Santa Barbara Airport to rename taxiways, add $3.5 million in improvements
The Santa Barbara Airport is forging ahead with its plans to update its taxiway designations to comply with Federal Aviation Administration regulations.
The renaming plan has been approved by the FAA, a spokesperson for the federal agency, told the News-Press.
Now airport officials are finalizing the design plan and are slated to begin construction in 2023.
The crux of the project is standardizing the airport’s taxiway nomenclatures — something the FAA has required of all airports. And not only will Santa Barbara Airport rename its taxiways to make them more uniform, the renaming will also make intersecting taxiways less confusing for pilots, Bradley Klinzing, a supervising engineer for Santa Barbara, told the News-Press.
Mr. Klinzing noted current taxiway designations could confuse new pilots as to which way to turn to get to the terminal. The renaming will re-designate the intersecting taxiways so it’s clearer which way to turn.
“It can be confusing to a pilot who is landing here who has not operated at our airfields much in the past,” Mr. Klinzing said. “We’re just trying to simplify it for the pilots so there’s less incursions or safety issues.”
“Knowing that the pilots won’t have as many decisions to make out there — it’s simpler and safer — I think that’s a win-win,” he continued.
Aside from the renaming, the project will include an update to signage and pavement markings and a switch to LED lighting, which is expected to cut both energy and maintenance costs.
In total, the construction is expected to total $3.5 million, officials said. As it is an FAA-eligible project, the federal agency will cover about 90% of the costs with the airport on the hook for the rest.
Construction will not begin until 2023 and will take place on various dates between midnight and 5 a.m.
Airport officials are wrapping up the design plan, which includes construction documents and a schedule for phasing the construction.
“We can’t just say, ‘Here’s the airfield. Have at it.’ They need to break it up into little segments that are manageable for them to complete,” Mr. Klinzing said.
For example, the first phase is expected just to tackle the runway and its signage and pavement markets. The next phase will handle needed improvements with Taxiway Alpha and so on.
Some designations are expected to remain the same, including Taxiway Alpha and Taxiway Charlie.
The airport is currently working on a nighttime remediation project to remove contaminated soil from a 2019 crash. This undertaking is expected to last until the beginning of June.