By Jodi Summers
Have you ever had to go inside because of the noise from a plane around Santa Monica Airport? Now you can stalk the offending airplane and file complaints regarding plane noise & safety on the SMO Webtrak http://webtrak.bksv.com/smo.
WebTrak is a truly entertaining application that allows you to watch the movement of flights and air traffic patterns within the greater Los Angeles region. This flight tracking system includes specific information about flights from Santa Monica Municipal Airport (SMO) and Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), as well as information on air traffic transitioning through the Los Angeles region. Information shown includes the aircraft’s type, altitude, origin/destination airports, and flight identification.
* Blue aircraft icons represent departures from SMO
* Red aircraft icons represent arrivals to SMO
* Green aircraft icons represent departures from LAX
* Yellow aircraft icons represent arrivals to LAX
* Grey aircraft icons represent aircraft operating to or from another airport in the region, or that are transiting through the region and bypassing local airports.
* Airline, company designations and aircraft type information is encoded in 3 or 4 characters.
FILE COMPLAINTS ONLINE
WebTrak is where you may file online noise complaints. Click on the “Complaint” tab located in the upper left corner of WebTrak, then click the “Complaint Form” button. You do not have to identify a flight to register a complaint. The Complaint tab will allow you to research the flight track data to find an aircraft operation that may have caused the disturbance you wish to report. If you do find it, WebTrak allows you to submit a complaint for that specific operation and fills in the information automatically.
SMO has come a long way since the first successful around-the-world-flight took off in 1924 from what was then known as Clover Field.
Launch SMO WebTrak: http://webtrak.bksv.com/smo
For the FAA Aircraft Registry: http://www.faa.gov
List of aircraft company, airline, aircraft type, and airport origin/destination abbreviations, click here: http://www.faa.gov/air_traffic/publications/atpubs/CNT/3-3.HTM
The Santa Monica Airport (SMO) Internet Flight Tracking System uses Bruel & Kjaer’s WebTrak. All the details @ http://www.smgov.net/Departments/Airport/For_Our_Neighbors/WebTrak.aspx
edited by Jodi Summers
The City of Santa Monica, the Rand Corporation and Point C are beginning a study to discern the “best use” for the land at Santa Monica Airport both from an economic and social standpoint. Part of the study involves interviewing Santa Monica residents on their concerns and what they would like to see done with the airport property.
If you would like to participate in the study please send your email, phone and home address to:
Bob Trimborn at: email@example.com and
Michael Ferguson at: firstname.lastname@example.org
You will be contacted for your input.
By Jodi Summers
When you arrive @ LAX you know you’ve come to someplace interesting. Step outside, and palm trees sway pleasantly in the breeze and then there’s that spaceship like building in the middle. There aren’t a whole lot of other structures in the world that look like the LAX Theme Building. It’s an iconic structure.
Some say the LAX theme building – always a restaurant, now known as the Encounter – was inspired by the early ‘60s cartoon known as the Jetsons. Legend has it that the building, completed in 1961, was designed to look like a landing spaceship. The Jetsons cartoon – which came along in the 1962-63 television season – was said to be inspired by this building.
“When I first moved here, the LAX Theme Building personified all my East Coast biases about Los Angeles: ephemeral, not serious, and geared to the movies,” recalled architect Brenda Levin. It was cartoony, Jetsony. But I’ve grown to love it as a piece of iconic architecture.”
Meet George Jetson…
The distinctive white building, with 135-foot parabolic arches, is a quintessential example of the Mid-Century modern design school known as “Googie” or “Populuxe.” The LAX tower was designed by a team of architects and engineers headed by William Pereira and Charles Luckman, which also included Paul Williams and Welton Becket.
· The Theme Building was part of an overall $50-million “Los Angeles Jet Age Terminal Construction” project, which began in 1960.
· The theme building itself was completed in August 1961 at a cost of $2.2 million.
· It was the first structure in the U.S. to utilize supporting steel arches of this design.
· Approximately 900 tons of structural steel was required for the building.
· Fabricated sections include four upper arch sections, four lower sections, four horizontal legs, and tension and compression rings.
· The restaurant was remodeled by Disney’s Imagineering team.
· The observation deck was been closed since 9-11.
· Foreigners have been known to call our airport “lax” instead of L-A-X.
From: Zina Josephs – Friends of Sunset Park
Subject: WRITING CONGRESS RE THE FAA “TEST”
Those affected by the FAA “test” flight path may wish to use the sample letter below to write to Congressional representatives. You can edit, cut and paste, etc., to include pollution, quality of life, or the concern of your choice.
Please forward to as many people as possible, and remember to advise that the letters be sent by regular mail or by FAX for maximum impact.
Senator Barbara Boxer
312 N. Spring St. #1748
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Senator Dianne Feinstein
1111 Santa Monica Blvd. #915
Los Angeles, CA 90025
Rep. Henry Waxman
8436 W. 3rd St. #600
Los Angeles, CA 90048
(Write a separate letter to each Congressional representative.)
June 16, 2010
RE: FAA change of flight path at Santa Monica Airport
Dear (Insert name here: Senator Boxer, Senator Feinstein, or Congressman Waxman),
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has chosen to test a new flight path for certain aircraft leaving Santa Monica Airport (SMO).
The previous flight path took aircraft over a sea level golf course and a primarily commercial street leading to the ocean before allowing pilots to turn north/right.
The “new” departure flight path, the 250 vector, takes aircraft directly over two densely populated residential neighborhoods (the Sunset Park mesa and the hilly section of Ocean Park), a busy amusement park (Santa Monica Pier), places of worship, and schools.
