Santa Barbara Airport (SBA) is a “small hub” airport currently served by United, Alaska, American, and Southwest airlines and their affiliates. Since the new Airline Terminal opened in August 2011, SBA has experienced approximately 40 percent growth in enplanements (i.e. commercial passenger boardings).
The Airport Master Plan (AMP) is an individual airport developed document that provides foresight to future projects and goals for the airport within the upcoming years. Currently, SBA is developing a Master Plan Update (MPU) to the 2017 AMP as SBA has grown is popularity and is adjusting its own needs.
The objective of the MPU is to provide the community and public officials with proper guidance for future development, which will satisfy aviation demands and be wholly compatible with the environment. Additionally, this project has the specific objective of re-examining the recommended direction from the 2017 AMP, while incorporating subsequent changes when conditions and circumstances may have invalidated previous recommendations. Still-valid concepts may be retained, while new concepts will be developed for those alternatives no longer valid or considered unacceptable or unworkable.
The MPU will follow the adopted guiding principles from the 2017 AMP, which guide the operations and long term planning at SBA:
Safety and Security. Provide safe and secure facilities and operating environment for aviators and the general public;
Economic Vitality. Continue to serve as a vital economic contributor to the region while maintaining the Airport’s economic self-sufficiency;
Transportation Diversity. Provide modern, quality facilities to serve a variety of aviation needs and services. Facilitate ground transportation options for travel to and from the Airport;
Community. Be a good neighbor by coordinating planning, being responsive to community concerns, and proactive in our environmental stewardship.
Sustainability. Support sustainable design of airport facilities and the wise use of resources.
Environmental Preservation. Assess future development as it relates to the Goleta Slough and other sensitive habitats.
Cultural Resource Protection. Preserve and enhance our archaeological and historic resources.
Question: Will passenger demand still increase if the SBA facilities are not improved?
Answer: Yes, passenger volume is set to increase at a rate of 5% per year, regardless of any facility improvement. This means, should existing facilities not be improved, the passenger experience will deteriorate and passengers, such as those with mobility issues, or young families will face even greater challenges accessing and navigating these public facilities.
Question: In the Aviation Activity Forecasts, why is passenger growth predicted to increase 5% annually, while the number of flights to support that demand does not grow at the same rate?
Answer: Airlines will do two things before adding additional flights: They will seek to increase the efficacy of their routes by selling the most seats possible on each flight. Then, they could introduce larger airplanes to popular destinations.
Question: How will airport noise be addressed in the Master Plan?
Answer: Presently, SBA is working with all possible partners to find creative solutions to noise concerns. These include working with airlines, private aircraft and flight schools to ensure agreed upon take-off and landing paths are respected, weather and conditions permitting. Looking ahead, the Master Plan will address noise impacts once a set of preferred alternatives have been identified and a long-term airport layout has been recommended. The long-term airport layout and the FAA approved aviation forecasts will then be combined in an FAA computer model to develop noise contours. A set of noise contours reflecting current conditions as well as the future 20-year condition will be prepared, and SBA will then be able to identify areas where noise is expected to change throughout the forecast period.
500 James Fowler Road
Santa Barbara, CA 93117