Santa Monica Airport will close forever in 2028

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The city of Santa Monica and the federal government said they reached a deal on Saturday to close Santa Monica's airport, ending a lengthy battle over the site.

Under the agreement, the city can close the airport after 2028, Santa Monica officials said in a statement. In the meantime, the city can shorten the airport's single runway to 3,500 feet from its current length of nearly 5,000 feet.

Santa Monica has long sought to shut the airport located amid residential neighborhoods in a seaside city of more than 90,000 people. Residents have raised concerns about noise, air pollution and the risk of planes crashing into neighborhoods.

Santa Monica City Manager Rick Cole called the deal a historic compromise.

"The fact that the United States government and the city of Santa Monica, who have been at odds for so long and so intensely battling this through the courts — the fact that we found common ground and are going to move forward, I think it does show that government can work," Cole said.

The city plans to turn the 227-acre site into a large park, spokeswoman Constance Farrell said.

"There isn't a space on the Westside of Los Angeles that really qualifies as the kind of park a community as populous as ours should have," Cole said. "The size of the airport property really means that we can create a landmark park that will be on the order of some of the world's great parks."

The Federal Aviation Administration, which regulates the airport, previously fought Santa Monica's efforts to ban fast-landing jets over safety concerns.

"This is a fair resolution for all concerned because it strikes an appropriate balance between the public's interest in making local decisions about land use practices and its interests in safe and efficient aviation services," FAA Administrator Michael Huerta said in a statement.

This story will be updated.

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