Here’s why Brenda Anderson, in her letter of 6/21 (Jobs on Lincoln), used a throwaway line without attri- bution to claim there would be “1,500 lost jobs” if SMO closed: it can’t be substantiated.
The HR&A study Anderson may be referring to shows aviation jobs on SMO’s “campus” at fewer than 200. The study does refer to 894 “direct” jobs, mean- ing jobs on campus, but that includes hundreds of non- aviation jobs. The other supposedly lost jobs (to get to 1,500) are not even at SMO.
It’s a false premise, and alarmist, to proclaim that ending SMO’s aviation operations would kill hundreds of non-aviation jobs both on the airport campus and elsewhere. Beware – the premise implies – newly out-of- work dentists and hairdressers would find their favorite restaurants shuttered, movie theaters darkened, per- haps banks and churches, too. The horror.
In reality, even the 200 or so truly aviation-related jobs probably would not be “lost.” They’d follow the jets and flight schools to a more suitable airport. Offices relocate within L.A. County frequently; their workers (including me) adjust. (Another false assumption, usu- ally unspoken, is that SMO’s actual aviation workers all live in Santa Monica and spend their money only here).
In 2010, Councilman Bob Holbrook referenced eco- nomic concerns raised years earlier by Douglas Aircraft’s threats to leave Santa Monica. He reminded listeners that Santa Monica handled that departure and could handle the departure of (aviation operations) at SMO just as well.