How many planes land at Santa Monica Airport each day?

Santa Monica Airport Freeway Traffic
Santa Monica Airport is the talk of the town these days. Many Santa Monica locals have been conjecturing on how many planes that land on a daily basis. We want to share with you what this means for the residents of Santa Monica.

How many planes land at Santa Monica Airport each day?

We have been asked by several locals to expand on the number of operations (landings & takeoffs) each day at Santa Monica Airport. We did some research and found that there were an average of 236 airplanes per day that took off or landed at Santa Monica Airport in November of 2013.

How does Santa Monica Airport traffic compare with LAX or Van Nuys?

LAX airport handles about 2,500 flights per day in October 2013 (an average of 1,000 cargo and 1,546 passenger flights per day). Van Nuys Airport handles on average 777 flights per day in October 2013.

How does Santa Monica Airport traffic compare with local Freeway traffic?

While an airplane cannot directly be compared to a car or truck, we wanted to shed some light on the actual number of landings and takeoffs at Santa Monica Airport.

To put this in perspective, on average 35,000 cars, trucks and buses use Bundy Drive and 20,000 cars use Ocean Park every day. Yes, that’s each day.

What’s next?

In future blog posts we will shed some light on local pollution as it relates to Santa Monica Airport. Let us know what questions you have in the comments section below so we can address them as we write the blog post.

How can I learn more?
Santa Monica Airport Website
Federal Interstate Traffic
State of California Traffic Volume
City of Los Angeles Traffic Volume

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    Such a small number of flights could easily be absorbed by other airports when SMO closes.

    • Kuangwei Hwang

      Like what other airports Mr. CRAAP? You seriously consider Santa Monica resident and pilots like me, to drive over the brutal 405 traffic every time we want to use our airplanes for business and medical trips? Not all of us just fly for fun on weekends (not there is anything wrong with that, but traffic is better), there are those of us who have to fly during business hours during rush hours when car traffic is the worst.

    • MightyViking

      General Aviation won’t be using LAX or Burbank. Van Nuys is basically at the limit and Camarillo is way to far to serve the South Bay. What LA needs to do is buy back those homes at the end of the runway. Those homes should never have been built anyway and if you bought one. Well, as Super Chicken was famous for saying “You knew the job was dangerous when you took it, Fred”…..Those home owners should know better. That land should have been industrial or a golf course.

    • Red Lancair

      Let’s move those people out of those houses around the airport–they can easily be absorbed in the L A area.

    • Scritti Politti

      Yeah, and when the NIMBY land speculators around other area airports say the same thing… WHOOPS.

      Nice “logic,” hypocrite.

  • Pablo Robles

    There has been a full FAA analysis for what would happen if SM airport was closed. The airport was designated by the FAA as vital to the safety of air traffic throughout the region.The analogy to cars on the road is totally bogus (I didn’t want to call it ignorant but it is)

  • MightyViking

    Since there is so little traffic…..These people shouldn’t complain. What a bunch of pansies.

  • Paul Ryan

    I’m a pilot who does not fly any more, so I have no personal
    stake in the game. My thoughts are more about how the presence of general
    aviation in Santa Monica and the west side of LA in general, adds a sense of
    expansiveness the area.

    The world from five thousand feet is different than from
    35,000 feet. Abstract aerial patterns
    transform into revealing textures of life when viewed from a small plane. The relationship of aircraft, the pilot’s mind,
    and the land and people below is interconnected.

    A concern I have is that the Santa Monica City Council is and always has stonewalled every effort to
    improve safety measures at the airport. They have refused FAA money to create safer
    runway overruns, refused to utilize to technological resources as educational
    and vocational tools for our youth. (It was up to Justice Aviation to establish
    an aviation scholarship for Santa Monica High School youth.) Many cities over
    the country embrace airports in their communities. Airports offer an expansive experiential
    view of the world, something of value, frankly much more than a park. The technical educational possibilities
    utilizing the airport and its facilities for Santa Monica High School, Santa
    Monica College and other nearby schools are myriad.

    Few city council members seem to have a view of positive airport possibilities. It’s just, “Close The Airport”.

    In it’s ongoing strangulation efforts to close SMO, the city council has made no attempt
    to operate the airport as an efficient and profitable entity, which it could be.

    I gather that some feel that Santa Monica is not the place for an airport. I
    think that with the improved safety measures and soon to come lead free fuel
    the airport could easily integrate with the community. No other General Aviation airport is within 45
    minutes drive from Santa Monica. If we keep forcing airports further and
    further from centers of population, we are strangling the potential interest in
    aviation in our youth. California particularly has always thrived on a band of
    innovators in aviation. This usually is born and nurtured in the young.

    I hope we can keep this alive.

    Paul Ryan

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