The City of Santa Monica isn’t wasting any time trying to get ahead of the pending lawsuits about its agreement with the FAA over immediately shortening the runway at Santa Monica Airport (KSMO) and closing the airport by 2028. On Tuesday night, the Santa Monica City Council officially approved a runway-shortening contract with engineering firm AECOM. The guaranteed maximum price on the project is set at $3,517,320.
The final design for the project is expected to be completed this month, with construction scheduled to begin in October. The plan is to finish shortening the runway from 4,973 feet to 3,500 feet by December of this year. While the city says most of the work will be done at night, it expects the airport will be completely closed for 7 to 14 days. At this stage, the project will not destroy the existing runway, but the Santa Monica City Council is planning to hear proposals for “removal of excess runway pavement” in late September.
The NBAA is pursuing several lawsuits to halt the alteration and closure of the airport. It is joined by the Santa Monica Airport Association and several airport tenants. A May 4 Order from the U.S. Court of Appeals denied NBAA’s request for a stay and injunction—which would have prohibited changes to the airport until the legality of the settlement agreement between the FAA and the City of Santa Monica could be determined.