Sleepless Near the Airport

Santa Barbara Airport late night flights are keeping residents awake. You don’t have to live next to SBA to be annoyed by the air traffic. It’s not only affecting Goleta residents; neighboring communities of More Mesa, “Noleta,” Hope Ranch, Ellwood, and Storke Ranch, among others, are registering complaints on the SBA Complaint Hotline.

Residents are losing sleep because of air traffic schedules. There’s a late night “red-eye” flight that often departs after midnight, and several flights before 6 a.m. This makes it impossible to get the necessary hours of sleep!  

A new community group, Clean & Quiet SBA, gathered to discuss the problem. When we originally formed it was simply because of aircraft noise. But as residents spoke up, we realized that many are also concerned about the pollutants emitted from all the aircraft. We worry that we are breathing in the black substance that appears on outdoor furniture, plants, cars, and homes. We are deeply concerned about the greenhouse effect when the multimillion-dollar expansion is completed and airport capacity increases to over 70 percent in the next few years.

Here’s what we are asking for:

  • An Independent Noise Study. The airport has failed to file regular noise reports on a consistent basis since February of 2021.
  • An Updated Environmental Impact Report. SBA had an EIR 2017. But since June 2022, the noise and pollution have increased even though real expansion is just beginning.
  • A Santa Barbara Noise Ordinance that includes aircraft. Our City Council must follow the path that Long Beach City Council has set for their airport noise problem. It is part of the City Noise ordinance and the City Prosecutor goes after the violators. 
  • We need Community Outreach from SBA. Assign a seat on the Airport Commission that represents the neighborhood stakeholders.

The airport is an important asset to the Santa Barbara area, and we understand that improvements, such as a parking structure, are necessary. But any expansion or growth needs to be done in a smart, environmentally conscious way to protect the health and quality of life of the local residents.

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