Although it’s hard to believe, there really is a general aviation airport right in the center of Los Angeles, in Santa Monica to be exact. Santa Monica Municipal Airport is located just 5 miles north of Los Angeles International (KLAX). How long Santa Monica airport will continue to be there is pretty hard to predict though. Due to the premium location, the land it stands on is of immense value to real estate investors as well as pilots. This uncertainty about its continued existence is one more reason to fly there as long as you are still able to. It’s only a short trip from the airport to downtown Santa Monica or Venice Beach.
Due to the complicated airspace structure, it’s always advisable to obtain flight following for landing at Santa Monica. Pilots approaching from the south can take the Mini Route directly across the threshold of LAX’s runway 25. For detailed information about the VFR routes through LAX’s airspace, please consult the Los Angeles TAC. Make sure you also comply with the noise abatement regulations governing take-offs. You will need to pay a landing fee to use this airport.
This fee is payable in the administration office in the terminal building. Here you will also find one of the best airport restaurants in California, the Typhoon, serving mostly Asian cuisine. If you’re planning to eat there on the weekend it’s best to reserve a table beforehand. On the opposite side of the road from the terminal building, there’s a second restaurant called the Spitfire Grill. This is a great place to have breakfast. Right next door to this restaurant is the Museum of Flying, a place that’s really worth a visit.