News Alert
Police Chasing Kidnapping Suspect in Downtown L.A.

Panel To Discuss How To Turn SMO Into A Park

Organized and sponsored by the Airport2Park organization, the panel will be open to the public on Jan. 30, and will host four leading public finance and park development thinkers.

In its efforts to convert Santa Monica Airport into a park, the Airport2Park organization will host a panel on Thurs. Jan. 30 at the Santa Monica Library at 7 p.m. to brainstorm ideas on just how to do that.

Four leading thinkers in public finance and park development will discuss how the City can cover the costs of replacing the airport with a park. It will be be hosted by former Santa Monica mayor Michael Feinstein.

The panel will include Esther Feldman, president of Community Conservation Solutions, who has generated over $3 billion for parks, beaches, rivers, and urban recreation in Los Angeles County, and who launched a program that created a $35 billion fund for conservation projects nationwide.

Also on the panel will be Sherrill Kushner, who chaired the campaign that passed a Santa Monica library bond with 81 percent of the vote, former Santa Monica Recreation and Parks Commissioner Neil Carrey, who’ll address the possibilities of philanthropic contributions to the park project, and David Goddard, chair of the Santa Monica Airport Commission, who’ll talk about how much revenue the city could realize by repurposing airport buildings now used for aviation purposes and re-leasing them at market rates.

“We are delighted at the quality and level of expertise of the people who have agreed to join the panel,” said Frank Gruber of Airport2Park, who will moderate the panel. “With their help we will get to grips with how to turn one of Santa Monica’s most valuable but under-used assets into something that benefits the whole community.”

According to Airport2Park, the city-owned and subsidized general aviation airport is conservatively valued at $2 billion, but is used by only a very few people who fly there.

The panel discussion, open to the public and entitled “Airport2Park, an Investment for the Future”, will take place Thursday evening, January 30th, in the Martin Luther King, Jr., Auditorium, at the Santa Monica Main Library, 601 Santa Monica Boulevard, Santa Monica. Doors will open at 6.30 p.m. and the program will begin at 7 p.m.


