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Santa Barbara Airport ready for $3.37 million in safety upgrades

Flickr member DieselDemon

The Santa Barbara Municipal Airport is getting ready to begin $3.37 million in safety upgrades, now that it has received a $3,026,481 grant from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

The project includes new runway lighting, fences to keep wildlife away from moving aircraft, and improvements to help maintain the pavement's structural integrity.

Airport Director Hazel Johns says most passengers likely won't notice the changes, but they are important in bringing the airport up to current standards.

"Certainly pilots will recognize the improvements," said Johns. "The airfield electrical system is critical to having 24 hour operations, so for us to be able to rehabilitate the whole system and bring it up to date, is very important."

Johns says the bids for the project have already been approved, so airport staff is ready to move forward once the grant is finalized. The City of Santa Barbara is paying ten percent of the project price, with the FAA picking up the rest.

“The Santa Barbara Municipal Airport provides a wonderful service to our Central Coast community,” Rep. Lois Capps (D-Santa Barbara) said in a media statement. “This grant will improve airport safety while reducing maintenance costs, enhancing the airport’s ability to serve the Central Coast.”