In the latest iteration of the ongoing back and forth between the City of Santa Monica and the Federal Aviation Authority over Santa Monica Airport, the City of Santa Monica on Friday filed an opposition to the FAA’s motion to dismiss a lawsuit the City brought against the Administration.
The City filed a lawsuit on Oct. 31, 2013 asking the court to give the City the title to Santa Monica Airport. The City also disputed the FAA’s claim that requires the City to operate the airport in perpetuity.
In response to that filing, the FAA filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit and a hearing on whether or not to do so has been set for Feb. 10.
In filing its Jan. 17 32-page opposition to the FAA’s motion, the City of Santa Monica argued that the City has owned the property since 1920 and only in 2008 did the FAA state that the airport must be operated in perpetuity or the property would be turned over to the U.S. government.
The filing claims the FAA’s Motion to Dismiss is “misguided” because it is “premised on the fact that the United States released its temporary leasehold interest in the Airport Property in 1948 through an Instrument of Transfer (IOT).”
Attorneys for the City go on to say Santa Monica’s complaint, “demonstrates that the restrictions contained in the IOT could not have unilaterally converted the United States’ temporary leasehold interest into a fee interest, let alone put Santa Monica on notice of the United States’ claim that fee title to the Airport Property would revert to the United States if the City ever ceased using the property for airport purposes.”
The FAA is set to file its response on Jan. 27.