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Municipal Code

Following are excerpted from Santa Monica Municipal Code

If you have any questions or concerns regarding these regulations, please contact the Noise Management Office at
(310) 458-8692, Monday through Thursday 7:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. and alternate Fridays 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

The Santa Monica Municipal Code, often referred to as SMMC or the
"Noise Code", has governed the operation of aircraft at the Santa Monica Airport since the airport's inception.

Pilots utilizing the Santa Monica Airport routinely or for the first time should become familiar with Subchapter
10.04.04 "Aircraft Noise Abatement Code" as this subchapter includes specific municipal code governing all aircraft operations and is used as a guideline for enforcement purposes. Subsections include:

DISCLAIMER
Compliance with Santa Monica Municipal Code is mandatory unless deviations are made necessary by ATC instructions, a medical or in-flight emergency, or other safety considerations.

Subchapter 10.04.04 "Noise Code"  

Name, Purpose and Scope - Section 10.04.04.010

This Subchapter of the Airport Code may be called the "Aircraft Noise Abatement Code" or "Noise Code." It is generally intended to encourage all pilots using the Airport to fly their aircraft as quietly as possible consistent with aviation safety. It is also intended to set maximum limits on permissible aircraft noise and to regulate night and repetitive operations as well as helicopter operations. The Noise Code governs all take-offs, landings, and other operations at the Airport. (Prior code § 10050; added by Ordinance No. 1326CCS, adopted 1/22/85)

Authority for Regulations - Section 10.04.04.020

The Noise Code is enacted under the power of the City, as proprietor of the Airport, to make reasonable regulations intended to protect persons exposed to aircraft noise from noise pollution, in accordance with the judgment in Santa Monica Airport Association v. City of Santa Monica, 479 F. Supp. 927 (C.D. Cal. 1979), aff'd 659 F. 2d 100 (9th Cir. 1981). The Noise Code is also enacted in furtherance of the Agreement executed January 31, 1984, between the City and the Federal Aviation Administration ("the Airport Agreement" or "the '84 Agreement") and the Noise Mitigation Program of the City's Airport Plan, both adopted by Resolution Number 6814(CCS). (Prior code § 10051; added by Ordinance. No. 1326CCS, adopted 1/22/85).

Basic Principles - Section 10.04.04.030

The Noise Code shall be interpreted and enforced to achieve abatement of aircraft noise to the extent technologically practicable and consonant with air safety and to promote cooperation, communication, and compliance with law. The following basic rules shall apply to the Noise Code:

(a) The Airport Director shall cooperate with pilots and other airport users and with the Federal Government in order to promote voluntary compliance with the provisions and purposes of the Noise Code and shall assist, counsel, and educate regarding ways to improve the noise performance of all aircraft using the Airport.
(b) No person shall operate an aircraft at the Airport in violation of any provision of the Noise Code or in violation of any applicable Federal or State law or regulation or order of the Airport Director. The term "at the Airport" includes operations while an aircraft is on the ground, as well as landing at, taking off from, or other operations at or from the Airport.
(c) All privileges, licenses, permits, and contractual rights permitting a person or aircraft to use or be based at the Airport are conditioned on adherence to the Noise Code and other applicable laws, and may be revoked for multiple violations after a hearing pursuant to the procedures of this Chapter. This remedy shall be supplementary to the rights of the City under contract.
(d) The Airport Director shall inform all persons using the Airport of applicable noise abatement regulations and recognized safe noise abatement operating procedures for each type of aircraft, shall counsel pilots on compliance with regulations, and shall record violations and take appropriate action in accordance with Section 10.04.04.040. (Prior code § 10052; added by Ordinance. No. 1326CCS, adopted 1/22/85)

Enforcement and Appeal - Section 10.04.04.040

The Airport Director shall issue orders imposing civil and administrative remedies for violations of the Noise Code. Such remedies shall include, but are not limited to, civil penalties and suspension or revocation of Airport privileges or permits. The following standards and procedures shall apply:

(a) All violations of the Noise Code shall be remediable by order of the Airport Director. Sanctions for willful or repeat violations may be imposed upon all parties responsible for aircraft including each pilot, aircraft owner and operator. For purposes of this subchapter, the term "owner" includes the registered owner of an aircraft and any person or entity possessing any ownership interest in an aircraft. The term "operator" includes any person or entity operating, managing or controlling an aircraft.
(b) Sanctions shall be progressive. The initial civil penalty for a repeat or willful violation shall be two thousand dollars ($2,000). The penalty for a violation following the initial civil penalty shall be five thousand dollars ($5,000), and the penalty for a violation following the second civil penalty shall be ten thousand dollars ($10,000). After imposition of the maximum fine, subsequent violations shall, after a hearing, result in a suspension of Airport privileges for six months and following that, revocation of privileges or permits. The Airport Director shall notify the Federal Aviation Administration prior to ordering the suspension or revocation of Airport privileges or permits under this subsection. If particular circumstances show that progressive monetary sanctions will be ineffective to achieve compliance, suspension or revocation may be ordered after a hearing prior to imposing the maximum monetary penalty.
(c) The Airport Director may also require the abatement of violations and compliance with conditions related to abatement of further violations.
(d) The Airport Director shall consider all relevant factors in each case, including the willfulness, severity and frequency of violations, and the existence and use of safe noise abatement operating procedures appropriate to the aircraft. With respect to repeated operations of an aircraft in violation of the noise limit of Section 10.04.04.060, the Airport Director, may, after investigation to assure that a violation was not caused by extraneous factors such as loss of power, the need to avoid other aircraft, or unusual weather conditions, impose sanctions under this Section.
(e) Any person aggrieved by an order of the Airport Director may appeal to the City' s Hearing Examiner pursuant to the time limits and procedures of Chapter 6.16 of this Code. The decision of the Hearing Examiner shall be final except for judicial review and shall not be appealable to the City Council.
(f) A willful violation of an order of the Airport Director shall be a misdemeanor punishable under Section 1.08.010 of this Code.
(g) A person who fails to pay a civil penalty within thirty days after the issuance of an order to do so shall pay a separate charge of ten percent of the unpaid amount of the civil penalty. The Airport Director may also exclude such person from the Airport until such time as the penalty and any late payment charge are paid. Such an order shall be final and shall not be appealable to the Hearing Examiner.
(h) The remedies as set forth in this Section are supplementary to any legal or equitable remedies available to the City in its governmental and proprietary capacities, including but not limited to the right to abate nuisances and hazards. (Prior code § 10053; added by Ordinance No. 1326CCS, adopted 1/22/85; amended by Ordinance No. 2025CCS § 1, adopted 11/13/01)

Aircraft Exclusions - Section 10.04.04.050

If a particular aircraft is operated in excess of noise limits, that aircraft may be excluded from the Airport by order of the Airport Director in accordance with the following standards: (a) The Airport Director shall maintain a
list of aircraft types that are estimated to be unable to meet the maximum noise limit of Section 10.04.04.060 under any conditions and operating procedures. This list shall be based on actual measurement of aircraft operations. If there are insufficient measured flights of a particular type, the Airport Director shall act upon the best available information, including Federal Aviation Administration estimates. These "Listed Aircraft" may, after one violation of the maximum noise limit, be excluded from the Airport.
(b) An aircraft other than a
Listed Aircraft may be excluded from the Airport after repeated violations of noise limits if the Airport Director determines that the "Permitted Aircraft" is likely to violate noise limits even if flown according to recommended safe operating procedures under normal weather conditions. (Prior code § 10054; added by Ordinance No. 1326CCS, adopted 1/22/85; amended by Ordinance No. 2025CCS § 2, adopted 11/13/02)

Registration Requirements - Section 10.04.04.055

After landing, each pilot or his or her representative must comply with all registration requirements prescribed by the Airport Director by regulation including completing a registration form and acknowledging receipt of a summary of Airport regulations.

