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Taking off! Record passenger traffic at Santa Barbara Airport fuels proposal to expand terminal

Santa Barbara Airport reported a surge in traffic this summer.
Santa Barbara Airport is looking at a proposal to add 33,000 square feet of terminal space, taking it from 72,000 to 105,000 square feet.

Plan calls for adding two gates to the terminal. The facility would grow from 72,000 to 105,000 square feet. An open house is set for the proposal.

Business is booming at the Tri-Counties most heavily used commercial airport. Now, it’s sharing a proposal with the community to expand its terminal to meet future growth.

Santa Barbara Airport served a record 1.2 million plus passengers last year, and traffic is predicted to continue to grow. The airport is proposing to expand its current 72,000 square foot facility by more than a third, to 105,000 square feet.

The terminal would go from five to seven gates. There would be additional seating and concession areas, plus improvements to ticket counter, security screening, and baggage handling facilities.

The airport is holding an open house from 4-6 p.m. Tuesday to showcase its proposal. It will take place at Direct Relief’s headquarters building (6100 Wallace Becknell Road), which is adjacent to the airport off of Hollister Road.

Lance Orozco has been News Director of KCLU since 2001, providing award-winning coverage of some of the biggest news events in the region, including the Thomas and Woolsey brush fires, the deadly Montecito debris flow, the Borderline Bar and Grill attack, and Ronald Reagan's funeral.