Santa Barbara Municipal Airport
|Santa Barbara Airport|
|The old commercial passenger terminal at Santa Barbara Airport.|
|IATA: SBA – ICAO: KSBA – FAA LID: SBA|
|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|
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.
Five airlines serve the Airport as of July 2013 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, Atlantic Aviation and Signature Flight Support, and three flight schools, Above All Aviation, Red Baron Aviation, and Spitfire Aviation.
Surf Air has scheduled flights to Burbank and San Carlos using a six seat Pilatus.
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.
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.
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.
In 1947 the Santa Barbara Flying Club was formed to promote general aviation in the region. The club is still a registered non-profit meeting monthly at the Visitor Center, and working with other groups and businesses to continue making Santa Barbara a great place to fly.
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.
End of mainline service
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. The first jets were Pacific Air Lines Boeing 727-100s in 1966. Hughes Airwest served Santa Barbara with DC-9s.
United's timetable for June 1, 1972 lists direct Boeing 727s to New York Newark. The first nonstop flights beyond California were United Airlines Boeing 727s to Denver in 1979 and to Chicago O'Hare in 1980. 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 Airlines started nonstop MD80s to Dallas Fort-Worth International (DFW) in 1984, sometimes on a triangle routing of DFW-Burbank-SBA-DFW or DFW-Bakersfield-SBA-DFW. 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. 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.
Other jet airlines 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 Hughes Airwest) with Boeing 727-100s and DC9s to Los Angeles, San Francisco and other cities, Allegiant Air with McDonnell Douglas MD-80s to Las Vegas, Pacific Express with BAC One-Elevens to Los Angeles, San Francisco and Bakersfield, Air Wisconsin (United Express) BAe 146-200 and BAe 146-300s to Denver and ExpressJet flying Embraer ERJ-145s nonstop to Sacramento and San Diego.
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. American Eagle was operating Canadair CRJ-700 and Embraer ERJ-140s to Los Angeles; 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 replacing these American Eagle flights. All United Express flights to Los Angeles and San Francisco operated by SkyWest use Embraer EMB-120 Brasilias while United Express flights to Denver operated by SkyWest use Canadair CRJ-200s. 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.
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).
|1||Los Angeles, California||119,000||United, American|
|2||Phoenix, Arizona||75,000||US Airways|
|3||San Francisco, California||74,000||United|
|4||Denver, Colorado||73,000||United, Frontier|
Airlines and destinations
|Alaska Airlines operated by SkyWest Airlines||Portland (OR), Seattle/Tacoma
|American Eagle operated by SkyWest Airlines||Los Angeles|
|United Express operated by SkyWest Airlines||Denver, Los Angeles, San Francisco|
|US Airways Express operated by Mesa Airlines||Phoenix|
|US Airways Express operated by SkyWest Airlines||Phoenix|
-  http://www.flysba.com/?pageID=99
- February 1, 1976 Official Airlines Guide (OAG), North American edition
- "Santa Barbara, CA: Santa Barbara Municipal Airport (SBA)". Bureau of Transportation Statistics. April 12, 2011. Retrieved April 16, 2011.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Santa Barbara Airport.|
- Webcams at UCSB Bookstore offer live views of the beach just South of the airport.
- The Santa Barbara Flying Club is a registered non-profit organization founded in 1947.
- (PDF), effective November 14, 2013
- Resources for this airport: