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Progressive Socialists Targeting Santa Monica Airport Tower?

It is no secret that the People’s Republic of Santa Monica, the greatest gathering of liberal fanatics outside of San Francisco have tried to shut down Santa Monica airport for years. Cutting back on runway length and subverting the aircraft-only related business use on airport property. Folks, I grew up in one of the first homes built overlooking the airport – on Clover Avenue adjacent to the flight path of then Clover Field. I am an airport rat, washing planes in return for short hops around the field. Over the years, political activists and property developers have tried to shut down the airport and develop the property left absent by the famous Douglas Aircraft plant who found the political climate so onerous (as did many other industrial concerns) that they simply left the city to the Main Street antique and yoghurt shop cadre of socialists.

So, I renew my concern after reading the Los Angeles Times report of politically motivated tower closings …

Federal cuts will close 7 Southland air-traffic control towers -- They include those in Lancaster, Fullerton, Riverside and San Diego. Critics say the closings are politically motivated and will have a big impact on public safety.

Seven air-traffic control towers in Southern California will close next month as a result of forced federal budget cuts, the Federal Aviation Administration announced Friday. The FAA had considered closing as many as 189 towers at smaller airports across the nation, including 14 in Southern California. The agency must cut $637 million from its budget by Sept. 30 as part of $85 billion in so-called sequestration cuts across the federal government.

Southern California will lose towers in Fullerton, Oxnard, Riverside, San Diego, Victorville, Pacoima and Lancaster. Four more will close in Central and Northern California. All of the towers that will shut down April 7 are certified by the FAA but operated by contractors. Overall, contractors run nearly half of the nation's towers, handling about 30% of the air traffic. Only three towers have been closed during the 31 years the program has existed, according to the U.S. Contract Tower Assn.

Critics have questioned whether the closures were necessary or part of a tactical gambit to gain leverage in Washington's ongoing budget battles. The contract tower association's executive director, Spencer Dickerson, said in a statement that "aviation safety shouldn't be politicized."

Many smaller airports operate without control towers, with pilots using radio communications to coordinate movements in the air and on the ground. Still, local officials responsible for airport operations in Southern California's busy airspace said the FAA's decision is worrisome. Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael Antonovich chided the government for a "politically motivated decision." Shutting down towers would have little impact on spending levels, he said, but a big impact on public safety.

Airports in Lancaster and Pacoima each have more than 150,000 noncommercial takeoffs and landings each year, according to Bob Spencer, a spokesman for the L.A. County Department of Public Works. Multiple news agencies keep their helicopters at the Pacoima airfield, and Lancaster is home to the U.S. Forest Service's firefighting air tankers. "We're certainly losing a level of safety," Spencer said. "Pilots are trained, they know what to do, but it doesn't take away from the fact that taking away the control towers means you're losing one set of eyes."

After the FAA warned of the tower closings earlier this month, many airports appealed. Two Southern California contract towers were spared from this round of cuts: Hawthorne Municipal Airport and a Palmdale facility that serves as a regional airport and an Air Force construction plant.

The FAA rejected an appeal from Oxnard Airport, said Todd McNamee, director of airports for Ventura County.

"I think there was an opportunity for the FAA to look at alternatives to funding cuts" for airport towers, McNamee said. "But it's out of my hands."

The FAA is considering closing an additional 43 towers staffed by its employees, including air traffic control operations in Camarillo, El Monte, La Verne and Santa Monica. Source: Federal cuts will close 7 Southland air-traffic control towers -

Bottom line …

If for no other reason, closing the local and regional airports in Santa Monica, Camarillo and Oxnard (and elsewhere) represent a clear and present danger to the safety and security of all of the residents in these areas who might by cut-off from traditional over-the-road assistance in the case of a massive natural disaster – and in California, this means earthquakes. These are areas which can accommodate a large number of rescue vehicles and personnel. Not to mention clear-space tent cities if that should be required.

Consider Santa Monica Airport. A strong quake may shut down traffic on the I-405, I-10 and Pacific Coast Highway impacting emergency egress to the North, South, East and West at the same time restricting the flow of emergency vehicles into the area. These are areas that, once converted to high-density development, can never be reclaimed and will only add to future adverse conditions in an emergency.

It is time we stop playing politics with our future lifelines. It is time we removed the corrupt politicians from local, state and federal offices. It is time we recognize the benefit of civil aviation in the progress of our nation. And, if we are looking for money, I suggest that a trillion dollar high-speed rail (which will never be high-speed) political boondoggle be scrapped and the money used for repairing and replacing our crumbing infrastructure – with a portion used to support civil aviation and small airports.

-- steve

“Nullius in verba.”-- take nobody's word for it!

“Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.”-- George Bernard Shaw

“Progressive, liberal, Socialist, Marxist, Democratic Socialist -- they are all COMMUNISTS.”

“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS

"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius

“A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell

“Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt." (The people gladly believe what they wish to.) ~Julius Caesar

“Describing the problem is quite different from knowing the solution. Except in politics." ~ OCS