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Tale Of Two SoCal Airports - SMO And HHR  
User currently offlineLAXintl From United States of America, joined May 2000, 25183 posts, RR: 48
Posted (6 years 8 months 1 week 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 2391 times:

Will be interesting to see if Santa Monica indeed bans jets which now make up a good portion of the activity and often belong to or serve the many wealthy Westside residents. Even Governor Schwarzenegger uses SMO on his regular commutes up to Sacramento as he lives nearby in Brentwood.

If Santa Monica succeeds, suppose many jets will shift either to Van Nuys or LAX, the two closest facilities.

Quote:
Two airports heading in different directions
December 27, 2007

While Santa Monica seeks to banish fast corporate jets from its much-contested airport, Hawthorne has rolled out a new asphalt carpet for them and other private planes.

Hawthorne Municipal Airport, a.k.a. Jack Northrop Field, has just completed a $5.5-million resurfacing of its runway, part of a $25-million renovation intended to entice new air traffic and add momentum to the revitalization of the east side of the 90,000-population municipality.

"This is a tale of two cities," said Jeffrey Dritley of Kearny Real Estate Co., a partner in the renewal effort. "The Hawthorne community is very supportive of the airport, and Santa Monica isn't. Hawthorne is encouraging new aviation, not trying to kick it out."

With a projected 135,000 takeoffs and landings this year, Santa Monica Municipal Airport, in operation since 1919, is about twice as busy as Hawthorne, which opened in 1939. The two airports have runways of similar length, about 5,000 feet, and can accommodate aircraft of similar size. Each was the home base of an aircraft-building company: Santa Monica of Douglas Aircraft, and Hawthorne of Northrop Aircraft.

In January, the Santa Monica City Council will take a final vote on banning the fastest jets that use the airport, including such models as the $37-million Gulfstream IV and $20 million-plus Cessna Citation X. The council voted 7-0 in favor of such a ban in a preliminary vote in November, but the Federal Aviation Administration has vowed to fight it.

The Hawthorne redevelopers are instead betting that business jets are a vital part of the future of private aviation, as use of single-engine propeller planes continues declining from its heyday in the 1980s. In 2001, Hawthorne residents voted 71% to 29% against a plan to close the long-neglected airport and develop the property for housing and other uses.

Significant socioeconomic and historical differences exist between seaside Santa Monica and workaday Hawthorne. Santa Monica is wealthy and mostly white and has a tradition of civic protest. Hawthorne is largely blue-collar and middle-class. In recent years, it has become increasingly Latino. These differences, Guidi said, help explain why the two cities have such divergent attitudes about their airports.

Full lenght article;
http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la...story?coll=la-headlines-california


From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
19 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineKohflot From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (6 years 8 months 1 week 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 2365 times:

HHR just seems like a disaster waiting to happen.. very, very little room for error there.

User currently offlineLAXdude1023 From India, joined Sep 2006, 7578 posts, RR: 25
Reply 2, posted (6 years 8 months 1 week 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 2342 times:



Quoting Kohflot (Reply 1):
HHR just seems like a disaster waiting to happen.. very, very little room for error there.

Indeed, HHR and the city of Hawthorne are very close to LAX. I dont think thats a super idea. Have they considered Torrance airport, its not to much further south but its further from LAX. Its near Crenshaw at 220th.



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User currently offlineLaxintl From United States of America, joined May 2000, 25183 posts, RR: 48
Reply 3, posted (6 years 8 months 1 week 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 2326 times:

Actually I'll say Santa Monica is the disaster waiting to happen as its surrounded by residential communities on all 4 sides, with seemingly annual prop plane crash occurring on an annual basis. Hawthorne at least has mostly commercial development surrounding it and some vast open space under its approach paths. As to mingling with LAX traffic HHR was been operational as article mentions about 70 years now without any issues between the two airports -- traffic is quite segregated.


From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
User currently offlineN1120A From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 26444 posts, RR: 75
Reply 4, posted (6 years 8 months 1 week 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 2311 times:



Quoting LAXdude1023 (Reply 2):
Have they considered Torrance airport

Zamperini is way too far from the population centers that regularly use SMO.



Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
User currently offlineLAXdude1023 From India, joined Sep 2006, 7578 posts, RR: 25
Reply 5, posted (6 years 8 months 1 week 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 2284 times:



Quoting Laxintl (Reply 3):
Actually I'll say Santa Monica is the disaster waiting to happen as its surrounded by residential communities on all 4 sides, with seemingly annual prop plane crash occurring on an annual basis. Hawthorne at least has mostly commercial development surrounding it and some vast open space under its approach paths. As to mingling with LAX traffic HHR was been operational as article mentions about 70 years now without any issues between the two airports -- traffic is quite segregated.

Of course we have to remember the neighborhoods served. The communities surrounding the Santa Monica Airport are very wealthy. Probably more demand for private jets in that area. I grew up near Hawthorne and its straight up middle class (lower-middle). Probably not much demand there for private jets. But Im not as sure about the business side of it.



Stewed...Lewd...Crude...Irreverent...Belligerent
User currently offlineArcrftLvr From United States of America, joined Nov 2006, 826 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (6 years 8 months 1 week 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 2280 times:



Quoting N1120A (Reply 4):
Zamperini is way too far from the population centers that regularly use SMO

Then the other option is VNY, however, getting to VNY from the Westside is a pain in the ass. HHR seems to be the most logical decision.

On a side note, as much as I like the City itself, I can't stand the City of Santa Monica's politics...I don't get it; the City welcomes homeless people with open arms, yet they want to punish those people that actually contribute to the economy....


User currently offlineN1120A From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 26444 posts, RR: 75
Reply 7, posted (6 years 8 months 1 week 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 2266 times:



Quoting ArcrftLvr (Reply 6):

Then the other option is VNY, however, getting to VNY from the Westside is a pain in the ass. HHR seems to be the most logical decision.

HHR does indeed seem the most logical, though the times people generally tend to fly would likely be a reverse commute from the Westside to VNY, while HHR is in a less savory area and requires dealing with LAX area traffic.

Quoting ArcrftLvr (Reply 6):

On a side note, as much as I like the City itself, I can't stand the City of Santa Monica's politics...I don't get it; the City welcomes homeless people with open arms, yet they want to punish those people that actually contribute to the economy....

I think if it were actually up to the City of Santa Monica, nothing would be going on with the airport. The issue is that the rather wealthy people, those economic contributors you speak of, who live in the area surrounding the airport have been screaming for a long time about airplane noise, which has only gotten louder as biz jets have become more a part of the daily operations at SMO. While I generally have very little time for NIMBY complaints, they do have some rather sound arguments given the penned in nature of SMO that really turns any biz jet accident into a potentially major loss of life.

As far as the homeless thing goes, some might argue that they are a tourist attraction  Wink (and I only say that partially in jest)



Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
User currently offlineEghansen From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (6 years 8 months 1 week 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 2206 times:



Quoting LAXintl (Thread starter):
Will be interesting to see if Santa Monica indeed bans jets which now make up a good portion of the activity and often belong to or serve the many wealthy Westside residents. Even Governor Schwarzenegger uses SMO on his regular commutes up to Sacramento as he lives nearby in Brentwood.

I think that Santa Monica's chances of successfully banning corporate jets is somewhere between slim and none with the bias toward none. Cities in many congested urban areas have tried to specify who can and who can't fly into their airports. The FAA immediately goes into Federal Court, obtains an injunction putting the new law on hold and leaves the cities with a choice of either dropping the new rule, or spending millions of dollars and years of time fighting the FAA in court.

The following link pretty clearly lays out what they City faces:

http://www.surfsantamonica.com/ssm_s..._Bans_Faster_Planes_at_Airport.htm

Quote from article:

Anticipating the council action, FAA officials vowed to take action Monday.

“What you are considering by this proposed ordinance is flatly illegal as drafted,” Kirk Shaffer, FAA associate administrator for airports, wrote in a letter to the City.

“The City should expect the agency to expeditiously use its authority and all available means, if the ordinance is adopted as proposed, to ensure that all federal rights, investments and obligations are protected and that no aircraft is denied access to SMO.”

Another quote from article:

Council member Bobby Shriver said airport neighbors should not expect a sudden halt to jet traffic because the FAA may seek an injunction while a potentially arduous federal litigation process makes its way through the courts.

