CITY HALL — It’s not over yet.
City Council returned from its closed session Tuesday night and announced that City Hall would file a notice of appeal in its lawsuit against the Federal Aviation Administration over the future of Santa Monica Airport.
City Hall sued the FAA last year, seeking to determine if and when they would have the right to control or potentially close the airport.
The FAA filed a motion to dismiss the case claiming, among other things, that the case was being brought too early because City Hall hadn’t declared its intent to close the airport. Earlier this year, the judge decided in the FAA’s favor, throwing the lawsuit out.
City Hall has until Monday to file the notice of appeal — a simple document that will take about an hour to fill out, said City Attorney Marsha Moutrie.
After that, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will issue a briefing schedule, likely a few weeks after the filing of the notice of appeal, Moutrie said.
Local residents have long complained about the noise and pollution caused by planes and jets taking off and landing at the airport. Others fear for their safety as the runway is about 300 feet from homes.
Advocates of the airport say it would be invaluable in the case of a disaster and point to the estimated $275 million annual economic boost that it provides to the city.
Last month, council went in a different direction, deciding to study the feasibility of, among other things, reducing the size of the runway and controlling the sale of aviation fuel. Some Airport Commission members, who recommended a similar plan to council, noted that such actions could make the airport less attractive to pilots.
Advocates of the airport and some opponents have referred to this tactic as a starvation or strangulation plan.