Los Angeles International Airport is the world’s fifth busiest, with 1,578 landings and takeoffs each day, and over 84 million passengers filtering through its gates each year. In the shadow of this international travel hub, just six miles north, lies Santa Monica Municipal Airport. Handling just under 300 flights each day, it’s no wonder that you’ve never heard of it. Here are a few fun facts about the past, present and future of Santa Monica Airport.
It’s original name was Clover Field
While it’s not widely known or used by frequent flyers today, Santa Monica Airport has been around for nearly a century, with its first plane landings occurring in 1919. At that time, it was called Clover Field.
It made history
In 1924, the first plane to circumnavigate the world took off from its runways. The U.S. army’s “Douglas World Cruiser” made the 28,000 mile journey and landed, unscathed, right back in Santa Monica.
It served as a covert military airport,
During World War II, Clover Field was the site of the Army’s 40th Division Aviation. Bombers and military transports were constructed in the area, so at the time, Hollywood craftsmen disguised the airport to look like a city from above.
Celebs use it
Celebrities like Tom Cruise, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Harrison Ford have been known to fly in and out of the airport.
It’s closing in 2028
After much debate, the airport has been scheduled to close in 2028. The city of Santa Monica has raised concerns about its safety, noise pollution, and harmful aircraft exhaust. City officials have plans to convert it into a park and recreational facility.
Santa Monica Airport and more…
Looking for more activities besides spotting celebrities in Santa Monica? Check out the Ambrose blog for the latest recommendations on what to experience in our corner of the world, from the best bars with a view to where to see celebrities in Santa Monica.