Residents, Officials Call For FAA To Address Airport Safety Concerns In Wake Of Santa Monica Plane Crash
SANTA MONICA (CBSLA.com) — Officials are joining residents living near Santa Monica Airport in asking the Federal Aviation Administration to address safety concerns after a plane crashed into a hangar Sunday, killing four people aboard.
Congressman Henry Waxman sent a letter to DAA Administrator Michael Huerta Tuesday calling on the federal agency to deal with residents’ concerns.
“I have repeatedly called on the Federal Aviation Administration to address concerns in the community over safety conditions at the airport. But the FAA has inexcusably failed to act,” the letter read in part.
In the wake of Sunday’s crash, several residents said they want restrictions placed on the airport, which reopened Tuesday afternoon.
Among those proposed are limiting the number of flights and restricting the aircraft allowed to land to small planes, not jets.
“The FAA keeps coming in and saying ‘no, we need to take the heat off LAX. Can we have more people come over?'” said neighborhood resident Andrea Reaber. “And we always lose to the FAA.”
Santa Monica resident Karen Ray, who lives two blocks from the crash site, said she has seen a drastic increase in the number of flights at the airport over the past 25 years.
“We have just a tremendous amount of flights going out, and they go pretty late in the night too,” she said.
Evan Olson, a video game company employee who works next to the airport, told KCAL9’s Jeff Nguyen he has never feared for his safety.
“Feels to me like a bunch of people in two million dollar homes asking to shut down the airport so they could live in three million dollar homes,” he said.
On Monday, City Councilman Mike Bonin called for the airport to be closed, comparing it to a dangerous intersection.
“It’s unacceptable,” Councilman Bonin said. “If this were an intersection in the city of Los Angeles we wouldn’t be allowing these kind of incidents.”
The Los Angeles County Coroner’s office said Tuesday the remains of two men and two women were found amid the wreckage at the airport, along with two cats and a dog.
Construction company Morley Builders said it believes CEO Mark Benjamin and his son Luke were aboard the plane. The identity of the two female victims is unknown.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) was forced to suspend its investigation into the crash as a result of the government shutdown.
The airport reopened Tuesday afternoon.