FPK is an environmental health advocacy group that has been studying the long term health impacts of aircraft operations, including operations at SMO. They are... finding concrete evidence of toxins from the aircraft operations showing up in the air, the soil, and the bodies of people in the community. Testing has been done on hair, urine, DNA, soil, and air. The dangerous toxic metals and other substances are being found that have a unique “signature” traceable to the aircraft operations.
FPK reached out to Atlantic Aviation earlier this week to discuss this important issue negatively impacting the long term health and environment of the local community.
Ultra fines are coming into the mainstream of study and recognition. Next we need to move beyond counting nameless “black carbon” particles and looking at what specifically they are and how they affect our bodies, as well as limiting the ultra fines.
Please ask our city council and staff to pass a Minimum Standards with weight auditing provisions, and not to lease our land until the Minimum Standards have been approved. Read why below!
A message to the city:
Dear Council members and staff,
Please read the below email from Blackbird Air offering a free flight for their new route from SMO to Palo Alto....
It is excellent that jet operations are way down at the airport. Noise is down. It will be nice if it stays that way.
On the other hand, helicopter flights are way up, Charters are flying turbo props instead of fan jets, and “airlines” including Surf Air are looking to lease space at SMO. Air Taxis are sure to follow. Others are chomping at the bit to operate out of Santa Monica and increase offerings.
Please do not approve a Minimum Standards document for SMO that opens the floodgates for charter flights and air taxi flights to lease at SMO without serious study on your part. Please consider protections, checks, and balances for the neighbors.
The minimum standards draft is not acceptable as it stands. Our minimum standards need to include provisions that enable the city to audit passenger loads, baggage loads, and fuel loads for operators that lease our land. Our short runway seriously limits the number and type of aircraft that can fly in and out of our airport fully loaded and less than fully loaded.
You passed a leasing policy that speaks to "protecting the health and safety of airport neighbors". Lets make that glaringly explicit in the minimum standards. Lets make it clear that health and safety is a serious concern and that operators operate openly and transparently at Santa Monica Airport or they can lease land somewhere else more suitable to their operations.
Are you going to throw your hands up in the air and say there is nothing you can do, and allow the airport to morph into another form of a destructive force to the surrounding neighborhoods? Lets hope not.
The eyes of the world are closely watching the City of Santa Monica and will continue to do so.
I noticed you recently looked at our newest route between Santa Monica and Palo Alto and wanted to give you a chance to try us for free! Just message customer service in the Blackbird app when you're booking on any flight listed below and they will take care of you!
Wednesday, Feb 28
PAO -> SMO 7:15 am
SMO -> PAO 9:15 am
Thursday, Mar 01
PAO -> SMO 4:55 pm
SMO -> PAO 6:55 pm
Thursday, Mar 08
PAO -> SMO 6:15 am
SMO -> PAO 8:15 am
If these dates don't work out but you are interested in flying, let me know and I'll keep you informed about future promotions.
We look forward to showing you the ease of traveling with Blackbird!
The city is developing a document called Minimum Standards for leasing out aviation space at the airport. There is no right to audit passengers and loading of charters and operators flying on our short runway. We should have the right to audit the operations of anyone who leases our land to add a layer of protection to passengers and neighbors. This seems reasonable. The present draft does not specify the right to audit operations. IT SHOULD!
The Minimum Standards are linked here.:
A landmark study in Environmental Noise and the Cardiovascular System was published last week in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology (2018, 71: 688-697) by a group of German researchers at the University Medical Center Mainz Center of Cardiology.
As the authors’ note, the question is no longer whether jet noise causes cardiovascular change in affected residents, it is the magnitude of the damage and the threshold of noise that leads to health risk.
According to the authors, noise annoyance and chronic stress, activation of the autonomic nervous system and the endocrine system, and sleep disturbance ultimately lead to blood vessel alterations in the short and long term contributing to cardiovascular disease.
Special thanks to the Chicago group FAIR for passing this on.
Send A Note to Atlantic C.E.O. and Ask Him To Leave.
Atlantic Aviation's lease ran out in 2015. They pump jet fuel and provide amenities to commercial traffic. If Atlantic were to leave SMO, some of their commercial airline and charter customers would leave too. Atlantic has a beautiful facility nearby at LAX.
Traffic has dropped considerably since the runway shortening and we would like to see that trend continue....
Please take a minute and write or email Mr. Pepper. Share your thoughts and feelings on how the airport has affected your lives. A sample letter appears below with some thoughts that might help. It never hurts to ask.
Louis T. Pepper
Chief Executive Officer
5201 Tennyson Parkway
Plano, TX 75025
cc: Steve Hirschfeld
V.P Atlantic Western Regional Manager
Dear Mr. Pepper,
As residents with homes nearby the Santa Monica Airport we are contacting you with a respectful plea to consider abandoning your lease at KSMO. We believe this decision boils down, quite simply, to dollars and common sense.
At 3500’ the airport has by far the shortest runway of your facilities in the USA. The short runway can only safely accommodate piston and turbo prop aircraft, and very few jets other than the Embraer 300. Atlantic will be pumping less fuel. The city is taking over the leasing and profit from the properties and hangars Atlantic used to sublet. The bottom line of the KSMO operation is taking a big hit.
The residents surrounding the airport are aware of the health risks and recent research regarding ultra fine particles and noise. We are coming to realize the damage the airport has done, and is doing to our health and wellbeing. The recent reduced airport operations are presently giving us a quality of life we have not experienced for decades.
Homes are located within the Runway Protection Zones on both ends of the runway and many of us often smell the fumes of the jet fuel that Atlantic pumps and the aircraft burn. We ponder whether the limited profit and convenience is worth the potential liability to Atlantic and Macquarie.
