NBAA: FAA Decision Preserves Business Aviation Access at Santa Monica Airport

Contacts: Dan Hubbard, (202) 783-9360,
Patrick Dunne, (202) 783-9263,

Washington, DC, July 13, 2009 – The National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) today welcomed a decision from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) finding that the City of Santa Monica cannot ban certain types of business airplanes from Santa Monica Airport (SMO).

“We welcome this decision from the FAA,” said NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen. “Access to community airports is fundamental to the companies of all sizes that rely on business aviation to succeed, and we will continue working to preserve business aviation access to Santa Monica and other airports.”

In 2008, the City of Santa Monica attempted to enact a ban on operations by “Category C and D” aircraft at SMO, and in May 2008, the FAA issued a preliminary ruling, finding that the city lacked the authority to restrict aircraft operations.

After considering two appeals to the FAA’s decision brought by the city, the 57-page opinion issued by the agency late last week affirms that its initial ruling was correct and clarifies the FAA’s reasoning. Notably, the new decision explains that the city’s controversial ban “unjustly and unreasonably”’ discriminates against certain aircraft, which in turn would violate commitments (also known as “grant assurances”) made by Santa Monica when the city accepted federal funds for the airport.

“We are pleased the FAA has taken a strong stand on behalf of the business aviation community,” Bolen continued. “Business aviation generates jobs and provides a transportation lifeline for communities across the country. The recent ruling from the FAA ensures that Santa Monica and other places can continue to benefit from business aviation.”

A copy of the FAA determination is available at

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

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