Santa Monica Files Lawsuit to Evict KSMO FBOs

The city continues on its push to close the historic airport.

SMO Atlantic Aviation
Atlantic Aviation is one of two major FBOs at Santa Monica Airport that had lawsuits filed against them by the city.Atlantic Aviation

The city of Santa Monica last week filed unlawful detainer lawsuits against American Flyers and Atlantic Aviation, the two major FBOs at the Santa Monica Airport. The FBOs received 30-day eviction notices in September but have continued their business operations. The city's lawsuits were filed one day after Los Angeles Superior Court Judge James Chalfant denied temporary restraining order requests from the FBOs to prevent the unlawful detainers, according to the Santa Monica Lookout.

The city intends to take over the FBO services at KSMO, but has made it clear that services will be offered at a minimum and that fuel offered will be limited to biofuels and unleaded gasoline.

Today also marks the last day for the iconic Typhoon restaurant, which is located adjacent to the Runway 21/3 and is set to shutter its doors at the end of the night. The closure came as a result of the city nearly tripling the restaurant’s lease rates, according to a notice on the Typhoon’s website.

But however much the city continues to hassle the airport tenants and create a near impossible business environment in its efforts to close down the historic airport, the efforts appear futile. Santa Monica is obligated to continue operating KSMO in perpetuity according to an “Instrument of Transfer” dating back to 1948.

Despite the city’s obligations, it has been fighting to close the airport for decades, spending millions of dollars in taxpayers' money. A trial date regarding the IOT is set for August of next year. It is expected to be just one more in a long succession of court battles.