We are a committed bunch who will continue to apply pressure to improve the quality of life of the residents who are impacted by the negative effects of the airport. Please consider abandoning your Santa Monica operation and focus on nearby airports that are more suited for jet aircraft and corporate profit.
Please give this some thought. It could be a win for us all.
Thank you very much for you attention. We would love to hear your thoughts.
NEWS FLASH! Blackbird Air announces deluxe service from Santa Monica to Palo Alto Starting February 12th.
"We’ll also be flying the Pilatus PC-12. The executive leather seats, and endless legroom: it’s better than first class. What’s more, we are simplifying pricing — no more pricing based on demand, but prices do decrease based on the number of flights you purchase."
Excess Runway Demo Moves Forward!
The City Council approved spending almost $300,000 for the engineering design to demo the excess runway and seed it with drought tolerant ground cover; design it to be completed by June 2018. The project is to be completed by April 2019. In the interim another contract will be awarded for the demo and related work. Stay tuned.
Let's be thankful the project is finally being completed. It will be paid by the airport fund which is running at a n...ice profit. Why is it taking until April 2019? Who knows.
The lack of jet traffic has been a pleasure as some of us expressed in their recent letters. We have heard from others how normal life seems without the excessive racket and fumes. Maybe the jet owners and operators have realized there are safer local airports to fly their jets, maybe they are waiting for the instrument navigation system to be back up and running. We'll see.
Have A Great Weekend!
ACTION REQUESTED: Advocate Completion of Runway Shortening. Insert “Airport Item 3-E” in an email subject line and send email to:
Below is a copy of a letter sent to over 30 individuals who have some interest in air quality in and near airports in Seattle and Santa Monica. The more communities with similar problems work together and support each other, the faster we will progress in understanding the relationship between our health and our environment, and the faster we will begin to find solutions.Note:The UW study is not attached and can be found elsewhere.
In light of the fact that we all h...ave some interest in the air quality around Santa Monica Airport and SeaTac, attached below is a power point of a study that is being undertaken by the University of Washington around SeaTac airport. They will be measure ultra fines from a mobile platform. It is heartening to see interest in specifically looking at airports and their effect on the surrounding communities. Many of us are very thankful for this work and would like to see it continue and grow in sophistication along with newer technology that can measure particle composition.
A video of a presentation to residents, and politicians regarding pollution and ultra fines around the Santa Monica Airport by Dr. John Froines of UCLA from 2011 can be found here:
Dr. Froines made reference at that time of the heavy metals/chemicals that are attached to the particles and their toxicity.
Work by Dr. Mark Witten of UofA has also pointed out the importance of looking at the composition of the particle and it’s effect on health.
Government agencies are now showing some willingness to study the particle size/count, but have little interest in the make up of the particles. This is an area where activists and scientists can come together to encourage the study of ultra fine composition. Once the particles are counted, sized, and identified they can be more specifically linked to human health, and quite possibly linked to the source of the particles and solutions to reduce them. As we well know, sometimes it is what we can not see that hurts us the most.
Santa Monica, CA.
Dear Facebook Universe
I offer this four-minute video on "Science in America" containing what may be the most important words I have ever spoken.
As always, but... especially these days, keep looking up.
—Neil deGrasse Tyson
Something smells funny at SMO.
What to expect in the new year:
We begin the year with a shortened 3500' runway and look forward to reduced jet traffic, and results from our air quality testing. The shorter runway at Santa Monica Airport has re-opened.
***The new GPS instrument approach system will not be operational for a month or so, and jet operations will not return in full force until the system is up and fully running. Then we will begin to see what effect the shorter runway has on noise and polluti...on at SMO.***
We also look forward to the removal of the unused 750' of cement at both ends of the runway soon, along with enforcement of noise violations by companies, owners, and pilots that exceed noise limits over our nearby homes.
More and more SMO neighbors are using a service which let’s you lodge an airport noise complaint with just a touch. You can order a button or use their website (put a link to their website on your home screen). Subscription is $5/mo. Responsive customer support. Any questions, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Notice of correction to airport story in this week’s Santa Monica Mirror:
Thank you for your recent story (headline below) on the Santa Monica Airport. Yes, we are enjoying the temporary respite from the airport traffic....
The present phase of the shortening is not the final phase as stated in the headline. The current phase of the shortening included, among other things, cleaning the black rubber skid marks off the runway, installing new lights and taxiways, work on the weather station, moving and realigning navigation systems, and painting off the runway to 3500’. There will be around 750’ of excess cement on both ends of the runway which will be removed in the next and final phase of the shortening process.
The City Council, based on recommendations from the Airport Commission, previously discussed several options on how to deal with the unused portion of the old runway on both ends, and publicly voted to remove the cement and seed the ends to bring them back to a more natural and park like state. This last step of shortening the runway has been put off for about a year, although some would have preferred the process be completed all at once.
The airport is currently running in the black due to increased revenue from the city taking over the subleases at SMO. This profit previously went to aviation businesses and leasing companies for the past thirty years.. Currently there are funds to complete this final step without costing the city or the residents any money. This work is paid for by the airport fund, not the general fund.
After the airport reopens we will soon know whether the jet traffic drops 44% and if there is a reduction in noise as promised by the Mayor and the city staff when the Consent Decree was signed; promises repeated numerous times in the press, on the radio, in emails, and on TV.
The current air quality study will also provide information as to what effect the shortening of the runway has on the pollution levels at the end of the runway and in the surrounding neighborhood to the east of the airport.