As a resident of the impacted neighborhood, I am very concerned about the effect on my quality of life and my peaceful enjoyment of my home, if this tested flight path were to become permanent. The change in the tested flight path has introduced as many as 20 planes overhead per hour, in addition to the already large numbers of planes criss-crossing Santa Monica due to its proximity to LAX. These frequent
low-flying flights are incredibly noisy and arguably a violation of the 1984 agreement between the FAA and the City of Santa Monica.
In addition, I have significant concerns about the safety of our community. The frequency of planes crashing just after takeoff from General Aviation airports like SMO is well documented. The danger level is far greater at SMO because homes are within less than 300 feet of either end of the runway.
The new “test” departure route raises the danger level still higher, as it takes planes over John Adams Middle School, Will Rogers Elementary School, Olympic High School, John Muir Elementary School, Santa Monica Alternative School House, and Santa Monica High School.
We need your help in this fight with the FAA. Please contact the FAA Administrator J. Randolph Babbitt and request that he respect your desire to protect the quality of life and safety of residents in the affected areas by continuing to use the flight path mutually agreed to in the 1984 Agreement with the City of Santa Monica.
(Insert your name here)
(Insert your address here)
Santa Monica, CA (zip code)
by Jodi Summers
Are we coming out of our recession? Perhaps when it comes to condos. From July 2008 – July 2009 condo prices in Santa Monica were up by 11% to a current median sale price of $685,500.
But truly, is it just about the price of what sells in any given month? In the single family realm, for the same time frame, Santa Monica Home Prices dropped 25% to an average price of $1.5m.
In a quest to update you on Santa Monica’s landmarks, allow up to tantelize you with Santa Monica Landmark 80. – The Quonset hut @ 829 Broadway.
QUONSET HUTS + WWII IN SANTA MONICA
World War II had special significance in Santa Monica, but the City forgot to landmark the Douglas plant at SM Airport, and thus using deductive reasoning, they decided to landmark Quonset hut @ 829 Broadway.
Long time locals will remember the hut as having been an odds and ends and surplus store.
The subject property at 829 Broadway was evaluated against two applicable associated historic contexts: The history of military architecture and technology; and the architectural history of the early-postwar (1945-1950) in the United States.
Local historians note that World War II affected Santa Monica more than most places, as the Federal Government (for national security reasons) leased the Airport from the City to provide protection for Douglas Aircraft – then a major defense contractor located in Sunset Park. The government also participated in the expansion of the facility to accommodate the ever-growing production of military aircraft by Douglas Aircraft -> it was during this time that the Airport grew in size to its present 227 acres, employing 40,000 individuals.
The design of the Quonset hut emerged from the design of the WW I British Nissen hut. The Nissen design involved a more complicated system of corrugated metal panels both inside and out and depended solely on the air space between the two for its thermal barrier. The government determined that the Nissen hut was too problematic to ship and put up quickly and easily.
The first Quonset Hut design was completed within 60 days by a team headed by Bauhaus-influenced Dutch engineer Peter Dejongh. T-Rib Quonsets instantly provided U.S. troops with a greater level of comfort than could be provided by tents with wooden platforms typically used at that time. There were typically two versions of the Quonset, the T-rib and Redesign. The Santa Monica Quonset is of the Redesign variety.
Wikipedia describes the Quonset hut is a lightweight prefabricated structure of corrugated galvanized iron having a semicircular cross section. The design was based on the Nissen hut developed by the British during World War I. The name comes from their site of first manufacture, Quonset Point, at the Davisville Naval Construction Battalion Center in Davisville Rhode Island.
The original design was a 16 by 36 ft structure framed with steel members with an 8 ft radius. The sides were corrugated steel sheets. The two ends were covered with plywood, which had doors and windows. The interior was insulated and had pressed wood lining and a wood floor. The building could be placed on concrete, on pilings, or directly on the ground with a wood floor.
The standard size of 20 by 48 ft hut could be shipped in a 450-cubic-foot crate. Once the United States entered World War II in 1941, the Quonset hut was used as a mobile temporary building . The flexible interior space was open, allowing for use as barracks, latrines, offices, medical and dental offices, isolation wards, housing, and bakeries.
Between 150,000-170,000 Quonset huts were manufactured during World War II. After the war, the U.S. military sold the surplus Quonset huts to the public for $1,000 each. Huts were put to a variety of uses including housing for veterans and their families, churches and repair shops.
The Modern Quonset huts helped the nation transition from wartime to the postwar-era by offering an affordable, adaptable, “building-in-a-box” that allowed people to construct a home or business with minimal cost and effort. Locally, a 112-acre area of Griffith Park that had been used as an air strip during the war set up Quonset huts were used as temporary housing for returning veterans who could not find other housing. Eventually 750 huts were brought to “Roger Young Village,” and over 5,000 people lived in the Quonset community until it was disassembled in 1954.
There are currently no Quonset Huts listed on the National Register, though there are many local landmarks, including The Royal Theater, 22nd Street S., St. Petersburg, Florida, 1948; one of three African-American movie houses in St. Petersburg during the Jim Crow era. The only Quonset huts ever listed on the National Register were destroyed by a tornado in the 1990s.
The subject west Quonset hut appears to be the last World War II-era Quonset hut in the City of Santa Monica that retains its integrity. This is a unique property for the City to landmark, as the Landmarks Commission usually evaluates buildings or other structures that were built as part of Santa Monica’s historical fabric. But what about a structure that was fabricated somewhere else and got placed here? The Quonset Hut’s historical importance comes from its relationship to events that had no special relationship to Santa Monica. Quonset huts reflect a period, a style, and a method of construction, but should they be kept in a neighborhood where land prices can average in excess of $10,000,000 per acre?
Find out about all of Santa Monica’s landmarks @ www.SantaMonicaLandmarks.com.
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