Is Santa Monica Airport Becoming Obsolete? (Video Interview)
We caught up with Bill Dunn from the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) and we asked him some very specific questions about Santa Monica Airport.
Are airports becoming obsolete these days? No, I don't think airports are becoming obsolete by any stretch of the imagination. Developers and local governments are looking for tax revenue and airports are usually the last flat developable piece of real estate in the geographic area. They are open space.
Are airports less safe? Airports are much more safe than they were 10-20 years ago. Technology has taken hold to make approaches and navigation aids much safer than in the past. It's safer to fly an airplane than it is to get in your car and drive to the grocery store.
What is the value to the community for keeping Santa Monica Airport open? Airports are a three-dimensional mode of transportation, much like a buss service, taxi cab service or delivery service. Think of the sky like a highway, the airport is like an onramp or offramp that lets you access it.
Give us some examples of who uses airports.
- Emergency evacuation services use the airports. Think back to the Loma Prieta earthquake in 1989. The city of Wattsonville totally cut off from the road traffic. You couldn't get to the city. The only way to get supplies to the city was through avaition and through general avaition aircraft. Local pilots in the Bay Area conducted a huge airlift of emergency supplies and medical supplies. The control tower said all they saw was a continious stream of lights for all the aircraft bringing in supplies.
- Angel Flight, state police and medivac use airports like Santa Monica with their helicopters and aircraft.
- Parents and kids use Santa Monica Airport's soccer field for practice and games.
- Dog owners use the dog park to walk their pets.
- Kids and parents use the Typhoon observation deck to watch planes land and take off.
What questions do you have about airports? Let us know in the comment section below and we'll do our best to have someone answer them.