Los Angeles Councilman Bill Rosendahl's effort to lower the amount of noise and pollution at took a step forward on Wednesday. During its morning meeting, the Los Angeles City Council voted unanimously in favor of a related resolution he crafted with Councilwoman Janice Hahn.
"Great news!" Rosendahl said in a Facebook post and a Tweet. "This morning my council colleagues voted to send a strong message to Congress: No more noise and pollution at SMO!"
Rosendahl told Santa Monica Patch on Wednesday evening that he expects Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa will support the resolution.
"My long-range objective is that the airport needs to be shut down," he added.
The resolution proposes changing the departure path at SMO and shutting down the airport’s six . Following the council's vote, the resolution will be included in the City of Los Angeles' 2011-2012 Federal Legislative Program.
The resolution also calls for shutting down the six flight schools at SMO. Hahn previously said she was concerned about pilots-in-training performing dangerous maneuvers over densely populated areas.
“We should close down those schools at SMO and move them to a safer location," she said.
, founder of CRAAP, cheered Wednesday's advancement of the resolution.
"SMO has impacted the lives of Westside residents for decades, and residents surrounding the airport have complained about the noise the airport generates and more recently about safety hazards, toxic jet pollution and lead pollution from piston aircraft," he said. "Los Angeles residents have felt frustrated that their complaints to Santa Monica officials have fallen on deaf ears.”
Residents in Santa Monica and surrounding areas have with the highly concentrated jet-fuel emissions from aircraft that idle on the runway at the airport while they wait for commercial jets from LAX to clear the airspace.
Ultrafine-particle emissions are nearly three to 10 times higher than normal within 2,000 feet of SMO, according to a UCLA study released in November 2009.
Last year, former Congresswoman Jane Harman set up a six-month test to examine the impacts of jets flying over Santa Monica instead of on the LAX flight paths.
"The toxicity of the jets idling was no longer happening," Rosendahl said.
In 1990, the City of Santa Monica asked the to divert planes to fly over the ocean "so as not to upset Santa Monica residents," Rubin said.
Rosendahl said that if the departure path is altered, there will be more pressure on the to close the airport.
"When Jane Harman convinced the FAA to vector to the right for six months, it caused an uproar in Santa Monica, and caused [Congressman Henry] Waxman to hold meetings with Santa Monica constituents and my constituents. [He] would get the same blowback that he got from them before."
Rosendahl reiterated the outrage he hears from his constituents regarding planes flying over areas outside of Santa Monica.
"I'm one elected [representative] for 300,000 people," he said. "Santa Monica has seven elected [City Council members] for 80,000 people. "If they had the same concerns from their constituents that I have, they'll [shut down SMO].
"I used to live under the flight pattern north of Rose [Ave.] for five years, and I couldn't understand why it didn't fly over [Santa Monica]."
[Editor's note: According to the latest census data, Santa Monica's population was 89,736 as of 2010.]
In a previous motion, Rosendahl said, "We can't sit and wait anymore for the FAA to make this change. We need to start lobbying Washington, D.C., for a permanent solution to the suffocating jet emissions from Santa Monica Airport.”
"The FAA doesn't call the shots," he added to Santa Monica Patch on Wednesday night. "They're told what to do by the policymakers in Washington, and the Senate and House, and the president."
In late January, a federal appeals court in Washington, D.C., sided with the FAA, rejecting Santa Monica's years-long effort to ban the fastest, largest (category C and D) jets from SMO. The Santa Monica City Council unanimously passed the C and D ban in March 2008, but the FAA immediately got an injunction against the ban, and the fast jets have continued using SMO without interruption.
On Wednesday night, pilots, controllers and mechanics are convening at SMO for a dinner and meeting with Craig Fuller, president of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association. SMO-related issues will be discussed at the private affair, which is being hosted by the Friends of Santa Monica Airport.
Meanwhile, in recognition of Earth Day on Friday, protesters will try to increase awareness about the dangers of leaded gasoline being used by propeller planes at SMO. The action, sponsored by the Venice Neighborhood Council's Santa Monica Airport Committee, will take place at Bundy Dr. and Airport Ave., at the east end of the airport.
This article was updated at 6:22 p.m.