Recently, City Council voted to honor former judge and Santa Barbara Mayor Jack Rickard by naming the new airport terminal after him. There has been some confusion as many have thought that the airport was being renamed which is not the case. Many others have wondered why it should be named for anyone at all, which is a fair question.
The names assigned to landmarks, streets, and buildings not only memorialize significant historic achievement, but help to tell a bit of the history about our area. Names like Cabrillo, Storke, Chase, Murphy, Serra, and Yanonali all have their place in local lore, and the accomplishments and setbacks they experienced are valuable foundations for those who would be the stewards of today’s Santa Barbara. Certainly the airport terminal had many past and contemporary players to shepherd this massive project though development who deserve credit and recognition, but this small gesture recognizes the compelling body of work of an accomplished public servant, whose influence is felt today in many physical and social aspects of this region.
Our airport is and will remain the Santa Barbara Airport (SBA). Most folks (me, for example) were not aware that the old terminal was named for Earle Ovington, and had been since 1969. Ovington’s name will still be attached to the historic part of the terminal, which is being preserved to maintain our connection with the past. The name Rickard serves as yet one more acknowledgement that the deeds of our forbearers will not be forgotten.