Santa Monica Observer - Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

By Alex Gertsen

Santa Monica Neighbors Should Tolerate Medical Evacuation Flights 24/7

What if it was YOUR loved one who was saved by that flight?


An airplane taking off from SMO Airport

To the Editor:

It is disheartening to read that for a few Santa Monica residents, being able to sleep in is more important than tolerating a short period of noise to help save someone's life (July 10, "5 AM Airport Takeoff on 4th of July Wakes Up and Infuriates Santa Monica Neighbors").

Sirens from law enforcement vehicles and ambulances are a daily fact of life in any urban environment.

The disturbance caused by an air medical flight is far less frequent but equally as important in our society's ability to respond quickly to a medical emergency. Aviation medical transport-by helicopters, jets, and other aircraft- is a well-established and state-of-the-art service that benefits all Americans.

The July 4 flight was an example of the important role that Santa Monica Municipal Airport has played in the national airspace system for the past 100 years. As at any airport, the air medical flight was also exempt from any curfews.

According to the reports compiled by City staff, such flights, while critical, are rare – only five medical flight departures took place during the curfew period in the past 12 months. Rather than complaining about getting woken up, nearby residents should understand

that because of access to their airport, a person in distress can receive rapid medical attention and potentially life-saving evacuation, and organs can be transported to save multiple lives.

What if it was their loved one who was saved by that flight?


Alex Gertsen

Director, Airports and Ground Infrastructure, National Business Aviation Association


Reader Comments(3)

Resident writes:

There are only 5 of these emergency flights per year, compared to the total 90,000 operations per year that create health and safety hazards for 130,000 residents around the airport community.

Edward writes:

More parks, recreation, community, and cultural spaces. No SMO pollution, noise, and dangers.

David writes:

SMO kills more people from it's negative health impacts.


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