A federal judge dismissed in its entirety a case challenging the consent decree and settlement agreement between the city of Santa Monica and the Federal Aviation Administration, it was announced Wednesday.
The lawsuit, filed in Los Angeles federal court, sought an order declaring that the city cannot close the Santa Monica Airport after 2028 and requiring that the city must immediately “reverse all construction” performed to the airport’s shortened runway.
In October, plaintiff Barry Rosen filed an action seeking to invalidate the consent decree and to obtain a temporary restraining order to stop the city from shortening the airport runway. Three days later, the court denied Rosen’s injunction request on multiple grounds.
The city proceeded to shorten the runway from 5,000 feet to 3,500 feet and completed the project in December. Rosen continued his challenge by filing three amended versions of his lawsuit between November and last March. The following month, the city filed a motion to dismiss Rosen’s third amended complaint.
Last Thursday, U.S. District Judge Judge Philip S. Gutierrez dismissed Rosen’s challenge to the consent decree and denied further opportunity to amend the complaint. Ruling on procedural grounds, the judge determined that Rosen does not have the necessary standing to assert his claims.
Gutierrez’s ruling further confirms the validity of the consent decree, as have prior rulings from federal appellate and district courts, according to Santa Monica Mayor Pro Tem Gleam Davis.
“This ruling, as with several similar rulings from other courts in the past eight months, the U.S. District Court reaffirms the validity of the historic agreement between the city of Santa Monica and the FAA as a consent decree,” Davis said. “Despite frivolous legal challenges over the past year, the city kept on course to improve the lives of residents by shortening the runway and reducing large jets flying over our neighborhoods by over 80 percent.”
The agreement with the FAA follows decades of work by the Santa Monica community to mitigate impacts of airport operations on local communities. Davis said the city’s runway shortening project brought immediate relief to residents registering over 80 percent reduction in jet traffic.