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Federal Aviation Administration

Aviation groups accuse city of making it difficult to operate at Santa Monica Airport

In the ongoing battle over the fate of Santa Monica Airport, a group of aviation organizations and businesses has accused the coastal city of imposing illegal landing fees, diverting airport funds to non-aviation uses and setting unfair leasing policies to force out aeronautical tenants.

In a complaint filed late Friday with the Federal Aviation Administration, the group alleges that the city has pursued plans for years to make it increasingly difficult for aviation businesses, pilots and aircraft owners to operate at the famous airport that was once home to Douglas Aircraft Co.

"Simply put, the city has created a financial structure which imposes enormous, ongoing,...