Federal law trumps local and state laws, Shriver said, and the City could lose the case given the FAA’s administrative and regulatory power.

Litigation may have a positive effect, Shriver said, because airport neighbors can use the case to lobby their local Congressional representatives to pass new legislation governing airports in favor of safety for nearby residents.


User currently offlineLAXintl From United States of America, joined May 2000, 25183 posts, RR: 48
Reply 9, posted (6 years 8 months 1 week 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 2141 times:



Quoting N1120A (Reply 7):
I think if it were actually up to the City of Santa Monica, nothing would be going on with the airport.

 checkmark  Agree 100%. Fast forward 20-30 years there will be no airport. Area replaced by mixed residential housing and public space.

From having been a long time on/off Westside resident I know the areas quite well and its politics. Residents in SM, City of Los Angeles and even as far away as Beverly Hills (under the approach path) have been growing more and more vocal as biz jet traffic has increased over the years.

Quoting Eghansen (Reply 8):
I think that Santa Monica's chances of successfully banning corporate jets is somewhere between slim and none with the bias toward none

See above comments. As is, SMO has some pretty restrictive operating rules. The City (as demanded by residents) will over time cleverly come up with ways to make things even harder and costlier for users until the airport is shut down one day.
After all the City of Santa Monica is sitting on a gold mine with the airports real estate which in the eyes of a growing majority can serve better purposes. After all there is no law that forces a city to keep an airport, with other California communities over the years having closing theirs.



From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
User currently offlineN1120A From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 26444 posts, RR: 75
Reply 10, posted (6 years 8 months 1 week 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 2118 times:



Quoting LAXintl (Reply 9):
Agree 100%. Fast forward 20-30 years there will be no airport. Area replaced by mixed residential housing and public space.

That isn't what I meant. I think the City of Santa Monica actually derives some substantial benefit from the airport and would prefer to keep it. I just think the biz jets are the main issue.



Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
User currently offlineLAXdude1023 From India, joined Sep 2006, 7578 posts, RR: 25
Reply 11, posted (6 years 8 months 1 week 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 2089 times:



Quoting LAXintl (Reply 9):
From having been a long time on/off Westside resident I know the areas quite well and its politics. Residents in SM, City of Los Angeles and even as far away as Beverly Hills (under the approach path) have been growing more and more vocal as biz jet traffic has increased over the years.

Oh well, you know the Beverly Hills is such an easy going community that nothing bothers them.  Silly I worked in Beverly Hills for 2 years and hated every second of it. SMO is probably the best positioned airport for private jets given the market. The posh neighborhoods of Santa Monica, Brentwood, Beverly Hills, West LA (most of it), are all right there. Not to mention that the Businesses are there too. Im no expert in Private jet avaiation, but Im guessing that where most of the business for that would be. Although Van Nuys is closer to the Movie Industry businesses in Burbank, Encino, and the San Fernando Valley.

As for HHR and the Airport in Torrance, I think they might be too far from those areas. I live in Torrance and drive by the Torrance Airport everyday and I dont see how it could provide much for private jets unless they are coming home to Palos Verdes. HHR is a little better, but Im not so sure it can match SMO or Van Nuys in terms of prime location for private jet needs.

Again Im not an expert on this topic. Im just throwing out what would make sense to me as an outsider.

However, I am an expert of anything Los Angeles related!  Wink

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 9):
Agree 100%. Fast forward 20-30 years there will be no airport. Area replaced by mixed residential housing and public space.

That might not be a bad thing. Were starving for more space in the LA area (residental and business).



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User currently offlineArcrftLvr From United States of America, joined Nov 2006, 826 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (6 years 8 months 1 week 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 2078 times:



Quoting LAXdude1023 (Reply 11):
However, I am an expert of anything Los Angeles related!

Me too. haha  bigthumbsup 


User currently offlineLAXdude1023 From India, joined Sep 2006, 7578 posts, RR: 25
Reply 13, posted (6 years 8 months 1 week 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 2067 times:



Quoting ArcrftLvr (Reply 12):
Me too. haha

Haha, you dont grow up or spend most your life in a city without knowing it inside-out.  Silly



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User currently offlineG4LASRamper From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 170 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (6 years 8 months 1 week 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 2051 times:

HHR has had a spotty history as far as how the city views it. In the '80s when I lived there the city was fairly pro airport - I think 1986 was the first year for the Hawthorne Air Fair which was actively promoted by the city. Then they went through a period a few years ago where the city was actively trying to shut HHR down so the property could be developed into another shopping mall - despite the fact that the rundown and underused Hawthorne Mall was/is just down the street. Now it seems that HHR is back in the good graces of the city. Politics.

