find out who is who


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