pilot_rick January 24, 2014 at 04:52 PM
Here we go again!
Keith Craig January 24, 2014 at 09:25 PM
Hopefully from the meeting they will figure out that it will cost more money to close the airport and that they city will lose more revenue if it turns it into a park. As well as the revenue it will lose from the businesses that currently operate from and use the airport.
pilot_rick January 24, 2014 at 10:45 PM
The opponents of Santa Monica Airport simply lie about facts and figures to make their "unicorn sanctuary" feasible. Despite the fact that the city council has already said it cannot afford nor does it want to operate a large park. Look at the former Meigs field in Chicago or the "Great Park" for examples of what happens when we close airports.
Edith Murcer January 24, 2014 at 11:42 PM
I love the airport, makes visiting the grand kids so convenient.
fred January 25, 2014 at 01:49 PM
Finally! Creating an new park for everyone to use is a sensible solution to the noise and pollution that is created by the less than handful of people that use Santa Monica Airport daily and want it *ALL* to themselves.
pilot_rick January 25, 2014 at 02:56 PM
santa monica airport has hundreds of thousands of operations each year. It is one of the busiest general aviation airports in the world. I would hardly call that a "handful".
fred January 25, 2014 at 03:06 PM
Less than 500 daily users at SMO. Compare that to 70,000 Big Blue Bus daily users. Waste of resources. A park will serve thousands more daily!
pilot_rick January 25, 2014 at 03:30 PM
Fred, how many people are expected to use this so called park daily? Will the city be charging admission to the park? The city council has already said they cannot afford a park. Will you be willing to pay for such a park personally?
fred January 25, 2014 at 04:07 PM
Come to the panel discussion and you will find out!
John Jerabek January 25, 2014 at 06:13 PM
There are two parks at the airport already, plus one entire boundary of the entire city is a park, its called the beach. The people who are organizing these events, want to close the airport at any cost and will literally say anything to put a negative spin on aviation or a positive spin on their latest scheme. I used to think the concerns they put forth were sincere and valid, but after trying to reach out and talk to them, I've become convinced their only real motivation is higher property values in the short term, and large scale development in surrounding neighborhoods in the long term. I'm very sorry to say that, but at this point anyway, I believe it to be the truth.
Keith Craig January 25, 2014 at 08:15 PM
Looking at the airport information alone there are approx. 260 aircraft based at the airport and over 10 business that operate out of Santa Monica airport. There are also about 100,000 air operations annually. Add to this all the fuel and tax revenue the airport generates it is surprising to me the people would want to turn the airport into a park Let alone close it. One there is the cost of closing it and converting it to usable real state/park. Plus there is losing all the business and tax revenue. As for the pollution issue-more pollution is caused by automobile on a daily basis than the planes flying in the airport area. Once development or a park is built auto traffic/pollution will only get worse, in my opinion. So, if the airport is going to be closed, someone will have to pay all the costs of closing as well as recoup the lost revenue. That certainly will not be done by a park but rather by some other costly development that will be no doubt more costly than just keeping the airport open and operating. This of course has been said before but to mostly deaf ears set on closing the airport and giving in to money/land hungry developers.
pilot_rick January 25, 2014 at 08:57 PM
I don't understand this park thing that is why I refer to it as a "unicorn sanctuary". I don't know of any parks that charge admission. Santa Monica Airports charge its users a fee. I have heard some fuzzy math explaining how the city thinks it can charge more money to non aviation tenants but of course there are no numbers backing this up. The simple fact is a park cost money to both build and operate. I don't know of any parks that charge user fees. The city council has said many times that it cannot afford and does not want a park. The special interest groups trying to close the airport will say anything to get their way. Even if it means to lie. Let's not forget one of the leading forces of this so called airport2park group is David Goddard a fat cat real estate developer who is also ironically the airport commissioner. Why the city stacks the airport commission with anti airport activists is beyond me but it reeks of corruption and special interests.
Roy Roscoe January 25, 2014 at 11:47 PM
Why not turn it into a pig farm so all those who can't stand planes, jets and air travel can get all the pork for parks they want?
JeanB January 26, 2014 at 07:47 PM
WARNING:Pilot Rick has been outed as an internet troll. Please do not feed him by responding to his false and inflammatory statements.
pilot_rick January 26, 2014 at 08:58 PM
Jean I am not sure what you mean. What is an internet troll?
Edith Murcer January 26, 2014 at 11:14 PM
Another park, don't these pot-heads have jobs?
Roy Roscoe January 27, 2014 at 01:09 AM
Parks are a dime a dozen. You have an Air Park! What the community needs is an annual air show like Sheboygan, WI. It's great for the local economy too!
Michael S January 27, 2014 at 11:55 AM
The airport loses money for the city of Santa Monica. http://www.smgov.net/Departments/Airport/Airport_Fund_-_5_Year_Analysis_of_Revenues_Expenditures_and_Capital_Expenses.aspx
Roy Roscoe January 27, 2014 at 01:17 PM
Turn it into a Park!!! Where people can come and watch the planes and small jets take off and land!!!! Everybody wins!
pilot_rick January 27, 2014 at 02:45 PM
Michael, the airport does cost money to operate however it does bring in over 200 million dollars a year to the community. I find it interesting that a NIMBY would point out this fact. Please show me a park that does not cost money to operate. Roy, there are already 2 great parks at the airport where you can watch planes take off and land! We are already winning.
Roy Roscoe January 27, 2014 at 04:12 PM
Imagine how many tourists an annual Santa Monica Vintage Air show would bring to the region! Bi- Wing craft and a flying military air show.... Hotels would be booked a year in advance. Viewers could sit in a newly constructed park and bleachers adjacent to the landing strip. Jean B and Michael S could sit in the park applying their sun screen, sipping propellor pours from the strip club and watching the acrobatic planes do tip rolls!


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something