Santa Barbara Municipal Airport

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Santa Barbara Airport
Santa Barbara Municipal Airport (logo).svg
Santa Barbara Airport Terminal.jpg
The old commercial passenger terminal at Santa Barbara Airport.
IATA: SBAICAO: KSBAFAA LID: SBA
Summary
Airport type Public
Owner City of Santa Barbara
Operator Santa Barbara Airport Department
Serves Santa Barbara, California
Location Santa Barbara, California, United States
Elevation AMSL 10 ft / 3 m
Coordinates 34°25′34″N 119°50′25″W / 34.42611°N 119.84028°W / 34.42611; -119.84028Coordinates: 34°25′34″N 119°50′25″W / 34.42611°N 119.84028°W / 34.42611; -119.84028
Website Santa Barbara Airport
Maps
Runway layout at SBA
Runway layout at SBA
SBA is located in California
SBA
SBA
Location in California
Runways
Direction Length Surface
ft m
7/25 6,052 1,845 Asphalt
15L/33R 4,179 1,274 Asphalt
15R/33L 4,183 1,275 Asphalt

Santa Barbara Municipal Airport (IATA: SBAICAO: KSBAFAA LID: SBA) is a public airport 7 miles (11 km) west of downtown Santa Barbara, California, United States.

It is near the University of California, Santa Barbara and the city of Goleta. The airport was annexed to the city of Santa Barbara by a 7 miles (11 km) long, 300 feet (90 m) wide corridor, mostly under the Pacific Ocean (a shoestring annexation). Most of the airport is 10 to 15 feet above sea level and is bordered by the wetland area known as the Goleta Slough.

Four airlines serve the Airport as of July 2014 with non-stop flights to Denver, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Portland (OR), San Francisco, Seattle/Tacoma. SBA has over 31 daily departures, and in 2012 more than 720,000 passengers used the airport.

There are two fixed based operators on the field, Signature Flight Support and Atlantic Aviation, and three flight schools, Above All Aviation, Red Baron Aviation, and Spitfire Aviation.

In addition to regularly scheduled flights offered by other airlines, Surf Air operates service to Burbank and San Carlos in California using seven seat Pilatus PC-12 turboprops via a membership only, pay-as-you-fly program.[1]

History[edit]

Early years[edit]

Santa Barbara's aviation history began in 1914 when Lincoln J. Beachey flew an airplane across Goleta Valley. Two years later the Loughead brothers, who later changed their name to Lockheed, established a seaplane factory on State Street (Alco Hydro-Aeroplane Company) and constructed a wooden ramp on West Beach to launch their planes. In 1928, Gordon Sackett and Royce Stetson landed a Hisso-powered airplane in a cow pasture near the corner of Hollister and Fairview Avenues and set up a flight school on the spot. That first airstrip marked the beginning of what was to become the Santa Barbara Municipal Airport.

As airplane manufacturing grew in the late 1930s that airstrip developed into an airfield. Western General set up shop and began producing Meteor airplanes, while Santa Barbara Airways' founder Frederick Stearns II built two additional runways and two large hangars. Stearns also installed the first radio equipment at the airfield.[2]

Airline flights began in 1932 on Pacific Seaboard Airlines. United Airlines then inaugurated flights from Santa Barbara/Goleta in 1936. United would provide mainline passenger air service for many years at the airport.

As the prospect of war escalated the United States Government established a program to construct 250 airports across the country on a cost-sharing basis with local governments. Thomas M. Storke secured Santa Barbara's enrollment in the program, and in 1941 groundbreaking ceremonies were held for the Santa Barbara Municipal Airport.

With the outbreak of WWII the airport became MCAS Santa Barbara (Marine Corps Air Station Santa Barbara) in 1942, an aviator training base for the U.S Marines. It was expanded further with the addition of many hangars and other buildings, and reverted to a civilian airport in 1946.[3]

The Spanish-style terminal building, commissioned by United Airlines in 1942 was designed by William Edwards and Joseph Plunkett, an architectural team whose work, including the Arlington Theatre and the National Armory, helped shape the Mediterranean style of the city.

