SANTA BARBARA, CA – August 18, 2015
As we celebrate National Aviation Day it’s important to remember that our local Airport is a valuable resource. Almost 112 years ago, on December 17, 1903, Orville and Wilbur Wright changed the course of history by flying the first powered airplane 20 feet above a wind-swept beach in North Carolina. To celebrate this historic moment and the continued development of aviation in the United States, President Franklin Roosevelt proclaimed August 19th to be National Aviation Day in 1939 to coincide with the birthday of Orville Wright who piloted the Wright Flyer.
In today’s global market place the Santa Barbara Airport (SBA) provides vital services to individuals, hospitals, colleges, large and small businesses and the military. In addition to the economic benefits for our community, SBA provides travelers convenient and efficient access to the world with 3 major airlines (Alaska, American, United) offering 22 flights a day to 6 international airports (Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Denver, Phoenix and Los Angeles) and serves over 700,000 passengers a year.
Our General Aviation community offers a variety of vital resources to the region and hosts 4 flight schools that can teach you how to become a pilot like Orville Wright. You will also find on the field the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Air Traffic Control Tower (ATC), Aircraft Repair and Maintenance, Charters, Fixed Based Operators (FBO’s) and organizations such as the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA), International Organization of Women Pilots (99’s), Santa Barbara Flying Club, and the Santa Barbara Radio Controlled Modelers Club.
Other aviation highlights found around the Airport are the Earle Ovington Terminal Historic Museum and the two World War II memorials. One memorial has a distinctive propeller from a Chance Vought F4U Corsair aircraft and is located in front of the Airport Administration Building at 601 Norman Firestone Road. The second memorial, located at the east end of the Airline Terminal Long Term Parking Lot on James Fowler Road, has an obelisk that lists the names of local aviators who gave their lives during World War II and the Marine Corps Squadrons that served at the Santa Barbara base. Visitor access to both monuments is convenient and parking is free.
Santa Barbara Airport is a self-supporting enterprise owned and operated by the City Santa Barbara and serves over 700,000 passengers annually.