Whiteman Airport – LAC Public Health and AQMD Reports Counter Claims That Lead in Avgas are Hurting Kids Near Whiteman Airport

The press release below prepared by the Southern California Airspace Users Working Group contains information that counters claims made by various individuals and CA Senator Menjavar about lead in aviation gasoline hurting kids near Whiteman Airport (KWHP).

associated with

February 19, 2024

Contact: Ron Berinstein CFII
(323) 394-1331

Good News for Pacoima – Bad News for Disinformation Campaigners
LOS ANGELES, CA – New Data from the LA County Department of Public Works and the County Department of Public Health in addition to data from the South Coast AQMD discredit the often-reiterated criticism that might propel certain “Shutdown Whiteman” Campaigners.

LA County Board of Supervisors as a matter of due diligence on Nov.7, 2023, directed the Department of Public Health Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Branch (CLPPB) to perform an analysis of blood lead levels around the Whiteman Airport.  Critics of the airport might suggest that children are endangered because of existing lead levels.

The following official reports are meant to document certain Whiteman Airport highlights and discount negative messaging.


Based on the analysis completed by CLPPB, the percentage of children under 6 years old with a blood lead level equal to or greater than the CDC Blood Lead Reference Value (BLRV) of 3.5 mcg/dL within 1.5 miles of Whiteman Airport is 1.75% compared to 2.26% for rest of Los Angeles County.” RESULT: Children’s endangerment messaging should cease immediately, and valid information should be substituted.

        REPORTS FROM SOUTH COAST AQMD    – We believe these studies are overlooked.

The Multiple Air Toxics Exposure Study V (MATES V – 2018-2019 – Whiteman Airport Results were substantially lower than the U.S. EPA Lead National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) – similar to lead concentrations found in other parts of the South Coast Air Basin

2022 – Ten 24-hour samples were collected at Whiteman airport and analyzed for lead at South Coast AQMD’s laboratory.  Results were substantially lower than U.S. EPA’s national standard (150 ng/m3) – RESULT: Skewed Whiteman Airport lead messaging should cease immediately. Valid information should be substituted.


UNLEADED FUEL IS ON THE WAY-    Public Works will provide Swift Fuels UL94 unleaded aviation gasoline. All LA COUNTY AIRPORTS
WILL BE SERVED once the master agreement is finalized and the needed equipment is installed.

The LAC Department of Public Works Report and the LA County Public Health Report are available at https://scauwg.org/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/Public-Works-Report-02-05-2024.pdf

The AQMD reports can be accessed at Whiteman Airport Lead Monitoring (aqmd.gov)

SCAUWG.ORG believes that good people armed with good information will make good decisions. Those truly interested in the welfare of the Pacoima community should be truly interested in ceasing any possible false statement of facts and instead embrace the opportunities that a local airport important for the National Airspace System, for community emergency services, for pilot safety, and for community economic vitality has to offer.   For additional airport information and aviation safety education, you are invited to visit www.scauwg.org

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Torrance Flight School Wins Injunction in Business License Dispute at Zampereni Field Airport (KTOA)

Click Here to Read the Story Published by:

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2023 Stuff A Plane Charity Toy Drive a Big Success!

We had another successful toy drive! Most of the businesses that collected toys for our drive outdid themselves this year. Quite a few of them filled their boxes. Thank you to the following organizations and businesses that collected toys for our Stuff a Plane Charity Toy Drive:

 Ark Christian Preschool  34558 Ave. E Yucaipa

Arthurs Restaurant 1913 Mentone Blvd. Mentone

Best Choice Products 15101 Red Hill Ave. Tustin

Citrus Valley High School Computer Science 800 W. Pioneer Ave, Redlands

City of Redlands Airport Lobby – 1745 Sessums Dr. & City Hall – 35 Cajon St. Redlands

Crown Ace Hardware 12157 5th St. Yucaipa

Denny’s Restaurants 2442 Highland Ave. Highland, 1190 S. Mt. Vernon Ave. Colton, 1180 Alabama St. Redlands, 110 W. Redlands Blvd. Redlands

Fitness 19 34448 Yucaipa Blvd. Yucaipa

Indian Motorcycle of Redlands 215 E. Redlands Blvd. Redlands

Kuehne + Nagel 9425 Nevada St. Redlands

Lovely Nails & Spa 34060 W County Line Rd. Yucaipa

RASelectronics 1032 Orange St. Redlands

Tractor Supply 1060 Calimesa Blvd. Calimesa

Redlands Elks Lodge #583 663 New York St. Redlands

Rialto Rotary Club & Fontana-Rialto Elks Lodge

SoCal Jeep Gladiator Owners

Attendees from our local communities that came to our event were also very generous with their toy donations. Additionally, RAA members also donated toys and $600 that were used to buy toys at Mattel and Amazon. In general, we did not collect as many toys as we did last year, but we still filled The Salvation Army San Bernardino Corps truck. We also had some very generous cash donations to The Salvation Army from RAA members and the Redlands Police Officers Association. Thank you to all that donated. 

