Santa Monica runway shortening a Swiss conspiracy?

The only thing Californians love more than expressing hatred for Donald Trump is fighting with each other. Right now opposing groups are battling it out in court over the City of Santa Monica’s plan to trash their federally-funded airport by shortening the runway from 5,000 to 3,500 feet (AOPA covered a brief victory for the pro-transportation folks, subsequently reversed).

Maybe it is time to ask cui bono? The standard business jet needs about 5,000′ of runway for operation with airline safety margins (e.g., land within 60 percent of the available runway). There are airports with runways this long pretty much all over the U.S.

The Swiss elves at Pilatus are about to certify their PC-24, an unusual jet whose textbook landing at max weight consumes 2,525′ of runway. So with Harvey Weinstein and a couple of young women in the back, the newly chopped 3,500′ runway would be comfortable for non-heroic pilots and likely legal for charter operations.

Who says that California politics don’t create jobs? Certainly there will be plenty of happy workers in Switzerland!

3 thoughts on “Santa Monica runway shortening a Swiss conspiracy?

  1. All the cool kids will skip the PC24 and just step up to a Falcon 7x, which can do a 3000nm mission with 8 passengers from 3505ft of runway. Global 5000 needs 3599ft, and Gulfstream 5/6 3591ft. Ironic if all the NIMBYs in Santa Monica shortened their runway only to attract bigger jets.


  2. Our local geniuses just built a new 10,000 ft one-runway airport to replace a 6400 ft two-runway one because “safety”. (6400 ft is same as Chicago-Midway and 1000 ft longer than Orange County-John Wayne.) Developers gobbled up the old one and the new one is in the middle of another developer’s 50-year project so all is well.

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