The Santa Monica municipal airport must halt its eviction of two aviation tenants, the Federal Aviation Administration said Tuesday in a cease-and-desist order.
The airport wanted to replace the tenants, Atlantic Aviation and American Flyers, with its own company that would sell bio-fuel and unleaded gas — not leaded fuel — to reduce aircraft emissions.
But the city’s effort to boot out the companies is a “clear contravention of law,” according to the FAA order, as many aircrafts and business jets can only operate using leaded fuels, the Los Angeles Times reported.
A Federal agreement requires the airport to remain available for public use and benefit, and that means it cannot discriminate against aircraft types.
Santa Monica has 30 days to respond to the cease-and-desist order. Meanwhile, the FAA is conducting an investigation into whether the city’s eviction strategy violates its federal obligations. [LAT] — Cathaleen Chen