July 8, 2015
Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 8, 2015               

CONTACT: Jack d’Annibale | 202-225-3976

Los Angeles - Today, Congressman Lieu, joined by Congresswoman Bass (CA-37) hosted a meeting in Washington, DC between their constituents and senior Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) officials.  This meeting followed an invitation to meet, which was made at the March 24 Santa Monica City Council meeting.  Attendees at the meeting included Santa Monica Mayor Kevin McKeown, Santa Monica Mayor Pro Tempore Tony Vazquez, Santa Monica Councilmember Sue Himmelrich and sixteen other CA-33 constituents who flew to Washington, DC from Los Angeles.

After the meeting, Congressman Lieu made the following statement:

“The serious safety, environmental, and health concerns of the Santa Monica Airport date back for several decades.  After a meeting with the FAA was announced, my office received over one thousand comment forms from constituents citing the everyday risks they face as they go about their lives.  Whether it is a mother concerned about her child suffering from lead exposure, a husband worried about his wife’s asthma, or families simply trying to sleep at night, the problems my constituents face on a daily basis are real  and hazardous.  I am grateful to my constituents for flying all the way to Washington, DC to take part in this meeting, and I thank the FAA for agreeing to listen to them.  Today was a productive meeting where each attendee personally shared their story with the FAA face to face.  I hope that the FAA will heed the concerns brought forth today and work to address the issues.”

Additional Statements:

“As Mayor, my primary responsibility is to protect the health, safety and welfare of the residents of Santa Monica.  Santa Monica Airport endangers our residents and our resources.  What was once a grass landing strip in the midst of bean fields is now often described as “an aircraft carrier in a sea of homes.”  The exceptionally close proximity of the runway and residents’ homes presents unacceptable safety risks.”

--Kevin McKeown, Mayor of Santa Monica, California

“I have been involved with addressing SMO's negative impacts for more than 15 years.  Air quality studies have monitored very high levels of SMO aircraft pollutants within the downwind Los Angeles community of North Westdale where homes are located less than 300 feet from the jet blast. Please understand that this is a critical public health concern that deserves immediate attention.  I thank Congressman Lieu for his leadership on this issue. “

--Marty Rubin, Director, Concerned Residents Against Airport Pollution

"We are extremely grateful to Congressman Lieu for leading the charge on this pivotal meeting with the FAA.  He has walked the neighborhoods and smelled the fumes.  Our neighbor to neighbor grassroots effort brought in considerably more than our goal of 1000 highly personal comments from concerned residents of Santa Monica and Los Angeles. A three mile radius of affected adults and children are exposed to known heath risks from ultra fines, lead and extreme noise from an airport that does not meet the FAAs own safety standards. Large jets and turboprops should not be taking off and landing over a  densely populated neighborhood with a runway less than  300’ from homes.  There is no way to make the surrounding community safe under current operation.  Since the FAA is not willing to scale this airport way back, then they need to let it go.”

--Alan Levenson, NO JETS Santa Monica Airport

“The Santa Monica Airport poses an acute danger to the residents around it, proven by the multiple plane crashes that have occurred over the years.  I thank Congressman Lieu for setting up this meeting so that we could personally inform the FAA of the serious problems posed by the airport.”

--Joseph Schmitz, PhD, Member of Santa Monica Airport Commission

More photos from the meeting can be found here.