I am heavily involved with aviation in the Phoenix area and am a columnist for Plane and Pilot News. My wife and I have enjoyed visiting your fine city for years. We always stay at the Marriott and enjoy eating at your fine restaurants and shopping at one of the greatest outdoor malls in the country.
With all the negativity surrounding the Santa Monica Airport we have decided to cancel our trip this year. I am also informing my readers not to visit Santa Monica for their vacation. The latest tirade by [Santa Monica Airport] Commissioner [Ofer] Grossman, that anyone arriving after 10 p.m. should be met by the police and arrested, is inexcusable ("Airport noise complaints get a boost," page 1, April 27). As past chairman of two aviation commissions, I served at the bequest of the City Council in making the airport better for the city and its users, along with being a good neighbor to the surrounding neighborhoods.
The actions of the L.A. City Council, which has nothing to do with Santa Monica, and the negativity of the citizens of Santa Monica will cause businesses to suffer in the area. Trying to force flight schools out of business is against the FAA grant assurances that SMO has taken. I by myself spend $2,000 on a hotel room, $1,500 for food and numerous dollars shopping the mall and local shops. The loss of one family might not affect your economy, but the loss of several families will.
If you have a successful chamber of commerce, they should organize the businesses in the community to let the City Council know to stop these negative practices before any more damage is done. Fewer tourists means less tax revenue which means less benefits or higher taxes to residents. Until then Santa Monica is a "do not visit place" in my life and in my column.