Saturday was a picture-perfect day to finish our toy drive. We started the grill at 8:30 with sausages and pancakes and switched over about 10:30 to start grilling burgers and hotdogs. We had some really good cooks and servers!

We had some great volunteers this year. In addition to RAA members, we had CAP cadets from Redlands Cadet Squadron 411, and a couple of volunteers from the Coast Guard Auxiliary. All these volunteers helped everything go smoothly. EAA Chapter 845 had 4 pilots who flew 22 kids, so they were very busy. The LifeStream blood mobile was on site for those wishing to donate blood.

The Salvation Army was onsite all day, and they were very happy with the outcome. If you would like to help them with their distribution efforts, the Salvation Army would welcome volunteers. You simply need to show up on December 12th thru the 15th from 9am – 3pm at their leased facility at 295 North Leland Norton Way in San Bernardino. It’s on the north side of San Bernardino Airport. They will be sorting toys for families that have registered to receive help for the holidays. Volunteering for something like this is very rewarding during the holiday season.

Finally on December 19th, from 9am – 3pm at the same address, you can witness the distribution to the families. The Salvation Army gives each family toys and a box of food. It’s nice to see those in need receive this help.  

Pictures have been posted on our website. Here is the link for photos with some of our collection box sponsors: 2023 Stuff a Plane Collection Box Sponsors Here is the link for photos taken by some of our members of the event:  12-2-23 Stuff a Plane Charity Toy Drive Event

Thank you to all that contributed, volunteered, and attended to make this another successful toy drive!

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Great Turnout for October FlyKREI Flyout to Rosamond Skypark

The October 7th fly-out to Guido’s at the Hangar, Rosamond Skypark was a great success. Nine planes and 21 people made the flight. We couldn’t ask for better weather for the morning flight. It was a great day to fly, it was severe clear with a light breeze. The food was great and the service was excellent. Everyone visited and talked “airplanes”. By 11:00, all headed back to their respective airports. A good time was had by all.

To receive notifications of FlyKREI fly-outs, please send an email to: flykrei@gmail.com

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The RAA Supports Coyote Aviation

Published in the 6-30-23 Redlands Community News

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Pilots and aviation groups are determined to convince officials in Banning, California, of the benefits of Banning Municipal Airport while the city council entertains redevelopment bids.

June 1, 2023 By Lillian Geil, Digital Media Assistant Editor, AOPA

Pilots and aviation groups are determined to convince officials in Banning, California, of the benefits of Banning Municipal Airport while the city council entertains redevelopment bids.

Google Earth image.

Google Earth image.

An airport master plan update for Banning Municipal was published in 2007 to “provide a direction for future airport development and to ensure that the necessary facilities are improved or made available to meet the forecasted demand for services at the airport.”

The plan established Banning Municipal as an asset that can assist in community development and attract businesses that see the value of the airport. Additionally, it highlighted the airport as a resource for pilots flying in for flight training, facility and service utilization, recreation, and emergency transport, as its location, elevation, and long runway make for a perfect pit stop.

Banning Municipal is also an integral asset for emergency services. The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire) frequently operates at the airport with its Southern California Air Attack program—fighting fires in the San Bernardino and San Jacinto mountains with a fleet of helicopters and air tankers. Most recently, Banning Municipal was used as a base during the Fairview Fire in 2022, which burned over 28,000 acres in the San Jacinto Mountains.

AOPA has been working alongside local and regional pilots to educate the community and urge the city council to consider the economic and disaster assistance benefits of keeping the airport open. The Friends of Banning Airport was recently formed to promote conversation and education about the airport.

“Airports can present valuable economic revenue streams if local governments are creative and give them the freedom to take advantage of their many positive attributes,” said Jared Yoshiki, AOPA Western Pacific regional manager. “Hangar leases and fuel taxes are just a couple of ways the airport can be financially self-sustaining and alleviate some of the financial pressure on city budgets.”

Investment in additional T-hangars was one of the top recommendations in the master plan—an infrastructure improvement that would bring more pilots to the field and financially uplift the airport and the city. However, in the years since the plan was published, hangars have not been built to accommodate pilots despite an increased demand for airplane storage at the field.

“The city’s limited investment in the airport has stunted potential economic and community benefits the airport can provide,” said Yoshiki.

Three redevelopment pitches were made during a city council workshop in April, during which airport advocates raised concerns about infrastructure and traffic issues that would arise if redevelopment was pursued and reemphasized their support for retaining the airport for Banning residents.

The effort to redevelop Banning Municipal is just one example in an increasing pattern of closure threats at California airports. “The common factor we have observed is the lack of appreciation for the immense value an airport brings to the local community by the city and county governments that control these airports,” said Yoshiki.

But there is hope that local and state leaders are beginning to realize the importance of general aviation in California. California Aviation Caucus Vice-Chair Sen. Richard Roth (D-District 31) authored legislation that will require the California Department of Transportation to assess statewide airport improvement funding needs, which will illustrate the clear need to invest in airport infrastructure.

AOPA will continue to fight airport closures and work with policymakers in the state Capitol to protect general aviation and access to airports.

