Santa Barabra Municipal Airport - Santa Barbara, CA (SBA)

Santa Barabra Municipal Airport - Santa Barbara, CA (SBA)
Santa Barbara Municipal Airport -
The Santa Barbara Municipal Airport is a gateway to the enchantment of Santa Barbara. It is a landmark of aviation and architectural history with its red tile roof, dark wood beams and an old mission garden full of jasmine and bougainvillea.

Santa Barbara's aviation history began in 1914 when Lincoln Beachey flew an airplane across Goleta Valley. Two years later the Loughead Brothers, who later changed their name to Lockheed, established a seaplane factory on State Street seaplane and constructed a wooden ramp on West Beach to launch their planes. In 1928, Gordon Sackett and Royce Stetson landed a Hisso-powered airplane in a cow pasture near the corner of Hollister and Fairview Avenues and set up a flight school on the spot. That first airstrip marked the beginning of what was to become the Santa Barbara Municipal Airport.

As airplane manufacturing grew in the late 1930's that simple airstrip developed into an airfield. Western General set up shop and began producing Meteor airplanes, while Santa Barbara Airways' founder Frederick Stearns II built two additional runways and two large hangars. Stearns also installed the first radio equipment at the airfield.

Commercial service began in 1932 with Pacific Seaboard Airlines, and United Airlines inaugurated service from Santa Barbara/Goleta in 1936.

As the prospect of war escalated the United States Government established a defense program to construct 250 airports across the country on a cost-sharing basis with local governments. T.M. Storke secured Santa Barbara's enrollment in the program, and in 1941 groundbreaking ceremonies were held for the Santa Barbara Municipal Airport. The Spanish-style terminal building, commissioned by United Airlines in 1942 was designed by William Edwards and Joseph Plunkett, an architectural team whose work, including the Arlington Theatre and the National Armory, helped shape the Mediterranean style of the city.


San Luis County Regional Airport - San Luis Obispo, CA (SBP)
San Luis County Regional Airport - San Luis Obispo, CA (SBP)
San Luis Obispo County Regional Airport -
  The San Luis Obispo County Regional Airport began as one man's dream. Earl Thomson, along with his brothers-in-law, William "Chris" and David Hoover, talked county officials into leasing them the land. By April 1939, the airport opened with an 88-by-100 foot hangar and dirt runways.

In 1940, hard surface runways and lights were installed by the War Department. In 1940 and 1941, 183 private pilots and 20 advanced students were trained here through a federally sponsored Civilian Pilot Training Program for armed services fliers.

The federal government took over the airport through World War II, turning it back to the county in 1946. Additionally, Southwest Airways inaugurated a passenger and airline service that year.

In 1947, county supervisors contracted for another hangar, ramp, and eventually an administration building. The supervisors named Chris Hoover full-time airport manager in 1953.

In 1987, the San Luis Obispo County Regional Airport was dedicated as McChesney Field, in honor of Leroy E. McChesney for his leadership and dedication to aviation. Mr. McChesney resided in the county since 1920 and had been a pilot since 1949. He was a longtime member of the California Aviation Council, a member of the California Aeronautics Board, and other aviation organizations. Mr. McChesney was the Grand Marshal of the first Airport Day in 1984.

Airport facilities now include a terminal building, restaurant, hangars and numerous other airplane related businesses. In 1988, an air traffic control tower was opened by the Federal Aviation Administration.

Although Southwest Airways started airline service here in 1946, it only lasted until 1955. Southwest replaced it's DC-3's with Martin 404's, which were too large for the 4,000 foot runway, so they moved to Paso Robles. There was a long gap in air passenger service until Swift Aire Lines was started up in 1969. By the time that the control tower opened in 1988, Wings West, Skywest, WestAir, and later, American Eagle were in operation. Passenger service from San Luis Obispo was here to stay. Today, two regional airlines serve the community:  United Express (Skywest Airlines) and U.S. Airways (Mesa Airlines).


Santa Maria Public Airport - Santa Maria, CA (SMX)
Santa Maria Public Airport - Santa Maria, CA (SMX)
Santa Maria Public Airport District -
Located in the heart of the California Central Coast, Santa Maria Airport (SMX) serves areas as far north as the wine country of Paso Robles and south to the historic beauty of Santa Barbara. The Airport offers a convenient and hassle-free experience. Boarding time and security checks are quick, simple, and efficient. Residents and visitors have the choice of two commercial airlines with flights to Los Angeles and Las Vegas. Parking is always free and just a few steps away.

Enjoy the ease of flying to and from the California Central Coast with direct and connecting flights across the country. The airport also serves the general aviation and corporate communities with the Radisson hotel situated on the airfield. SMX is dedicated to make recreational or business aviation a pleasant and safe environment. We look forward to your visit.


In the early 1940's, during World War II, the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers constructed what was then known as Santa Maria Army Base to provide training facilities for crews of B-25 aircraft. A few years later the B-25 groups left and the facility became a training field for P-38 pilots and ground crews.

In 1946, following the war's end, the County of Santa Barbara acquired the property by means of an interim permit issued by the War Assets Administration. The County retained control of the facility until 1949, at which time the City of Santa Maria obtained an undivided one-half interest. This dual ownership/management proved cumbersome to administer, and in March of 1964 transfer of the airport to the newly formed Santa Maria Public Airport District was accomplished.

Santa Maria Public Airport District encompasses an area of 400 square miles extending from the Santa Maria/Cuyama River at the north to a point three miles south of the community of Los Alamos at the south. Then an east-west direction, the District commences at Point Sal at the Pacific Ocean and extends eastward a distance of 30 miles, or 10 miles east of the dam at Twitchell Reservoir. The District is governed by a five-member Board of Directors who serve four-year terms and are elected at large. The directors entrust the responsibility for the efficient execution of airport policies to their designated representative, the General Manager.

Since formation of the District, numerous projects have been accomplished which directly and indirectly benefit each person in the District. Examples of these projects include design and construction of Skyway Drive from Betteravia Road to the Orcutt Expressway, design and construction of the planned industrial park east of Skyway Drive, and construction of the new airport terminal building, crash/fire/rescue station, air traffic control tower, new owner built hangars area, and other facilities adjacent to the primary runway.

Currently Santa Maria Public Airport encompasses approximately 2,598 acres, including two active runways. The airport provides facilities for one regional airline (Skywest/United) and serves as home base for over 200 general aviation aircraft.