Four days after local voters decisively supported their local officials to move toward more control of their airport, the Los Angeles Times editors opined in their Sunday edition. Their view was notably slanted, going even so far as to misrepresent that the airport “…plays a vital role in the region’s transportation system…” Their words help to perpetuate the myth that, even more than diamonds, ‘Airports are Forever’.
This is all bull.
The real impediment is FAA. If this one federal agency would focus on serving the whole Public (and not just aviation interests), a scaled-down airport serving only small single-propeller airplanes — and with no local training/practice pattern flying — would be a quick no-brainer. FAA Administrator Huerta needs to be a true leader and put forward this proposal. Then, if the local residents go further and articulate a convincing reason to outright close [KSMO], Mr. Huerta should seriously entertain that possibility, too.
Despite the slanted opinion of the Times Editorial Board, jets at KSMO are a very real hazard. That case was very well laid out by Joseph Schmitz (see SlideShare below).
Another document to consider is the February 2010 impact study by Pew Trust.
At the time of this aiREFORM Post, there were 31 reader comments to the LA Times Editorial; they are well worth reading, and mostly by concerned airport neighbors, plus one airport-defender.
Clearly, there are many people around this small airport who have become quite well informed about the facts and are seeing past the spin and propaganda. They see the simple reality: that FAA is a captured agency, serving industry and money while broadly looking past many safety and health concerns.