Asks residents to contact FAA administrator over Santa Monica Airport flight path change

To the Editor:

By now you have no doubt heard that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is in the midst of a trial period changing the flight path for IFR (Instrument Flight Rule) planes leaving the Santa Monica Airport.

The planes are being directed over densely populated areas of Santa Monica. The FAA will decide this month whether to make it permanent.

These planes take off from the Santa Monica Airport and fly diagonally over residents’ homes and schools in Ocean Park and Sunset Park, heading across the pier to the ocean, and sometimes back again.

Although this trial period theoretically applies only to IFR planes, in actual fact, VFR (Visual Flight Rule) planes and jets taking off from Santa Monica Airport have been taking this shortcut as well. The result is that every few minutes another plane flies over head.

The unrelenting noise from the steady stream of planes is extremely distressing to residents, who are constantly interrupted and distracted by airplanes. The danger to schoolchildren from pollution and the din of planes is interfering with their concentration.

Children are complaining of a bad smell when they play in their yards or at school, and residents have to wash the soot from the planes off their cars. It is imperative that we stop the FAA from making this new route permanent.

On May 11th, Congressman Henry Waxman wrote directly to FAA Administrator J. Randolph Babbitt and demanded that this FAA-imposed test be suspended. We are asking you to stand with Waxman and:

1) Contact Babbitt at: Federal Aviation Administration, 800 Independence Ave., SW Washington, D.C. 20591.

Insist that the imposed test be suspended and the flight path be returned to its pre-test route along Penmar Golf Course and over Rose Avenue to the ocean.

2) Insist that the FAA do an environmental impact report before attempting again to impose such a change in the flight path.

Sue Miller, Santa Monica

Agrees with letter writer about impacts of Santa Monica Airport on local school

To the Editor:

The letter writer (Argonaut, May 20th) is right to be concerned about Santa Monica Airport’s noise impact on the John Muir/SMASH campus as well as the jet fuel particles on the playground and outside the lunch table area.

Add to those concerns the fact that the non-jet aircraft that are the subject of the FAA’s test still fly leaded fuel. Not only are the playground and outside lunch table areas affected by this toxic mix, but all the children’s lungs and cardio-vascular systems suffer as well.

It’s the same for all the residents. Santa Monica Airport must be closed.

Susan J. Hartley, Santa Monica

Says Coastal Commission meeting in Marina offers chance to speak for sailboats

To the Editor:

What a beautiful Memorial Day! Washington Boulevard cafes were filled with happy, relaxed people; their cash registers, ringing happily, too. At the beach, sailboats danced against the horizon and along the backdrop of the Palos Verdes Peninsula as a new, little generation discovered the ocean for the first time.

What a shame it will be to lose the sailboats, a third great loss for the Marina; the first loss being open space for recreation, and the second being our mountain views.

The sailboats partake of nature while the lumbering yachts invited to replace them partake of industry, luxury and wealth.

The California Coastal Commission meets at the Marina del Rey Hotel on June 9th, 10th and 11th — the perfect occasion to speak for the sailboats and against the addition of yet another hotel, this one on Via Marina, 19 stories into the air with yacht moorings rendering invisible one of our loveliest marinas.

Let us speak for the sailboats before the dock masters and the county supervisors wave them away.

Lynne Shapiro, Marina del Rey