Rep. Lois Capps announced on Wednesday that Santa Barbara Airport (SBA) received $2,378,517 from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). In addition to the $1,347,262 they received earlier this year, the money will be used to construct a new building to replace the current terminal, which hasn’t been updated since 1976. Under the FAA’s Airport Improvement Program, SBA is entitled to the grant based on its size and the amount of people who board planes there.
Hazel Johns, SBA assistant director, explained that every ticket bought includes a tax that goes into an escrow account with the FAA. Over the years, this money is accumulated, maintained, and given back to airports for improvements. SBA is eligible for the grant each year, but receives the money in two installments due to the FAA’s continuing resolution of operation.
SBA began with temporary improvements to the already existing terminal during the last week of April. Changes in the roadway will allow for a construction site, and foundation work has started for the new building. Although the new terminal will replace the old one, the historic portion of the old one will be incorporated into the site.
Oxnard Regional Airport also received $1,823,567 for the installation of an emergency power generator and rehabilitation of the apron, runway, and taxiway. Capps was quoted in a press release as saying, “This federal assistance will ensure that the improvements underway at these local airports can continue to move forward as planned and help the airports maintain their high quality of service to their passengers and employees.”