The Airport recognizes that pilots truly are the key to a successful noise management program and greatly appreciates your continued cooperation. Santa Monica Airport's Fly Neighborly Program focuses on pilot education and cooperation. However, repeat violators of the noise limit may be fined or suspended from using the Airport.   Click here for the 2013 SMO Helicopter Pilots' Guide.

Noise Management Operational Procedures Enforced by Ordinance
The following procedures and limitations are enforced per the City’s Aircraft Noise Ordinance.  Violations may result in the imposition of fines and/or exclusion from Santa Monica Airport. 


Letter of Agreement

Maximum Noise Level - As a result of an agreement between the City of Santa Monica and the FAA, an Airport Ordinance was established setting a maximum noise level of 95.0 dBA Single Event Noise Exposure Level (SENEL) measured at noise monitor sites 1,500 feet from each end of the runway. Santa Monica Airport's Fly Neighborly Program focuses on pilot education and cooperation. However, repeat violators of the noise limit may be fined or suspended from using the Airport. Pilots are encouraged to contact the Noise Management Office for additional details.     

Compliance with the Airport Ordinance is mandatory unless deviations are made necessary by weather, ATC instructions or clearances, an in-flight emergency or other safety considerations.   

Night Departure Curfew - No takeoffs or engine startups (including APU) are permitted between 2300 hours local time and 0700 hours Monday through Friday, or until 0800 hours on weekends. Exceptions are allowed for bona fide medical or public safety emergencies if prior approval has been obtained from the Santa Monica Police Watch Commander (310) 458-8426 or the Airport Director (310) 458-8591. Curfew violators are subject to fines and misdemeanor criminal prosecution.   

Download: Lifeflight Exception Form   

Flight Training - Helicopter flight training operations are prohibited at all times.

Formation Flying - Formation takeoffs and landings are prohibited.

Commercial Operations -  Commercial operations using the City's Helipad is strictly prohibited.

Recommended Noise Management Operational Procedures
In addition, the following recommended procedures and limitations have been incorporated into the Airport’s Fly Neighborly Program and included in the program’s outreach materials:

Voluntary Night Arrival Curfew - Although arrivals are permitted 24 hours a day, pilots are requested to avoid all operations between 11pm and 7am Monday through Friday, or until 8am on weekends.  

Visual Flight Rules (VFR) Departure Flight Paths - Helicopters departing to the west are requested to depart via the Runway (over the Runway, not the Taxiway) and execute a left turn at the end of the Runway to over-fly the Penmar Golf Course. Helicopters departing the area are requested to turn at the shoreline.  Departures to the east are requested to initiate turns at or after reaching the 405 Freeway.  

Visual Flight Rules (VFR) Arrival Flight Paths - Arrivals can expect to enter mid-field at or above 900 feet MSL and execute a 270 degree descending turn to the runway. Descent from 900 feet MSL should be made over the Airport or business park.  All helicopters will remain over the business park north of the runway  and avoid the flow of other arriving fixed-wing aircraft unless cleared land.

Formation Flying - Formation flying within the Class D Airspace is highly discouraged unless necessary for an emergency. 

Special RequestThe Airport's Helipad (designed only for one helicopter at a time) is located midfield at the south side of the runway and has a 2 hour parking limit.  Additional parking can be found at Atlantic Aviation located on the north side of the runway.