Schwarzenegger's Brother-in-Law Voted In Favor
A family squabble may be yet another
result of the controversial ban on large aircraft operations at
California's Santa Monica Airport (SMO) -- it includes the
Gulfstream G-IV Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger uses to commute from
the state capitol to his Los Angeles mansion.
Ironically, Santa Monica City Council member Bobby Shriver --
brother of California's first lady Maria Shriver -- was part of the
unanimous vote on March 25 banning Category C and D aircraft, like
the G-IV, from SMO.
Bloomberg News reports a federal judge will decide on May 15
whether the governor can land at the airport -- a mere 15-minute
drive to his home in the wealthy Los Angeles enclave of Brentwood.
If rejected, the "Governator" may be forced to seek a less
convenient airport with a significantly longer commute.
The governor's commute from Sacramento is a 355-mile flight
aboard a Gulfstream provided by NetJets Inc., the fractional-jet
company owned by billionaire Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway
Inc. Such operators account for about 9,000 operations at SMO, or
about 7% of traffic at the airport.
Though Schwarzenegger has yet to comment, Shriver says he knows
what to expect if the restriction holds. "Now I have to drive an
hour and a half because of Bobby and the communists," he told
Bloomberg, mimicking his brother-in-law's Austrian accent.
Though Schwarzenegger has been quiet on the issue, others
haven't been so mum on the ban. The FAA took legal action in April
to overturn the Category C and D ban, that includes popular
business aircraft -- including the Gulfstream IV, Challenger and
Citation X -- with approach speeds of 121 knots or more.
A temporary restraining order obtained by the FAA currently blocks enforcement of the
ordinance. A US District Court judge in Los Angeles
will decide whether to allow the ban, or delay it while the matter
is resolved by a trial, Santa Monica Deputy City Attorney Martin
The FAA uses Santa Monica to relieve the region's congested air
traffic and advocates implementing new safety measures instead of
restricting jets. The city contends a ban will protect passengers
and residents from jets skidding into homes as close as 300 feet to