NBAA Asks FAA to Investigate New Santa Monica Landing Fees

Contact: Cassandra Bosco

Washington, DC, July 7, 2003 – The National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) today filed a formal FAR Part 16 complaint with the FAA asking the Agency to investigate the new landing fee structure at Santa Monica Municipal Airport (SMO). The fees were adopted by the Santa Monica City Council on June 10, 2003, over the objections of NBAA and other user groups, and they are scheduled to go into effect on August 1, 2003.

“NBAA filed the complaint because we see a disturbing trend of access being compromised at Federally funded airports,” said NBAA President Shelley A. Longmuir.

Presently, there are no landing fees for general aviation operations at SMO. Effective August 1, landing fees will be imposed on aircraft with a maximum certificated gross landing weight of 10,000 pounds or more on a sliding scale ranging from $0.29 per thousand pounds for the smallest aircraft to $5.81 per thousand pounds for the largest aircraft. As noted in the complaint, this requirement would result in a fee of $343 per landing for Gulfstream II and Gulfstream III aircraft, and it clearly is intended to force larger business jets off the airport.

Under the FAA’s Part 16 procedures, the City of Santa Monica has approximately three weeks to answer the complaint. Further pleadings will be exchanged over a 20-day period, after which the FAA will decide whether to institute a formal investigation.

Santa Monica engaged in a similar exercise last year when it proposed to ban any aircraft larger or faster than those meeting the FAA’s Airport Reference Code B-II standard, which is roughly 50 percent of jet operations at SMO. After NBAA and other user representatives protested, the FAA instituted a formal investigation. That proposal remains pending by the Santa Monica City Council.

NBAA’s Part 16 complaint can be viewed on the Association’s web site at

NBAA represents the aviation interests of more than 7,300 companies that own or operate general aviation aircraft as an aid to the conduct of their business, or are involved with business aviation. NBAA Member Companies earn annual revenues approaching $5 trillion — a number that is about half the gross domestic product — and employ more than 19 million people worldwide. The NBAA Annual Meeting & Convention is the world’s largest display of civil aviation products and services.

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