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General Western Aero Hangars

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Project Information
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The two General Western Aero Hangars are located on the northeast portion of the Santa Barbara Airport near the intersection of Fairview Avenue and Hollister Avenue adjacent to San Pedro Creek. These two hangars were constructed in 1931 and were the genesis of the Santa Barbara Airport. Throughout the 1930’s, the hangars supported aircraft manufacturing and commercial operations. During the 1940’s, the Army Corps of Engineers and the United States Marines Corps began filling in the Goleta Slough and expanding the airport with new buildings and hangars. By the 1950’s, the hangars were still functional, but the airfield had grown substantially to the west and south, thereby making the hangars appear set back from the airfield.

Limited documentation available between the 1950’s and 1980’s suggests the hangars were less used for aviation purposes and more for storage. It appears that minimal maintenance was performed on the hangars over this period.

Beginning in the 1980s through present, a number of studies were performed, and plans developed related to the future disposition of these structures. Both structures are well beyond their useful life and are no longer providing a useful function to airport operations.

The current City CIP FY22-26 proposed $500,000 in FY22 and $4,100,000 as future needs for the hangars. Given the location within the floodway, this location is minimally suited for supporting airport operations.

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Current Project Timeline

  • 2002 - Lenvik and Minor Architects (LMA) completed a Conditions Use Study that analyzed three options for the future use of the two hangars. Swalley Consulting Structural Engineer completed an updated structural assessment of the two hangars as a subconsultant to LMA. The options analyzed included: restore for full use, adaptive re-use, and historical documentation and demolition. 2014 - Historic Structures Report was completed for eight buildings at the Santa Barbara Airport, including the two General Western Aero Hangars. The report concluded that the General Western Aero Hangars are City eligible, and California register of Historical Resources eligible.
     
  • 2017 - Airport Master Plan (SBAMP) shows the two hangars to be relocated out of the floodway. Three alternate sites were proposed. In addition, a demolition alternative and a mothball alternative were analyzed in the SBAMP Environmental Impact Report (EIR).
Western Aero Hangars 1941 as seen from Fairview Road
1941 Terminal between General Western Aero Hangars

1941 General Western Aero Hangars with Terminal in between, as seen from Fairview Road. 

1933 SBA Air Show with General Western Aero Hangars in backdrop
1933 SBA Air Show

1933 Air Show at Santa Barbara Airport with General Western Aero Hangers in the back ground. 

Current State Inside General Western Aero Hangars
Current State - Inside

This photos shows the current state of the inside of the General Western Aero Hangars.

General Western Aero Hangers Current State
Current State - Outside

This photos shows the current state of the outside of the General Western Aero Hangars.

The Santa Barbara Airport does not discriminate on the basis of disability in admission to, access to, treatment of, or employment in its programs, services, and activities.