An estimated crowd of more than 3,000 people thronged to Santa Monica airport (SMO) today to honor veterans and see five WW II-era Santa Monica-built Douglas DC-3’s among other warbirds. The SMO and adjacent parking lots were at capacity. SMO was important in WW II with Douglas arming allies that won the war against totalitarianism. SMO was important then and will be crucial in the future as the city transitions away from a narrow jobs focus of tourism, retail and office space. A city study in 2011 detailed the airport generated more than 1,400 jobs and $471m in economic benefit to the area. Those numbers are almost certainly higher now, generating skilled jobs, support for emergency services and law enforcement. The current city council has voted to try and close SMO in 2029. Santa Monica voters will have a chance this November to vote on the capability of the current city council in light of their handling of city budget, COVID-19 response and stance on SMO.
Santa Monica, Ocean Park resident.