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Community Forward Redlands Article – “FAA slow to install radar at booming SBD International Airport”

Many pilots have expressed concerns about sharing the sky over REI with heavy jet traffic. The reality is it’s not going away as San Bernardino Internal Airport (SBD) ramps up operations. A known issue is the lack of radar equipment at SBD which can help keep traffic separated. Concerns have been voiced by many about this issue. 

Stephanie Hastings Miranda is an investigative journalist for Community Forward Redlands. She volunteered to investigate the issue. Please click on the link below to read a great article that she  published today.  

FAA slow to install radar at booming SBD International Airport

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2023 to Mark Final Year for National Championship Air Races at Reno-Stead Airport

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City Council Approves Plan to Close Santa Monica Airport by 2028

Reprinted From a Santa Monica Mirror Article Dated February 6, 2023

City will now be able to plan for the airport’s closure following January 24 meeting

By Dolores Quintana

The Santa Monica Airport reached its 100th anniversary in 2022 and the City of Santa Monica now has plans in the works to close the airport by 2028. The City Council officially approved the process of closing the airport at a meeting on January 24. 

In the City’s press release, Mayor Gleam Davis said, “This is the beginning of a community process to reimagine the Airport site, which accounts for an unprecedented 4.3% of the City’s land. We know this is an asset Santa Monicans care about and we want to work together to set goals and priorities to meet diverse community needs for the next several generations.”

The city of Santa Monica has had continual legal disagreements with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) over control of airport operations and the use of the 227 acres of land that the airport currently stands on. The city has used the passage of local regulations since the 1970s to respond to the needs of local residents with the quality of life issues that the airport’s operations have raised. The desire of many residents and the city to close the airport has been part of the community discussion for roughly fifty years. 

Several campaigns have been launched to rally support and affect the airport’s closure. The Santa Monica Mirror reported on two of those groups, Citizens Against Santa Monica Airport Traffic (CASMAT) and Sunset Park Anti-Airport, Inc., (SPAA), and their efforts in 2013. Their stated reasons for closing the airport were that the airport was, “too close to residential neighborhoods; recent airplane crashes; new homeowners in the area immediately surrounding SMO who do not care for the airport; the potential closure of 2,000 feet of the runway; and, a poll where 80 percent of respondents favored airport closure.”

The “consent decree” that was agreed upon in 2017 between the city and the FAA will return the land and its usage to the city of Santa Monica on December 31, 2028, and allow the city to close the airport. In a document from the office of the Santa Monica City Clerk, the agreement was explained and said, “After years of trying to assert local control over Airport activities and use of the Airport property, the City entered into a Settlement Agreement and “Consent Decree” with the United States of America and the Federal Aviation Administration that resolved all outstanding disputes between the parties and relinquished all claims by the U.S. and the FAA as to Airport land.”

The city will now be able to plan for the airport’s closure and intends to “invite community participation in designing what may be the greatest transformative event of this century for the City of Santa Monica, and perhaps the region.”

Measure LC which was passed in 2014, does give the City Council oversight over the use of the 227 acres of land that will be freed up by the airport’s closure. The City Council will be able to approve the development of parks, public open spaces, and public recreational facilities, and the maintenance and replacement of existing cultural, arts, and educational use on the land. New real estate development is prohibited on the land approved by the voters, with limits on potential developments. 

In the meeting, the City Council “confirmed the values establish a standard for the Airport conversion process, foundational goals of sustainability and resiliency for the future of the Airport, and goals for an inclusive community space centered around the concept of a Great Park and supporting land uses.”

The process that the City Council has confirmed will start with a Request For Qualifications (RFQ) in early 2023 that will search for qualified firms or multi-disciplinary teams to help the City develop a public-facing process that will be able to get the community to participate in the planning and add their input. It “will allow staff to evaluate the merits of each firm or team against an established criterion, before requesting detailed proposals. A shortlist of qualified firms or teams will be established through this evaluation and shortlisted candidates will later be invited to submit detailed process and cost proposals for the project.”

The next step is a Request for Proposal (RFP) after the RFQ evaluation. The RFP will include “input from the community so that residents and other stakeholders have the opportunity to articulate their interests in how the planning process is shaped from inception.” City staff will meet with Santa Monica boards and commissions, neighborhood groups, the Chamber of Commerce, Santa Monica Travel and Tourism, and business-related interests such as merchants’ associations and local business improvement districts. This is intended to provide a “detailed expression of community interest, concerns, and other factors that are important to Santa Monicans.” for the RFP which will then be released to the public in late spring of 2023. 

The city’s press release identifies a timeline for the process of the closure of the Santa Monica Airport:

  • Consultant Selection: Summer 2023
  • Project Initiation: Winter 2023
  • Existing Conditions: Spring 2024
  • Scenario Planning (Preferred Scenario Approved): Spring/Summer 2026
  • Specific Plan Initiation: Fall/Winter 2026
  • Consent Decree Airport Closure Authorization: Winter 2028
  • Specific Plan Adoption: Fall 2028-2033 or beyond
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A Big Thank-you From The Salvation Army

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