Not so for Torrance and Zamperini (TOA). The city government there seems to have been consistently anti-airport since at least the '80s, just like Santa Monica has been towards their SMO. At one point the FAA stepped in with a threat of lawsuit against Torrance, ordering the city to pay back all of the federal government airport development funds that the city had accepted over the years, if the city succeeded in closing TOA. That backed Torrance off a bit - now they just vote in increasingly tight restrictions on airport use, hoping to choke off airport demand and business that way. SMO has a similar history.

So at least HHR is enjoying an airport-friendly environment again. TOA and SMO were never very welcoming to the local aviation community. At least that's how I saw it as a South Bay based renter pilot that used all three airports regularly.

If Santa Monica or Torrance were serious about this, they could call the FAA's bluff and force the closure of both airports, much like Chicago's mayor did with Mieg's Field. The resulting FAA fines were easily affordable to a city the size of Chicago. That, and it's hard to argue after the fact with bulldozed lights and deep trenches already dug into a runway. So it comes down to how much money these cities want to commit to such a fight. Let 'em put their wallets where their mouths are. The FAA may be just a toothless tiger on this.



"A pig that doesn't fly is just a pig." - Porco Rosso
User currently offlineLaxintl From United States of America, joined May 2000, 25183 posts, RR: 48
Reply 15, posted (6 years 8 months 1 week 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 1993 times:

Here is an idea of how postage stamp like Santa Monica airport is and how close residences adjoin the airport.

View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © AirNikon
View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Dan Pianelli



Hawthorne on the other hand is more in commercial/industrial area next to a freeway.

View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Sam Chui



And since Torrance also got mentioned, it also adjoins residential areas on three sides.

View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Ralph Duenas - Jetwash Images




From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
User currently offlineEghansen From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (6 years 8 months 1 week 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 1988 times:



Quoting LAXintl (Reply 9):
After all there is no law that forces a city to keep an airport, with other California communities over the years having closing theirs.

Oh yes there is. There are Federal laws regarding closing the airport. The referenced link discusses what is involved.

http://www.cleveland.com/lakefront/i...efront/more/10207638312419317.html

A sample quote regarding closing Cleveland's Burke Airport

"If Cleveland wanted to close Burke and develop its 480 acres, the FAA would study the effect on regional air traffic to determine where else the planes and helicopters could take off and land, Molinaro said.

The agency could require Cleveland to pay back about $5 million in grants it has received from the FAA to improve the airport.

It could even require the city to build a replacement airport or help pay for the expansion of other airports to handle the aircraft that had been using Burke. "

When the FAA was founded, Congress granted it very broad powers under the Interstate Commerce clause of the US Constitution. Airports are under FAA jurisdiction and federal law enforced by the federal courts which take a dim view of municipalities trying to usurp power that belongs to the federal government.

By the way - what California communities have closed airports? I certainly haven't heard of any.


User currently offlineLaxintl From United States of America, joined May 2000, 25183 posts, RR: 48
Reply 17, posted (6 years 8 months 1 week 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 1981 times:



Quoting Eghansen (Reply 16):
By the way - what California communities have closed airports? I certainly haven't heard of any.

19 since 1990 alone. Over 100 CA community airports have dropped off the map since the 60s with Rialto and Elk Grove next.
http://www.calpilots.org/html/article.php?sid=133

