The Santa Barbara City Council today will receive a status update from Airport Department staff on airport-related matters, including operations, property management, facilities maintenance, air service development, aviation activity and the delivery of capital improvements at the Santa Barbara Airport.
The council will meet at 2 p.m. at City Hall, 735 Anacapa St.
“The Santa Barbara Airport (SBA) continues to adapt to what has been the most volatile time in industry history,” staff said in its report to the council.
“Initially, the COVID pandemic resulted in a virtual shutdown of aviation activity. Across the industry, recovery was initially very slow, causing a prolonged and very significant drop in revenue. As a result, SBA initially put a pause on most significant capital expenditures as well as on the filling of some vacant positions.”
To support airports dealing with revenue shortages, the federal government provided several batches of funding to airports nationwide. The stimulus funding coupled with growth in demand for air travel at SBA to record levels has put the airport on financially stable ground moving forward, staff said.
“The challenges that now lie ahead deal primarily with implementation of the Airport’s Capital Improvement Projects as SBA looks to provide the infrastructure necessary to meet the demand and customer expectation for service while being responsive to community impacts,” staff said.
During the period of January 2022 to present, SBA experienced record passenger growth. The pandemic recovery coupled with the influx of Federal relief funds have positioned SBA well to move forward on several key capital improvements. Although most vacant positions have now been filled, several key vacancies remain.