A plane comes in for a landing at Santa Monica Airport. (File photo)
A plane comes in for a landing at Santa Monica Airport. (File photo)

CITY HALL — The City Council will have two newcomers to consider as it tries to fill an empty seat on the Airport Commission, perhaps as early as its meeting Tuesday night.

The first, Suzanne Paulson, is familiar with Santa Monica Airport.

The UCLA scientist conducted a study of air quality around the airport several years ago, which ignited anti-airport activists when testing unveiled ultra-fine particles in the air around the airport.

Many believe that ultra-fine particles cause health problems in humans, although governmental standards for ultra-fine particles do not yet exist.

Paulson lives north of the airport, and isn’t exposed to the same level of impacts from the airport as others in Santa Monica or West L.A., she said.

Still, she believes that she brings an “open-minded, pragmatic, solution-oriented approach to helping guide the future of the airport and associated land use,” according to her application.

The second, Alok Chanani, comes from a very different background.

Chanani is a private pilot and, if selected, would be the only pilot currently on the Airport Commission. He has over a decade of experience in operational management and increasing efficiency of operations in various sectors, and is currently the head of USA Commercial, an investment firm, according to his application.

Chanani lists his experience in the business world prominently in his application, including time with the Urban Land Institute. One concern of many involved with the airport is the idea that if, as many residents hope, the airport does close, that it will not be redeveloped into a traffic-generating mess on the Westside.

Now is a contentious time for anybody coming onto the Airport Commission. The commission is working on the last phase of a visioning process that will help guide the future of the 187 acres of the aviation land on the airport campus.

That process has been a heated one, with many in the community believing that the City Council and its consultants have cut off options to curb operations at the airport prematurely.




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