Readers React

Santa Monica doesn't need its dangerous, polluting airport

To the editor: The Santa Monica Airport is hardly "crucial to transportation in the region." There are only 300 privileged users who fly out of the airport on any given day. Contrast that with the Big Blue Bus that serves 80,000 daily users. ("Santa Monica versus the FAA over airport," Editorial, Nov. 9)

Santa Monica is not some isolated backwoods without a nearby airport. The region is well served by airports in Los Angeles, Van Nuys, Burbank, Torrance, Hawthorne, Compton, Long Beach, Pacoima and El Monte.

A jetport in a dense city of about 90,000 residents that serves so few users no longer makes sense for Santa Monica or for the region.

Michael Brodsky, Santa Monica

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To the editor: Your editorial injects a dose of sanity into this debate. I am among the residents of Santa Monica who like the airport and do not want it to close. I am not a pilot, and I don't use the airport in any way, but I live two blocks from the runway.

Aircraft noise has never been a problem for me. I never notice engine sounds except when I am out walking in the neighborhood.

The election results show that about 60% of the 22,797 votes on Measure LC, which asserts local control over the airport, were cast in favor. That is not as impressive as it may seem. With turnout at less than 50%, a relatively small minority of Santa Monica residents has spoken out against the airport.

This issue is contentious in Santa Monica only because a relatively small number of opponents of the airport continue their campaign, while apparently many of Santa Monica's residents don't care one way or the other.

Frederic G. Marks, Santa Monica

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To the editor: When a plane crashed into a neighbor's backyard where her young children had been playing the previous day, there were no fatalities on the ground. Luckily.

If Santa Monica Airport is allowed to continue operations with no safety zones at either end of the runway, it is almost certain that nearby residents will be killed someday. Airport neighbors should not have to depend on luck to stay safe.

This is not an all-or-nothing situation. There are measures that can be taken to improve conditions at the airport. The runway could be shortened to create safety zones. Student pilots should not be allowed to learn to fly over such a densely populated area. Planes could be required to use unleaded fuel.

These mitigations would greatly reduce the harm caused by this airport and could be paid for when the city begins to collect a fair rent from airport businesses as early as next year.

Karen Blechman, Santa Monica

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