The City of Santa Monica has officially chosen a plan for shortening the runway at Santa Monica Airport (SMO). The 4,973-foot runway will be reduced to 3,500 feet by making roughly 736 feet on each end unusable. Shortening the runway the city’s way, by eliminating the pavement at either end, will cost around $4 million. That’s the plan despite the high cost and safety issues, which critics have raised in response to the city’s plans.
The fight has now turned to what will be done with the unusable runway. The City could simply paint on extended thresholds at either end and preserve valuable overrun length: a significant safety net. Sill, the city is proposing to re-purpose the area for community use, though how that could be done is unclear. Organizations like NBAA are asking that that the pavement be preserved, not only while the outcome of the legal battle over the FAA’s agreement with the City remains undecided, but also as a safety measure for emergencies and city disaster relief.
Read more of Plane & Pilot’s SMO coverage here.