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The effort to transform Santa Monica Airport into park space took another step forward yesterday, according to an announcement from the group Airport2Park.

The Santa Monica City Council has approved a staff recommendation to shorten the airport's runway from 5,000 feet to 3,500 feet, citing overwhelming public support.  The planned alteration has been declared "categorically exempt" from CEQA, and could be completed before the end of 2017.

Shortly afterwards, the Council passed a motion which instructs City staff to report on options for the "removal and repurposing of all the runway surface area in excess of the 3500 feet required by the new layout."

Although the official report is not expected back for several months, an analysis from Aiprort2Park found that the reduction of the runway could free up more than 50 acres of land for green space along Bundy Drive and 23rd Street.  However, the future use of the land has not been determined.

Planning is already underway for an expansion of the existing Airport Park on Bundy Drive, following the closure of 12 acres of airport property last March.

Area to be removed from airport use after runway shortening. Image via Airport2Park.
Additional airport property that could be repurposed as park space. Image via Airport2Park.

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