Santa Monica Airport officials announced this week that flight schools have agreed not to use Santa Monica Airport for repeated takeoffs and landings while pattern flying during the night in response to repeated complaints of nearby residents.

Under the voluntary restrictions, the student pilots will be allowed to fly during those hours, but can only take off once and fly elsewhere, instead of engaging in repeated takeoffs and landings in the pattern. They will be allowed to land upon return.

“The City of Santa Monica appreciates the effort that the flight schools are taking to reduce their overall impact on the community and enhance the Airport’s fly neighborly program,” said Martin Pastucha, the City’s director of Public Works.

The new restrictions will be in effect after 8 p.m., November to March (Pacific Standard Time), Monday through Saturday, and 9 p.m. March to November (Pacific Daylight Time). The flight schools also agreed to not fly repeated takeoffs and landings after 8 p.m. during Sundays throughout the year.
“This voluntary pattern flying restriction will result in a net reduction of 15 hours per week during Daylight Saving Time and 21 hours per week during Standard Time where they could legally engage in repeated takeoffs and landings while pattern flying,” An airport official said.

The Airport currently has a night departure curfew that bars takeoffs and engine starts between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. Monday through Friday, and until 8 a.m. on weekends and holidays. Bona fide medical or public safety emergencies are exempt.

Although arrivals are permitted 24 hours per day, the airport has a voluntary night arrival curfew during those hours.

“Federal Air Regulations require pilots to be proficient in conducting takeoffs and landings during nighttime hours,” the official said. “”These voluntary restrictions will allow sufficient hours for training at Santa Monica Airport to meet the demands of night currency required by the Federal Aviation Regulations and at the same time reduce the amount repeated takeoffs and landings at hours that are more likely to disturb our neighbors,” the official said.

For additional information regarding the Airport’s noise abatement program, please visit the Santa Monica Airport web page at: http://www.smgov.net/departments/airport/.

At presstime, we had not received word from nearby residents about the program.

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