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|
|Source: FAA, airport website|
Santa Maria Public Airport (Capt. G. Allan Hancock Field) (IATA: SMX, ICAO: KSMX, FAA LID: SMX) is an airport 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 P-38 twin engine fighter in September 1943.
Santa Maria was previously served for many years by Pacific Air Lines operating Martin 4-0-4 propliners and later with Fairchild F-27 turboprops. Pacific Air Lines (which formerly operated as Southwest Airways flying Douglas DC-3s) merged with Bonanza Air Lines and West Coast Airlines to form Air West which continued to serve Santa Maria with Fairchild F-27 propjets. Air West then became Hughes Airwest and eventually dropped Santa Maria after briefly serving the airport with Douglas DC-9 jetliners.
Other past airlines serving the airport included Swift Aire Lines operating Fokker F27 and Nord 262 turboprops as well as de Havilland Heron propliners (Swift Aire was based in nearby San Luis Obispo), Apollo Airways flying Handley Page HP.137 Jetstream propjets (Santa Barbara-based Apollo then changed its name to Pacific Coast Airlines), Wings West Airlines operating as American Eagle flying Beechcraft C99, Fairchild Swearingen Metroliner, BAe Jetstream 31 and 32, and Saab 340 turboprops, West Air operating as United Express with BAe Jetstream 31 and Embraer EMB-110 Bandeirante turboprops and Mesa Air also flying as United Express with Beechcraft 1900C turboprops.
Facilities and aircraft
In 2007 the airport had 62,480 aircraft operations, an average of 171 per day: 79% general aviation, 19% air taxi, 2% military and <1% scheduled commercial. There are 243 aircraft based at this airport: 83% single-engine, 7% multi-engine, 6% helicopter, 3% jet, <1% glider and <1% ultralight.
The airport opened a runway extension 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 and/or new destinations.
Allegiant Air has also expanded air service between Las Vegas and Santa Maria with four nonstops per week each way. Allegiant unveiled Saturday nonstops from Santa Maria to Honolulu, Hawaii, which began on November 17, 2012. Allegiant currently uses McDonnell Douglas MD-80s to Las Vegas and Boeing 757-200s on the nonstop to Honolulu.
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 smaller scale when compared with larger airports.
Other enhancements include a new passenger terminal holding room that opened February 2008. The old area was able to accommodate only 30 passengers. Designed for the current Allegiant Air jet flights the new holding room can accommodate 200 passengers and has enough room for a new cafe.
Besides the current Allegiant jet service, SkyWest Airlines operating as United Express flies Embraer EMB-120 Brasilia twin turboprops 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, thus providing the airport with the longest commercial 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.) as well as 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. 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 operated by SkyWest Airlines||Los Angeles|
Allan Hancock Field
The original Allan Hancock Field was established in 1927 at another location, approximately 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 civilian training military aviation cadets. Following 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
- Central Coast Jet Center
- (PDF), effective May 30, 2013
- Resources for this airport: