During the recent Santa Barbara County budget hearings, the Board of Supervisors heard substantial input regarding the effects of budget cuts on public safety.

As local volunteers for the national Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, we greatly appreciate the commitment our supervisors have made in ensuring that our important fire department helicopters will be available for searches, rescues and firefighting.

As county residents, taxpayers, aviators and businessmen, we remain concerned as the continued funding of the county’s public safety air assets will be problematical if economies of operations cannot be achieved. Based upon information gleaned from discussions with our sheriff’s and fire department personnel, we believe that savings can be achieved in the operations of these air assets.

We four, with combined aviation experience of more than 120 years and business experience of an equal number of years, would be available for discussions with the board, the Sheriff’s Department and the Fire Department on finding possible solutions to economic savings in the operations of our important county air assets.

It is our understanding that the board has formed a special committee to investigate the continued funding of this important asset. We hope that you will include our expert advice and input during those committee hearings.

Robert Perry, Gordon Feingold, Richard Hulme and Bob Wyckoff, volunteers
Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association