Postwar developments[edit]

In 1947 the Santa Barbara Flying Club was formed to promote general aviation in the region.[4]

In the 1951 war film Flying Leathernecks, John Wayne's character was stationed in Goleta. The movie references the airbase as being in Goleta because, during World War II, the airbase had not yet been annexed by Santa Barbara. The movie has a short clip of the airport and surrounding area.

Three runways are in use: 7/25 and two parallel runways 15/33. The airport originally had an additional strip: runway 3/21. The development of the University of California, Santa Barbara (to the southwest) and the construction of hangars in support of production of the Aero Spacelines Super Guppy (to the northeast) were factors in the removal of this runway.

Passengers boarding a Saab 340B turboprop aircraft for a flight to Los Angeles in October 2008.

Southwest Airways and its successors: Pacific Air Lines, Air West and Hughes Airwest[edit]

Until 2002 Santa Barbara Airport was on a mainline jet aircraft route between San Francisco and Los Angeles. The airport was served by Southwest Airways and successors Pacific Air Lines, Air West and Hughes Airwest, all three of which operated Fairchild F-27 turboprops as well as jets. The Southwest Airways system timetable dated March 1, 1947 lists two daily round trip flights flown with Douglas DC-3 twin prop aircraft on a routing of Los Angeles-Oxnard-Santa Barbara-Santa Maria-San Luis Obispo-Coalinga-Monterey-Santa Cruz/Watsonville-San Jose-San Francisco. The first jetliner service was flown by Pacific Air Lines with Boeing 727-100s in 1966. According to their January 4, 1967 system timetable, Pacific was operating three daily round trip flights with the 727 on a routing of San Francisco-Monterey-Santa Barbara-Los Angeles. Air West served the airport with the B727-100s formerly operated by Pacific Air Lines while Hughes Airwest served Santa Barbara with McDonnell Douglas DC-9-10 and DC-9-30 jets.[5]

United[edit]

The United Airlines system timetable dated February 1, 1937 listed daily round trip service flown with a Douglas DC-3 twin prop aircraft on a routing of Los Angeles-Santa Barbara-San Francisco-Oakland. By 1972, the United timetable listed direct, no change of plane Boeing 727 jet service to New York Newark. The primary jet routes initially flown by United from Santa Barbara were nonstops to Los Angeles and San Francisco with some flights then continuing on to other destinations. The first nonstop flights beyond California were flown by United with Boeing 727s to Denver in 1979 and to Chicago O'Hare in 1980. Over the years, United operated Boeing 727-100, 727-200, 737-200 and 737-300 jetliners into Santa Barbara. United left SBA in 1990. Shuttle by United, a division of United Airlines (later renamed United Shuttle) operated Boeing 737-300s and 737-500s to San Francisco in the 1990s. United then turned all service over to SkyWest Airlines which currently operates as United Express.

American[edit]

American Airlines started nonstop McDonnell Douglas MD-80s to Dallas Fort-Worth International (DFW) in 1984, sometimes on a triangle routing of DFW-Burbank-SBA-DFW or DFW-Bakersfield-SBA-DFW. American also operated direct MD-80 service to Chicago O'Hare (ORD) via Ontario (ONT). After American Airlines dropped SBA, American Eagle, a regional affiliate of American Airlines began flying Embraer ERJ-140s between Santa Barbara and Los Angeles, and Canadair CRJ-700s between Santa Barbara and Dallas Fort Worth. American Eagle ended its flights to DFW in April 2009 but continued to serve LAX from the airport until turning it over to SkyWest Airlines via a codeshare agreement with American. SkyWest operating as American Eagle Airlines began flying Canadair CRJ-200 regional jets to Los Angeles on behalf of American Airlines on November 14, 2012. American Airlines via American Eagle ended its only remaining Santa Barbara service to Los Angeles on March 31, 2014. Until the American Airlines merger with US Airways becomes complete sometime in 2015, American Airlines passengers will be able to use code share US Airways Express Canadair regional jet flights to Phoenix in order to fly out of Santa Barbara.

