The National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) today applauded a ruling from the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington , D.C. that marks another step in ensuring that business aviation will have continued access to Santa Monica Airport (SMO).
In a decision handed down on January 21, the court ruled in favor of the Federal Aviation Administration´s (FAA´s) position that the most recent attempt by the officials with the City of Santa Monica to ban "Category C and D" aircraft from SMO violates terms of a grant agreement made when accepting federal funds for the airport.
"The business aviation community welcomes the court´s ruling," said NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen. "Access to community airports is absolutely critical for companies of all sizes, all across the U.S. , and the court´s decision helps ensure that this access will be preserved. It will also help ensure that the jobs, access to communities, productivity for companies and other benefits provided by business aviation will continue."
The current controversy began in 2008, when Santa Monica city officials adopted a ban against the Category C and D jets from serving SMO on safety grounds. The city´s move was immediately challenged by the FAA, which ruled that the airport did not have the authority to impose the ban, and disallowed it from taking effect until the FAA could further consider the matter, with a decision from the agency being subject to a federal court appeal.