Maximum Noise Limit - Section 10.04.04.060

No aircraft shall exceed a Single Event Noise Exposure Level (SENEL) or ninety-five (95) decibels as measured at the Airport Noise Measuring Stations existing on January 1, 1985. If additional stations are established, the maximum SENEL shall be set for each measuring point at an equivalent level. (Prior code § 10055; added by Ordinance No. 1326CCS, adopted 1/22/85)

Performance Based Noise Limit - Section 10.04.04.070

(a) By regulation adopted in accordance with Section 10.04.02.030(d), the Airport Director shall provide for a Performance Based Noise Limit by aircraft type. No aircraft shall exceed the SENEL limit established by the Airport Director as the lowest SENEL limit that can be met by the type of aircraft concerned consistent with safe operating procedures.
(b) The Performance Based Noise Limit shall be for a two (2) year experimental period commencing on the date of its adoption and shall be developed in consultation with the Federal Aviation Administration in accordance with the Airport Agreement.
(c) Performance Based Noise Limits shall be based on actual measurement of aircraft operations. If there are insufficient measured flights of a particular type, the Airport Director shall set a limit based on the best available information.
(d) Pending completion of this experimental program, no pilot who violates the Performance Based Noise Limit but does not violate the maximum noise limit of ninety-five (95) dB may be fined or excluded from the Airport. (Prior code § 10056; added by Ord. No. 1326CCS, adopted 1/22/85)

Hours of Operation - Section 10.04.04.080

The Airport shall be open for public use at all reasonable hours of the day and night, subject to the following restrictions:

(a) The Airport Director may close the Airport because of conditions of the landing area, necessary maintenance, the presentation of special events, and similar causes.
(b) No aircraft shall be started, run-up, or depart the Airport between the hours of 11:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. Mondays through Fridays nor between 11:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m. Saturdays and Sundays, except in case of bona fide medical or public safety emergency, with the consent of the Airport Director or, in his or her absence, the Watch Commander of the Police Department. (Prior code § 10057; added by Ord. No. 1326CCS, adopted 1/22/85)

Restrictions on Aircraft Operations Section 10.04.04.090

The following regulations apply to operations at the Airport:

(a) Touch and Go and Stop and Go operations are prohibited on Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays, and during weekdays between one-half (1/2) hour after sunset and 7:00 a.m. of the following morning. This restriction shall not apply in emergencies, where necessitated by safety considerations, or when required by the Federal Aviation Administration.
(b) Touch and Go operations shall be permitted only after the pilot of the aircraft has received permission from the air traffic controller in the control tower and in no event shall be made unless the aircraft has initiated takeoff prior to reaching the touch and go limit lines painted on the runway.
(c) Simulated forced landings shall not be permitted until the aircraft reaches pattern altitude and in no event shall be made opposite to the direction of take-off.
(d) For purposes of this Section, holiday shall mean New Year's Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day, provided, however, that if any such holiday falls on Saturday or Sunday, and as a result such holiday is observed on the preceding Friday or succeeding Monday, then such Friday or Monday, as the case may be, shall be considered to be a holiday under this Section. (Prior code § 10058; added by Ord. No. 1326CCS, adopted 1/22/85)

Helicopter Operations Section 10.04.04.100

The following provisions apply to the use of helicopters at the airport:

(a) Until the completion of the study of helicopter noise authorized by the Airport Agreement, no person shall be granted a permit or lease to use the Airport as a base for any operation involving the substantial use of helicopters.
(b) Helicopter flight training operations at the Airport are prohibited at all times. (Prior code § 10059; added by Ord. No. 1326CCS, adopted 1/22/85)

 

Last updated: 2/25/2010
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1685 Main St., Santa Monica, CA 90401 · (310) 458-8411 · TTY (310) 917-6626