The Santa Monica Mirror published the fourth and final installment of their special report on the Santa Monica Airport today.
From The Santa Monica Mirror:
Santa Monica Airport (SMO) is certainly a lightning rod of an issue for residents both within Santa Monica city limits and in neighboring communities such as Mar Vista, Venice, and Pacific Palisades. One thing is for certain: no matter the final verdict of the airport’s fate, there will be those who will be unsatisfied with the result.
To some, SMO is a valuable asset. Others still appreciate the airport’s historical significance to Santa Monica. Then there are those making a case to either limit the airport’s operations or find a way to shut it down completely.
Venice resident Liz DeStaffany, who is a pilot and flies in and out of SMO, said the airport has immense value as a training facility.
“I think it is a travesty to close down pivotal airports under the guise of ‘train/fly somewhere else,’” said DeStaffany. “People need exposure to aviation, a place to learn and train, and a jumping off point to begin this interest or career. By shoving all airports out of business and relegating the only aviation exposure to a distant, inaccessible place in the desert is unwise. Look at the statistics from a decade ago, two decades ago. The amount of flights in and out of the airport has only gone down.”
Interestingly enough, the FAA air traffic in and out of SMO has decreased since 1999, when an estimated 230,000 takeoffs and landings took place at the airport.
According to statistics compiled by AirNav.com, as of January 2012 there were an average of 452 aircraft operations per day within a 12-month period, or fewer than 165,000 takeoffs and landing in one year.
Some other interesting statistics compiled by the website: 61 percent of SMO traffic is “transient general aviation,” while another 30 percent is “local general aviation.” The remaining traffic is split between air taxi and military.
Click here to continue reading this article at The Santa Monica Mirror (there is a lot more!)