CITY HALL – The City Council, because of a technicality, put off a vote Tuesday on whether or not to create a program to pay SMO flight schools to do training at other airports.

The program would have set aside $90,000 for six months to reimburse flight schools at Santa Monica Airport to fly to facilities further afield on weekends and holidays to do training that involves four or more takeoffs and landings.

Flight schools would have received $150 for each qualifying flight, which paid for time and aircraft costs to fly to airports further away.

The goal of the program was to reduce noise and risk of flights over the densely populated neighborhoods of Sunset Park, Ocean Park, Mar Vista and Venice.

Four of the five council members present at Tuesday’ s meeting voted for the program, citing safety and comfort for the neighbors.

Councilmember Bob Holbrook voted against it, noting that many community members seemed opposed to the program because they feel it’s giving the flight schools money to engage in training they should not be doing.

Holbrook¬ís “no” vote stalled them item because it was considered an appropriation. Appropriations require at least five votes to pass.

Mayor Richard Bloom and Councilman Bobby Shriver were not present for the vote.

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