Locally based regional airlines[edit]

In the 1980s Apollo Airways, a commuter airline based in Santa Barbara that changed its name to Pacific Coast Airlines, flew Handley Page HP.137 Jetstreams from the airport. Another locally-based airline was Connectair operating Fairchild F-27J turboprops. Both air carriers are no longer in existence.

Other airlines operating jet service in the past[edit]

Besides American and United, other airlines operating jets from SBA included Pacific Air Lines with Boeing 727-100s to Los Angeles, San Francisco and Monterey, Continental Airlines with nonstop Boeing 737-300s to Denver, Air West (later renamed Hughes Airwest by owner Howard Hughes) with Boeing 727-100s as well as McDonnell Douglas DC-9-10s and DC-9-30s to Los Angeles, San Francisco and other cities, Allegiant Air with McDonnell Douglas MD-80s to Las Vegas, Pacific Express with British Aircraft Corporation BAC One-Elevens to Los Angeles, San Francisco and Bakersfield, Air Wisconsin (flying as United Express) with British Aerospace BAe 146-200 and BAe 146-300s to Denver, and ExpressJet flying Embraer ERJ-145s nonstop to Sacramento and San Diego.

Current air service[edit]

The largest passenger jet currently serving Santa Barbara is the Airbus A319 operated by Frontier Airlines nonstop to Denver. SkyWest Airlines operates Canadair CRJ-700s flying as Alaska Airlines nonstop to Seattle and Portland. United Express flights to San Francisco operated by SkyWest use Embraer EMB-120 Brasilias, Canadair CRJ-200's, and Canadair CRJ-700's. United Express flights to Los Angeles operated by Skywest use Canadair CRJ-200s. United Express flights to Denver operated by SkyWest use Canadair CRJ-200s and Canadair CRJ-700s. SkyWest flies Canadair CRJ-200s and Canadair CRJ-900's as US Airways Express nonstop to Phoenix. Mesa Airlines, also operating as US Airways Express, flies Canadair CRJ-900s nonstop to Phoenix.[6]

New Terminal[edit]

On August 18, 2011 the airport opened a new 72,000 square foot terminal to add to the single story terminal built by United Airlines in 1942. The new facility was built next to existing terminal and cost approximately $63 million. Additions to the historic terminal made in 1967 and 1976 were removed and the original building was restored. It then was raised to meet modern flood plain regulations and moved and incorporated into the new terminal. The aircraft parking ramp was redesigned and a new loop road and short term parking lot were constructed. The new terminal building features many environmentally sustainable elements and is registered with the U.S. Green Building Council Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED).[7]

Flight statistics[edit]

Busiest domestic routes from Santa Barbara (April 2013 - March 2014)[8]
Rank Airport Passengers Carriers
1 Los Angeles, California 107,000 United
2 Phoenix, Arizona 83,000 US Airways
3 San Francisco, California 71,000 United
4 Denver, Colorado 64,000 Frontier, United
5 Seattle/Tacoma, Washington 21,000 Alaska
6 Portland, Oregon 17,000 Alaska

Airlines and destinations[edit]

Airlines Destinations
Alaska Airlines operated by SkyWest Airlines Portland (OR), Seattle/Tacoma
Frontier Airlines Denver
United Express Denver, Los Angeles, San Francisco
US Airways Express Phoenix

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Aviation International News, April, 2014 edition, Vol. 46, No. 4, page 66, "Wave Off at Surf Air"
  2. ^ [1] http://www.flysba.com/?pageID=99
  3. ^ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marine_Corps_Air_Station_Santa_Barbara
  4. ^ Santa Barbara Flying Club
  5. ^ February 1, 1976 Official Airlines Guide (OAG), North American edition
  6. ^ http://www.santabarbaraca.gov/gov/depts/flysba/airline/flightschedule.asp
  7. ^ [1]
  8. ^ "Santa Barbara, CA: Santa Barbara Municipal Airport (SBA)". Bureau of Transportation Statistics. April 12, 2011. Retrieved April 16, 2011. 

External links[edit]