January 8, 2007

The City of Santa Monica, California, operator of Santa Monica Municipal Airport, has advanced a technical proposal to FAA’s Office of Safety and Standards in Washington, DC, which if accepted by FAA, would enhance the airport’s Runway Safety Area (RSA) situation at the airport. The current SMO airport infrastructure supports Runway 3/21 which is 4987’ in length and 150’ wide, but there is no excess airport property available to accommodate standard RSAs.

In December, 2006, NBAA provided two notifications to Members of an FAA meeting held December 12, 2006 at FAA Regional headquarters in Los Angeles, at which the City and their consultant presented a plan to FAA and airport users to enhance the RSA situation “to the extent practicable.” In this particular case, since it is not practicable to obtain the entire safety area, which would destroy the utility of the runway the revised and current city proposal uses alternative means to enhance runway safety by using (1) Declared Distances, and (2) installation of Engineered Materials Arresting Systems (EMAS).

The color schematic, provided by the City of Santa Monica, presents an overview of the proposed Runway Safety Area (RSA) proposal for Runway 21 and also for Runway 3.
Download the 892KB, PDF

For RUNWAY 21, in use approximately 95-98% of the time, the city proposal includes:

(A) installation of a 250’ EMAS, as depicted., and
(B) Implementation of a 300’ “declared distance”, as depicted.

This proposal would yield the following declared distances:

  • TODA – 4756’
  • TORA – 4756’
  • ASDA – 4741’
  • LDA – 4741’

For RUNWAY 3, in use approximately 5-2% of the time, the city proposes:

  • Implementation of a 600’ “declared distance”, as depicted.

This proposal would yield the following declared distances (See below for definiation of terms.):

  • TODA – 4756’
  • TORA – 4756’
  • ASDA – 4156’
  • LDA – 4156’

The FAA’s Office of Airport Safety and Standards is reviewing the city proposal, and is seeking airport user input from NBAA Operating Members who utilize the Airport. The FAA seeks to determine the operational impact of the proposal made by the City. FAA is particularly interested in learning from users how the city proposal would specifically affect flight operations from SMO; including specifics of type aircraft operated, typical operating weights and stage lengths of flights, dry vs. wet pavement, etc. In essence NBAA would like to assist the FAA in determining the proper balance between enhancing safety at the airport in terms of runway safety areas and arresting capability for larger aircraft in case of runway overruns while minimizing operational impact.

Therefore, NBAA requests that Members provide technical comments to FAA relative to the City proposal; and send them, no later than February 17, 2007, to:

Mr. David Bennett, Director
Office of Airport Safety and Standards (AAS-1)
Federal Aviation Administration
800 Independence Avenue, S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20591

Operators are asked to copy NBAA –

Mr. Jeff Gilley, Director
Airports and Ground Infrastructure
National Business Aviation Association
1200 Eighteenth St. NW, Suite 400
Washington, D.C. 20036-2527

The FAA and NBAA need to know how such changes will affect your use of SMO and why. Aircraft specific information is important. For instance, since runway 3 is only used about 5-2% of the time, is the “Declared Distance” of 600 feet on that runway a significant or an acceptable impact on your operations.

Definition of Terms:

Runway Safety Area

A defined surface surrounding the runway prepared or suitable for reducing the risk or damage to airplanes in the event of an undershoot, overshoot, or excursion from the runway.

Takeoff Run Available (TORA)

The runway length declared available and suitable for the ground run of an airplane taking off.

Takeoff Distance Available (TODA)

The TORA plus the length of any remaining runway and/or clearway beyond the far end of the TORA.

Accelerate-Stop Distance Available (ASDA)

The runway plus stopway length declared available and suitable for the acceleration and deceleration of an airplane aborting a takeoff.

Landing Distance Available (LDA)

The runway length declared available and suitable for a landing airplane.