2011 Press Releases

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NBAA: Santa Monica Abandons Bid To Deny Access To Airport

Contact: Dan Hubbard, (202) 783-9360, [email protected]

Washington, DC, June 2, 2011 – The National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) today welcomed an announcement that City of Santa Monica officials would not contest a federal court's ruling that the city could not ban "Category C and D" aircraft from Santa Monica Airport (SMO).

"The city's decision ensures that the job creation, economic activity, local investment and other benefits business aviation brings to the airport will continue," said NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen. "It also clears the way for representatives from industry, the airport and the local community to refocus on effective ways to address all stakeholders' concerns."

The council's announcement, made earlier this week, follows a January 21 ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals in favor of a decision by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) that the city's most recent attempt to ban the aircraft amounted to "unjust and unreasonable" discrimination and violated the terms of a grant agreement for accepting federal funds for the airport.

The controversy dates to 2008, when Santa Monica city officials adopted a ban against the Category C and D jets from serving SMO, on alleged safety grounds.

The city's move was immediately challenged by the FAA, which ruled that the airport did not have the authority to impose the ban, and disallowed it from taking effect until the FAA could further consider the matter, with a decision from the agency being subject to a federal court appeal.

As part of the ensuing court proceedings, Santa Monica officials filed an appeal in 2009 with the Court of Appeals challenging the FAA's ruling against the city. 

Shortly thereafter, NBAA was joined by the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association in submitting an appeal on a "friend of the court" basis, which strongly supported the FAA's position in the dispute, and emphasized the FAA finding that Category C and D business jets can safely be operated at SMO.

The Santa Monica Airport issue and others affecting business aviation throughout the country have been closely monitored by NBAA's Access Committee, which helps coordinate advocacy efforts at local airports.

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About NBAA:
Founded in 1947 and based in Washington, DC, the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) is the leading organization for companies that rely on general aviation aircraft to help make their businesses more efficient, productive and successful. The Association represents more than 8,000 companies and provides more than 100 products and services to the business aviation community, including the NBAA Annual Meeting & Convention, the world's largest civil aviation trade show. Learn more about NBAA at www.nbaa.org.

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