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Santa Barbara Airport Receives $3 Million Federal Grant for Improvements

The money will go toward updating the runway lighting system and the paved parking area for aircraft, as well as installing a wildlife barrier

A $3 million federal grant will help pay for updated runways and other improvements at the Santa Barbara Airport.
A $3 million federal grant will help pay for updated runways and other improvements at the Santa Barbara Airport. (Lara Cooper / Noozhawk photo)

The Santa Barbara Airport received a $3 million federal grant on Monday that will go toward updating the airport's runway lighting system and other improvements.

The announcement came from the office of Rep. Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara, who stated that the airport had received a grant from the Federal Aviation Administration for $3,026,481.

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

The grant will help fund a handful of improvements at the airport, including a full rehabilitation of the airport's runway lighting system, which has reached the end of its useful life.

The funding will go toward the $3.37 million needed to complete the airfield project, according to Airport Director Hazel Johns.

The entire runway lighting system will be upgraded, Johns said, noting that the underground system had corroded in certain areas.

LED lights will be installed as part of the project

"While we're OK, we need to bring the system up to speed," she said.

Forty-thousand square yards of the existing northeast apron, where aircraft are parked, will be upgraded to maintain the structural integrity of the pavement.

A 3,425-foot wildlife perimeter fence will be installed to protect the airport from unauthorized entry and well as to keep wildlife out.

The fence will be raised from 6-feet to 8-feet high, per FAA standards, but will not keep out birds.

Johns said that the airport has put in bids on the project already and expects to have the grant by early June, and "the work will start immediately," she said.

She expects the project to take about six months.

Noozhawk staff writer Lara Cooper can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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