Alta Airport
Tulare
Central California
1994

Antioch Airport
Contra Costa
Bay Area
1990

Atwater Airport
Merced
Central California
1994

Bear Creek Airport
Riverside
Los Angeles (Desert)
1998

Borges-Clarksburg Airport
Yolo
Central California
1998

Calistoga Airpark Airport
Napa
Bay Area
1990

Carmel Valley Vintage Airport
Monterey
Central Coast
2002

Eagleville Airport
Modoc
Northern State
2002

Enterprise Skypark Airport
Shasta
Morthern State
1994

Gallaher Airport
Tulare
Central California
1994

Green Acres Airport
Tulare
Central California
1992

Holtville Airport
Imperial
Los Angeles (Desert)
2002

Meadowlark Airport
Orange
Los Angeles (Desert)
1990

Natomas Airport
Sacramento
Central California
2002

Pearce Field Airport
Lake
North Coast
1994

Pixley Airport
Tulare
Central California
1998

Rancho California Airport
Riverside
Los Angeles (Desert)
1990

Redding Sky Ranch Airport
Shasta
Northern State
1994

Rio Bravo Airport
Kern
Central Claifonia
2002

San Ardo Airport
Monterey
Central Coast
1994

Santa Rosa Air Center
Sonoma
Northern Bay Area
1992

Shannon Airport
Trinity
North Coast
1990

Shingletown Airport
Shasta
Northern State
2002

Sun Hill Ranch Airport
San Bernardino
Los Angeles (Desert)
2002

Vacaville Gliderport
Solano
Bay Area
1990

Here is news on Rialto's closure which is going on at the moment. Its estimated the city will gain upwards of $120mil on its closure and land redelopment.
http://www.calpilots.org/html/article.php?sid=1988



From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
User currently offlineEghansen From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 18, posted (6 years 8 months 1 week 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 1937 times:



Quoting Laxintl (Reply 17):
19 since 1990 alone. Over 100 CA community airports have dropped off the map since the 60s with Rialto and Elk Grove next.

How many of those airports have 135,000 operations per year with jets? As my referenced article about Cleveland Burke states, the FAA will allow an airport to close if there are sufficient alternatives. That is why Denver was allowed to close Stapleton when the new DEN was built. But Santa Monica with 135,000 ops per year is in a somewhat different class than the Vacaville Gliderport.

Quoting Laxintl (Reply 17):
Here is news on Rialto's closure which is going on at the moment. Its estimated the city will gain upwards of $120mil on its closure and land redelopment.

The newspaper article you reference only reinforces my statements. You said previously "After all there is no law that forces a city to keep an airport". Your referenced article states:

"Normally, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has sole authority to close airports.

“This is the first time … an airport has been closed through the legislative process,” said FAA spokesman Hank Price. “We follow Congress’s direction.”"

There are laws that prevent a city from closing an airport. Rialto was able to close its airport because "Rep. Gary Miller (R-Calif.) pushed for a provision in last year’s transportation bill that allowed the city of Rialto, Calif., to shut down its airport."

In other words, the US Congress had to specifically authorize in law the closing of the Rialto airport. As I said before, there most certainly are laws preventing a city from closing an airport and only federal approval by the FAA or US Congress would allow Santa Monica to close its airport.


User currently offlineLAXintl From United States of America, joined May 2000, 25183 posts, RR: 48
Reply 19, posted (6 years 8 months 1 week 2 days ago) and read 1901 times:

How about we have this discussion in 20-30 years sitting in a public park in what used to be Santa Monica Airport?

Clearly airports can be closed, and have been closed in California. Well over 100 communities have seen their local airports disappear since the 1960s. Even some bigger ones like Grand Central Terminal (LA's 1st major airport) in Glendale have been closed in previous decades.

In Rialto's case, yes the city had to jump thru many hops but after 4 years of footwork work finally managed to close the facility down and yes will have to repay the federal government several million from the airports estimate $120mil value. I'm sure Santa Monica airport could provide a windfall of many multiples of that easily.

Also one thing to remember, many of the regions if not countries top litigators reside on the Westside so I'm sure the City of Santa Monica and local community will not be short of any input incase of litigation. In addition the area of home to many influential folks including the current CA Governor whom has always been active in the local community.

Even if Congressional approval was required dont doubt that is not achievable either.. Only a two weeks ago buried in the 2008 Omnibus Appropriations bill, restrictions in commercial development on a large plot of Los Angeles Westside land was placed in there along with a lifting of Westside subway construction moratorium which itself was snuck into a 1985 Congressional bill.

The city in the short term will likely make things harder and costlier for operators to continue to operate at the airport, while longer term with the communities full backing will look at life after an airport and what can be done to reach those aims.



From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
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