Santa Maria Public Airport
|Santa Maria Public Airport
Capt. G. Allan Hancock Field
Santa Maria Army Airfield
2006 USGS Photo
|IATA: SMX – ICAO: KSMX – FAA LID: SMX|
|Owner||Santa Maria Public Airport District|
|Serves||Santa Maria, California|
|Elevation AMSL||261 ft / 80 m|
Santa Maria Public Airport (Capt. G. Allan Hancock Field) (IATA: SMX, ICAO: KSMX, FAA LID: SMX) is three miles (5 km) south of Santa Maria, in northern Santa Barbara County, California. The main hub destination for Santa Maria is Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).
The airport was built by the United States Army during World War II, known as Santa Maria Army Air Field. 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 Lockheed P-38 twin engine fighter in September 1943.
Past airline service
The first airline to serve Santa Maria was Southwest Airways operating Douglas DC-3s. The June 1, 1947 timetable shows three daily round trips between Los Angeles and San Francisco with eight intermediate stops en route: Los Angeles-Oxnard-Santa Barbara-Santa Maria-San Luis Obispo-Coalinga-Monterey-Santa Cruz/Watsonville-San Jose/Moffett Field-San Francisco. Southwest the changed its name to Pacific Air Lines and operated Martin 4-0-4s and Fairchild F-27s into Santa Maria during the 1960s. Pacific Air Lines merged with Bonanza Air Lines and West Coast Airlines to form Air West which later changed its name to Hughes Airwest which in turn served Santa Maria with Douglas DC-9 jetliners and Fairchild F-27 turboprops. The Oct. 26, 1975 Hughes Airwest timetable listed DC-9 nonstops to Los Angeles and San Francisco as well as nonstop F-27s to LAX. This was the only time Santa Maria had nonstop jets to both LAX and SFO. Hughes Airwest ceased all service to the airport in 1979.
At one point during the early 1980s Swift Aire Lines, based at nearby San Luis Obispo Airport, was the only airline flying nonstop between Santa Maria and Los Angeles, primarily with new Fokker F27 Friendship turboprops. Swift Aire also operated Nord 262 turboprops and de Havilland Heron prop aircraft into the airport. Other air carriers over the years included Sun Aire Lines with Fairchild Swearingen Metroliner propjets, Apollo Airways (which subsequently changed its name to Pacific Coast Airlines) flying Handley Page HP.137 Jetstream propjets, Wings West Airlines operating as American Eagle with Beechcraft C99, Fairchild Swearingen Metroliner, BAe Jetstream 31, and Saab 340 turboprops, West Air flying as United Express with BAe Jetstream 31 and Embraer EMB-110 Bandeirante turboprops and Mesa Air also operating as United Express with Beechcraft 1900C turboprops.
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.
Expansion and current airline service
A runway extension opened on May 3, 2012, from 6,304 ft. to 8,004 ft. 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 Hawaii are now seasonal according to its route map although it is currently unclear concerning when the airline will resume service between Santa Maria and Honolulu. The Hawaii service was being flown with Boeing 757-200 jetliners equipped for ETOPS extended range operations. Allegiant currently operates McDonnell Douglas MD-80 jets 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 operating as United Express via a code sharing agreement with United Airlines flies Bombardier CRJ-200 regional jets with nonstop service to San Francisco (SFO) which is a major connecting hub for United. Skywest has served the airport for many years and first began flights to Santa Maria in 1984 when it acquired Sun Aire Lines which was serving the airport at that time. SkyWest then began flying as a Delta Connection carrier from SMX during the late 1980s via a code sharing agreement with Delta Air Lines operating Fairchild Swearingen Metroliner turboprops before becoming a United Express carrier in California.
The extended primary runway at Santa Maria is paved to 8,004 feet, 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).
|This article is outdated. (March 2015)|
Nov 2007 to October 2008: 56,553 passengers (SkyWest), 53,294 passengers (Allegiant), total 109,847 passengers. Nov 2008 to October 2009, 48,117 passengers (SkyWest), 37,570 passengers (Allegiant), total 85,687 passengers.
Airlines and destinations
|Allegiant Air ||Las Vegas|
|United Express ||San Francisco|
Allan Hancock Field
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. 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. The name of the original Santa Maria Airport and Hancock's name then transferred to the other, now public airport in town.
- FAA Airport Master Record for SMX ( PDF), effective 2007-10-25
- Santa Maria Public Airport, official site
- http://www.timetableimages.com; June 1, 1947 Southwest Airways timetable
- http://www.departedflights.com; Oct. 26, 1975 Hughes Airwest timetable
- http://www.departedflights.com; April 1, 1981 Official Airline Guide (OAG)
- http://www.departedflights.com; Dec. 15, 1989 Official Airline Guide (OAG), LAX-SMX flight schedules
- Allegiant route map, accessed March 3, 2014
- United Airlines Timetable, page 250. Accessed March 3, 2014
- Central Coast Jet Center
- (PDF), effective May 28, 2015
- Resources for this airport: