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Opinion: Santa Monica airport: stay or go?

Aircraft land and liftoff at Santa Monica Airport in August.
Aircraft land and liftoff at Santa Monica Airport in August.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: I believe a significant number of Santa Monica residents want the airport to stay open. We don’t want more development. Our city is becoming a difficult place to live, but that doesn’t seem to concern our City Council.

( “Keep the airport running,” Editorial, Sept. 23, and “2 companies seek to block evictions from airport,” Sept. 22)

There already is a park and a dog park and a large soccer field on the airport grounds.

Hundreds of jobs and careers depend on this airport, which has been in existence long before most adjacent homeowners (by choice) moved nearby.

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Our City Council is shortsighted, considering greedy development plans that will only increase the horrible car traffic we already suffer.

As far as safety is concerned, I think the airport is the safest place in all of Santa Monica and has been for nearly a hundred years.

Henry Hall, Santa Monica

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To the editor: I applaud the city of Santa Monica’s effort to oust the airport.

As a longtime Venice resident, I have witnessed a growth in private jet traffic. The noise is incessant.

Worse yet is the particulate pollution that rains down on my neighborhood, as well as that of West L.A, potentially damaging the health of residents, especially children.

I think this playground for the elite damages the lives of thousands and should be closed.

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Robert Hughes, Venice

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To the editor: As a Mar Vista resident, I was shocked and dismayed at the shallow reasoning and superficial logic used to support the current aviation operations of the Santa Monica Airport.

You paint a picture worthy of a Norman Rockwell vision of the airport from a time long since passed. It is not the few mercy flights of organ donors and pet adoptions that form the reality of the airport use now.

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I think there are a lot of the “1 percenter” business and entertainment elite, in loud emission-spewing aircraft, making up the majority of the offensive use.

Come by our neighborhood on a Friday exodus or Sunday evening return when the noise and traffic are deafening and the onshore breezes cause families to shut their windows.

And what do you mean, “discourage people” from using the airport? You mean besides dog walkers, artists, students and attendees of the special events?

Alex Gardos, Los Angeles

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To the editor: As the president of the Santa Monica Airport2Park Foundation, I would like to make a prediction about an edit-

orial that will appear in a few years in The

Times, congratulating Santa Monica on con-verting a dangerous, polluting, obsolete airport into a magnificent park that is being enjoyed by people from all over Los Angeles County, instead of maintaining an airport that serves primarily the few who travel by private jet.

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You will by then have realized that the airport was not a “crucial air-transportation artery.”

You will doubtless acknowledge that what was “crucial” was Santa Monica’s determination to convert a vast area of concrete and asphalt into a place serving the health, recreational and environmental needs not of just the Westside, but also of all Los Angeles.

I look forward to reading that editorial in the none-too-distant future.

Neil Carrey, Santa Monica

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To the editor: Your article on Santa Monica Airport hits pretty square but one question is left unanswered for me. The City Council has spent gobs of money pursuing this for years, although it has mostly lost. Why?

My opinion: prime property.

If city officials succeed, it’s not going to be a huge park as touted. There will be open space — but it will become a highly developed mixed-use area with offices, condos, shops.

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Certain people will make huge fortunes. All the pollution and crash fear is all a smokescreen, I believe, as your article details.

Michael Gorman, Glendale

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To the editor: My oldest friend lives near the Santa Monica Airport. He is one of many homeowners just waiting for the inevitable plane crash and its resulting loss of life and damage to occur.

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I think this risk is unacceptable; its only absolute prevention is closure of the airport. Kudos to the Santa Monica Council: Fight on.

Harold G. Schick, Los Angeles

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