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Congressional Attempt To Block KSMO Closing Deal Shot Down By Local Rep

Louisiana Congressman Tried To De-Fund The Agreement Through Appropriations Process

An attempt by a Louisiana Congressman to pull funding for an agreement to close Santa Monica Airport (KSMO) using the appropriations process has been stymied by another member of congress who represents the California city.

Congressman Ralph Abraham (R-LA) introduced an amendment to an appropriations bill that would have pulled funding for implementing the agreement worked out by Santa Monica and the FAA to shorten its only runway and fully close the airport by 2028. The process of shortening the runway is already underway.

The amendment sought to block any funding to “administer, enforce, or implement in any manner”  the agreement, saying that the federal government has a responsibility to maintain the nation's airport infrastructure, according to a report from the Santa Monica Lookout. Shortly after the consent decree was approved, Abraham wrote a letter to the DOT and the FAA saying that "...the Agency's Congressionally-authorized mission includes ensuring that airports remain safe and efficient while also protecting our entire aviation system.”

But the amendment was denied. The move to beat back Abraham's amendment was led in Congress in part by Representative Ted Lieu (D-CA), according to Nelson Hernandez, a senior advisor to the Santa Monica City Manager.

The city thanked Lieu for his efforts, and claimed a victory in the ongoing disagreement between the city and aviation groups fighting to keep the airport open. City Manager Rick Cole said that despite all the legal wrangling and other efforts to keep the airport open, "the future of the land owned by the people of Santa Monica returns to local control at the end of 2028.”

(Image from file)

FMI: Original report

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