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Closing Santa Monica Airport is about protecting residents' health, not NIMBYism

Closing Santa Monica Airport is about protecting residents' health, not NIMBYism
The Santa Monica Airport on August 31, 2016. (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: Missing from this editorial is any reference to the environmental impacts that Santa Monica Airport has on its neighbors. ("Santa Monica can't be a slumlord to its airport for the next decade," editorial, March 27)

For more than three decades neither the city of Santa Monica nor the Federal Aviation Administration has done anything that would protect residents from the toxic exposure to jet exhaust or from toxic lead exposure by piston aircraft that still use leaded gasoline.

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The Times should understand that the airport's neighbors have been the monkey in the middle of the FAA and the city. Now the city and the FAA have signed on for more than another decade of ignoring these toxic exposures to the residents and the lungs of thousands. This is shameful.

Martin Rubin, Los Angeles

The writer is director of Concerned Residents Against Airport Pollution.

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To the editor: Airports seem to be fine in areas where brown and black people live. But try to run one in a rich, white-dominated area like Santa Monica, and all hell breaks loose.

In Santa Monica Airport's nearly 100 years of operation, not one resident on the ground has been killed, showing how cynical the city's whining about perceived safety really is.

I have a proposal for the citizens of Santa Monica: Go ahead and close the airport. Forget aviation jobs, flight safety, fire and earthquake response, pilot and controller training and national security. Let the responsibility of supporting the world's best, safest aviation system fall to poorer, darker-skin people. Just agree that no resident of Santa Monica can ever fly in or out of LAX again.

Dexter Ford, Manhattan Beach

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To the editor: Walk a mile in someone else's shoes — or shall I say stand outside on a calm Sunday morning and try to speak over the roar of aircraft every few minutes or scrape the jet fuel off your windows or watch some celebrity crash land on your neighborhood golf course seconds from your home — before you sing the praises of Santa Monica Airport.

Paulette Rochelle-Levy, Santa Monica

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