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PRESS RELEASE / ANNOUNCEMENTS Wednesday, August 17, 2011

New SBA Airline Terminal Takes Flight

First Full Day of Operations - Thursday, August 18

The new Santa Barbara Airport Airline Terminal will open for business on Thursday, August 18 (August 17 for planes arriving after 10 p.m.).


The new 72,000 square foot terminal boasts streamlined passenger services with one airline ticket lobby, one passenger security screening area, one spacious departure lounge with five boarding gates, and one baggage claim area which includes all rental car counters. For passenger convenience, complimentary WiFi is available throughout the building.

Once passengers clear security they will enter a modern and comfortable departure lounge which encompasses virtually the entire second story. Unlike the 1942 terminal, screened passengers will have access to eateries, restrooms and travel supplies in addition to panoramic views of the mountains, ocean and airfield. An eatery will also be added downstairs later this year.

Passengers boarding jet aircraft will enplane via glass boarding bridges while passengers taking smaller planes will board on the ground after taking an escalator, stairs, or elevator to the aircraft parking ramp. Arriving passengers will deplane into the upstairs departure lounge and take an escalator, stairs, or elevator down to the central lobby and baggage claim.

As an important community gateway, the Airport is committed to providing a venue for public art that enriches the visitors experience and reflects the history and culture of the region. The new terminal’s Spanish Colonial Revival style architecture combined with spectacular public artworks offer the unique Santa Barbara Airport experience.

In addition to the new terminal building, the $54 million airline terminal improvement project includes a new aircraft parking ramp that was constructed in 2008, relocation and rehabilitation of the 1942 portion of the existing terminal, a new short term parking lot and frontage road. The new terminal was designed as a sustainable structure and may be eligible for a Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) Gold rating once all of the improvement projects are complete. Work on the remaining projects will commence next week and are expected to be finished by next spring. (Please see attached diagram for phase three construction).

The $54 million cost for the Airline Terminal Improvement Projects are funded as follows:

  • 63% Debt Financing
  • 25% Federal Aviation Administration Airport Improvement Grants
  • 10% Passenger Facility Charge revenue
  • 2% Santa Barbara Airport funds

The Santa Barbara Airport has over a half billion dollar total economic impact on Santa Barbara County and through its aviation tenants provides over 1,500 local jobs.

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