SANTA MONICA (CBSLA.com) — A deal has been reached between the city of Santa Monica and several agencies to close Santa Monica Airport indefinitely in 2028.
The agreement between the city, Federal Aviation Administration and the Department of Justice was announced Saturday morning.
“This morning, the Santa Monica City Council reached historic agreement with the federal government to close Santa Monica Airport forever on Dec. 31, 2028,” said Mayor Ted Winterer at a Saturday afternoon news conference.
The Santa Monica City Council said the 227 acres that make up the airport will be turned into a park, with some athletic fields. However, some local pilots are skeptical that will happen.
“They say this is gonna be a park, this is not gonna be a park,” Pilot Robert Griffin told KCAL9 Saturday.
“This is a gold mine,” he added. “This is gonna be Century City Two.”
People living at the end of the runway on Glen Avon Avenue in Venice were pleased to hear the news because of the noise of the planes. Longtime residents also recall several crashes in the area.
“Every so often you’re gonna get a plane going down, so you’ve got to be careful,” neighbor Brian Reynes said.
Reynes and his wife Carol has lived near the airport for 23 years. They say congestion on the streets and the runways has increased dramatically.
“The traffic at the airport and the number of jets going in and out has increased enormously,” Carol said.
The deal will also result in the immediate reduction of the runway to 3,500 feet. The Santa Monica City Council plans to shorten the runway within the next few months. Jet traffic is expected to be substantially reduced, as will commercial charters.
“We have to evaluate now if we are going to operate for the 3 months before they shorten the runway,” JetSuite CEO Alex Wilcox said.