Airport Moves Plane Parking
Airport2Park claims success
The Airport cleared parked planes from the Southeast six acres of the airport, allegedly for a 12-acre expansion of Santa Monica Airport Park. This is on the part of the airport in Los Angeles, i.e. the east part of the airport, which is not deed restricted for aviation.
In a statement, Nelson Hernandez, Senior Advisor to the City Manager for Santa Monica Airport Affairs said: "I am glad to report the aircraft have been removed from the parcel. Some aircraft have been relocated to other areas at the airport and others self-selected alternative locations. In either case, the six acres are now free of aircraft."
In response, Neil Carrey, President of the Santa Monica Airport2Park Foundation, the group that lobbies for turning the airport into another use, issued this statement: "It is exciting to see an empty airplane parking lot, which will soon be transformed into much needed future park space, including playing fields and possibly community gardens, for thousands to use."
This will immediately reduce the capacity to maintain aircraft at Santa Monica Airport by about 20%, said the group opposed to the airport. "This move will be welcomed by neighbors in Santa Monica, Mar Vista and Venice who have been plagued with noise and pollution from the adjacent airport," the group said
The 12 acres of land became available for parks when the City of Santa Monica's 1984 agreement with the FAA expired in July 2015. The passage of Santa Monica Measure LC in November 2014 required that any land that is released from aviation use be used for parks and recreation, and the City Council moved to repurpose this land into future parkland last year.
The Santa Monica City Council has since moved forward and approved the hiring of landscape design firm Rios Clementi Hale Studios (who designed the Los Angeles Grand Park) to oversee the design of a 12-acre expansion of Airport Park.
This week also saw the Santa Monica City Council vote on Tuesday to include the expansion of Santa Monica Airport Park as one of their Priority Park Projects for inclusion in the Los Angeles Countywide Comprehensive Parks & Recreation Needs Assessment Report. This report will be the basis for a potential Los Angeles Countywide Parks Bond Measure that may earmark County funds to support much needed park expansion on former airport aviation land.