On October 4, 2011 HR&A presented our analysis of the curernt operation of Santa Monica Airport to the Santa Monica City Council. The results showed that the airport, and business and non-profit operations on “residual land” adjacent to the airport runway, generate about $275 million of total economic activity in the City’s economy and support about 1,475 total jobs. The analysis was commissioned by the city to assist in plannnig for the future of the 227-acre area in advance of 2015, when all existing leases expire.
Santa Monica Airport has played an important role in the city’s development and in the history of U.S. aviation since it was established in 1926. The airport was formerly the site of a major Douglas Aircraft manfacturing plant that was crucial to supporting military aircraft production during WW II and the Korean War. Today, it is one of the busiest general avaiation airports in Los Angeles County, but is surrouded by Santa Monica and City of Los Angeles neighborhoods. Despite precedent-setting noise control sytems and other local measures to render the airport more compatible with its neigbors, the operation of the airport remains controversial. HR&A’s baseline economic analysis will assist the City in evaluating the potential benefits of future redevelopment alternatives in the next phases of planning.