Santa Monica City Council Votes to Close Santa Monica Airport by July 2018, Face Legal Opposition

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A private jet heads down the runway before taking off at Santa Monica Airport. The city seeks to limit the operations of such jets. (Credit: Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times)

For decades, residents living around Santa Monica Municipal Airport have complained about the roar of aircraft and worried that some day a Piper Cub or Gulf Stream will come crashing into their living room.

The Santa Monica City Council first voted to shut down the airport in 1981. That effort stalled before takeoff, but on Tuesday, Santa Monica’s elected officials again pledged to close the historic facility that was once home to Douglas Aircraft Co. but is now the roost of several hundred propeller and jet aircraft, including those owned by celebrities such as actor Harrison Ford.

It won’t be easy, however, as the legal opposition from aviation interests and the federal government has not waned since that first attempt 35 years ago.

Today, pilots take off and land more than 300 times a day from the general aviation airport, just a few hundred feet from homes in some areas.

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