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Activities and Attractions
Shopping, Nightlife, Beaches, Cuisine
Santa Monica Proper Hotel, or anything local
Tips and Tricks
Santa Monica airport is 19nm from Long Beach and this 10 minute flight can save you an hour in traffic while giving you some of the best views of any urban environment in the world. To check out the route on a chart it may seem a daunting undertaking since you have to fly over one of the worlds great international airports – LAX. The truth however is that it is very straight forward.
A suggestion to get there is to take the LAX mini route through the Class B airspace as detailed on the LA terminal chart. This has the benefit of being handed off from Hawthorn tower to LAX tower to Santa Monica Tower for what can be a nice efficient left base entry to runway 21. The real reason to do this is for the amazing view of seeing LAX from 2,500ft above it’s amazing intercontinental complex.
Once in Santa Monica you can berth at transient parking, pay the landing fee and have your Uber ready to take you to the beating heart of what Los Angeles has to offer. Ever since they shortened the runway as part of a concession to the local pitchforked masses to keep SMO from closing, the airport has become more accessible to smaller planes due to less corporate jet traffic.
On departure you can see the elevation of the airport lends itself to views eastwards towards the city sprawl and westwards to the ocean. You can now choose to return to Long Beach via the special flight rules area (3,500ft above LAX, detailed on the terminal chart) or take the opportunity to fly eastwards over Sunset Boulevard, see the Hollywood sign, turn south by downtown Los Angeles and back to Long Beach from the north. This trip is even better at night especially with the unobstructed views afforded by the cockpit of a DA40 or DA42.
Santa Monica Municipal Airport (KSMO)
10 min (with departure from KLGB)
34.02° N, 118.45° W
Quick Stop, Weekender