Occupy Santa Monica Airport

I say OSMA!   The rich are making too much noise in West LA as they dive bomb us as they land their big private planes in Santa Monica.  The LA Times reports about this wrestling match here.  Noise pollution affects hundreds of thousands of folks in a vicinity of this airport.   While planes have become quieter over time, there are too many big private planes landing.  Arnold, Tom and the gang should pay a landing fee that is used for some good purpose.

Author: Matthew E. Kahn

Professor of Economics at UCLA.

12 thoughts on “Occupy Santa Monica Airport”

  1. I’d suggest that landing fees be given to local residents to pay for noise abatement upgrades to their houses and apartments, but the unfortunate reality is that the best available noise retrofits can’t exclude all aircraft noise from indoor spaces. Better to relocate the airport to somewhere uninhabited build a high-speed rail link to the existing terminal.

    P.S. the letters O, S, M and A shouldn’t be said too loudly in connection with the word ‘airport.’ The DHS doesn’t like people taking the name of their patron saint of unlimited power and funding in vain.

    1. Or a few miles east. The neighborhoods there are already so crappy things couldn’t get much worse. Test scores are abysmal, incomes are lousy, jobs are menial, parents are uneducated, test scores are low. What’s a bit of extra noise?

  2. I grew up in the landing path for Hanscom AFB. If you think Lear jets are loud…

    Really though it was never a big deal to me. I got to see awesome planes up close frequently. My parents hated it and were active in a group to restrict commercial aviation from Hanscom but I didn’t really see the point in that. Everyone in my neighborhood knew about the airport when they bought their houses. The only time it was annoying was during Desert Storm. As long as they aren’t landing planes at 2am, what’s the big deal?

    Although, of course, no planes crashed into my neighbors’ houses.

  3. If this is a privately owned town airport, ask the the town to stop accepting FAA funds. Then, local control can be put back into effect once any current funding grants expire. With local control, proprietors can then impose curfews, limit sizes and types of aircraft while still maining the airport open to residents. With traffic increasing at a minimum of around 10% per year, this problem is going to be contested across the country. And the FAa is deaf to residents pleas…as are most politicians, for decades now. It is only going to get worse, our local group quiet skies coalition in East Hampton NY is fighting the same issues, as are hundreds of other resident groups across the region, the country and internationally. Fight back or lose your tranqui skies forever.

  4. Well, ideally, the issue of nasty fumes should get some technological solution. Maybe the noise too? The safety problem will always exist I guess.

    1. There is one. Airlines have had to fly quieter “Stage III” aircraft into suburban airports for at least 20 years now.

      However, the private plane lobby is like the chamber of commerce. They hold up small-time operators who can’t afford to retrofit their planes as a front for the interests of the big private jet companies and owners who certainly could afford it but just don’t want to pay.

  5. Not to be a jerk, but isn’t it standard for planes to land at an airport?

    The article notes: “Santa Monica Airport, established in 1917, is described on a city website as the oldest continuously operating airport in Los Angeles County.” So it’s not as if people didn’t know there was an airport there. I doubt very many people have been living there continuously since 1916, so they made the choice to live near an airport.

    1. they made the choice to live near an airport.

      Actually, they made the choice to be lazy and not work hard enough, such that the only place they can afford is under Final Approach. They got what they deserved by refusing to work hard and pull themselves up by their bootstraps.


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