Santa Maria Public Airport

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Santa Maria Public Airport
Capt. G. Allan Hancock Field
Santa Maria Army Airfield
SMX logo.png
Santa Maria Public Airport-2006-USGS.jpg
2006 USGS Photo
Airport type Public
Owner Santa Maria Public Airport District
Serves Santa Maria, California
Elevation AMSL 261 ft / 80 m
Coordinates 34°53′56″N 120°27′27″W / 34.89889°N 120.45750°W / 34.89889; -120.45750Coordinates: 34°53′56″N 120°27′27″W / 34.89889°N 120.45750°W / 34.89889; -120.45750
KSMX is located in California
Direction Length Surface
ft m
12/30 8,004 2,440 Asphalt
2/20 5,130 1,564 Asphalt
Statistics (2007)
Aircraft operations 62,480
Based aircraft 243
Source: FAA,[1] airport website[2]
FAA diagram before runway extension

Santa Maria Public Airport (Capt. G. Allan Hancock Field) (IATA: SMXICAO: KSMXFAA LID: SMX) is three miles (5 km) south of Santa Maria, in northern Santa Barbara County, California.[1] The main hub destination for Santa Maria is Los Angeles International Airport.


The airport was built by the United States Army during World War II, known as Santa Maria Army Air Field.[3] Its primary mission was to provide training for B-25 bomber pilots, however flight training was abandoned by December 1942. The field fell into a state of disuse until the arrival of the P-38 twin engine fighter in September 1943.

During its use by the military Santa Maria AAF also controlled Estrella Army Airfield, near Paso Robles as an auxiliary airfield to support the pilot training activity.

After the war Santa Barbara County and the city of Santa Maria acquired the land and facilities through two grants in 1948. In 1964 the Army Air Field was renamed Santa Maria Public Airport.

Pacific Air Lines Martin 4-0-4s and Fairchild F-27s flew to Santa Maria in the 1960s. Pacific Air Lines (formerly Southwest Airways flying Douglas DC-3s) merged with Bonanza Air Lines and West Coast Airlines to form Air West which continued F-27 flights. Air West became Hughes Airwest which flew Douglas DC-9s to Santa Maria in 1974-75; they dropped Santa Maria in 1979.

Other airlines included Swift Aire Lines Fokker F27s, Nord 262s and de Havilland Herons, Apollo Airways Handley Page HP.137 Jetstreams (Santa Barbara-based Apollo became Pacific Coast Airlines), Wings West Airlines (American Eagle) Beechcraft C99, Fairchild Swearingen Metroliner, BAe Jetstream 31 and 32, and Saab 340 turboprops, West Air (United Express) BAe Jetstream 31s and Embraer EMB-110 Bandeirantes and Mesa Air (United Express) Beechcraft 1900Cs.


The airport covers 2,516 acres (1,018 ha) and has two asphalt runways: 12/30, 8,004 x 150 ft (2,439 x 46 m) and 2/20, 5,130 x 75 ft (1,564 x 23 m).[1]

In 2007 the airport had 62,480 aircraft operations, average 171 per day: 79% general aviation, 19% air taxi, 2% military and <1% airline. 243 aircraft are based at the airport: 83% single-engine, 7% multi-engine, 6% helicopter, 3% jet, <1% glider and <1% ultralight.[1]


A runway extension opened on May 3, 2012, from 6,304 ft. to 8,004 ft.[4] It is hoped that the extended runway will help to attract new airlines or new destinations.

Allegiant Air has expanded flights between Las Vegas and Santa Maria with four nonstops per week each way. Allegiant nonstop flights on Saturdays to Honolulu, Hawaii began on November 17, 2012. Allegiant's nonstops to Honolulu are now seasonal according to its route map.[5] The Hawaii service is flown with Boeing 757-200s. Allegiant operates McDonnell Douglas MD-80s on its nonstops to Las Vegas.

A 4,000-square-foot (370 m2) baggage claim facility opened in 2007. It is one of the first airports on the Central Coast to use a state of the art baggage carousel although on a small scale compared with larger airports.

Other enhancements include a new passenger terminal holding room that opened February 2008. The old area had room for 30 passengers. Designed for the current Allegiant Air jet flights the new holding room can accommodate 200 passengers and has room for a new cafe.

Besides the current Allegiant jet service, SkyWest Airlines ("United Express") flies Embraer EMB-120 Brasilias nonstop to Los Angeles and has served the airport for many years.

The extended primary runway at Santa Maria is paved to 8,004 feet,[4] giving the airport the longest civil runway between Los Angeles and San Francisco on the central coast (Bakersfield's primary runway at Meadows Field in the Central Valley (10855 x 150 ft.) and Vandenberg AFB's runway (15000 x 200 ft.) are longer).


Nov 2007 to October 2008: 56,553 passengers (SkyWest), 53,294 passengers (Allegiant), total 109,847 passengers.[6] Nov 2008 to October 2009, 48,117 passengers (SkyWest), 37,570 passengers (Allegiant), total 85,687 passengers.[6]

Airlines and destinations[edit]

Airlines Destinations
Allegiant Air [7] Las Vegas
Seasonal: Honolulu
United Express [8] Los Angeles

Allan Hancock Field[edit]

The original Allan Hancock Field was established in 1927 at another location, between Jones Street to the north, Stowell Road to the south, Bradley Road to the east and Miller Street to the west. The airport housed the Allan Hancock College of Aeronautics operated by the Hancock Foundation of Aeronautics. Before World War II, it was one of eight civil training military aviation cadets.[9] After the war the field was used by the University of Southern California for their 4-year Aeronautics Degree program. In 1958 a bond was passed allowing Santa Maria Junior College to purchase the land, much of which would become the campus of what is now known as Allan Hancock College.[10] The name of the original Santa Maria Airport and Hancock's name then transferred to the other, now public airport in town.

See also[edit]


 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the Air Force Historical Research Agency.

  1. ^ a b c d FAA Airport Master Record for SMX (Form 5010 PDF), effective 2007-10-25
  2. ^ Santa Maria Public Airport, official site
  3. ^
  4. ^ a b
  5. ^
  6. ^ a b [1]
  7. ^ Allegiant route map, accessed March 3, 2014
  8. ^ United Airlines Timetable, page 250. Accessed March 3, 2014
  9. ^
  10. ^

External links[edit]