The Goleta City Council is inviting the public to its special meeting Wednesday evening for a Santa Barbara Airport community workshop, a meeting meant to address noise and environmental concerns raised by several Goleta residents.
The meeting is set to include a presentation from airport staff, including new Director Chris Hastert, who started in the position in October and said he is “committed to building transparency and trust with surrounding communities.”
In addition to information about the airport’s noise program, the presentation will include information about airport projects, such as the terminal expansion and parking structure project, the Southfield redevelopment project and an update to the 2017 Airport Master Plan.
During public comment of several past Goleta City Council meetings, Goleta residents have expressed complaints regarding noise from the airport, with planes flying over residences before 5:30 a.m., and continuing through late night.
“I am frustrated and tired of being awakened by early morning flights and late-night departures/arrivals, which is a relatively new occurrence,” Goleta resident Joni Goode said in a written public comment sent to the Goleta City Council ahead of Wednesday’s meeting. “The airport expansion is of particular concern as I worry that I will no longer be able to enjoy my home and, in particular, my backyard as a result of increased flights and pilots not adhering to the noise abatement procedures.”
An organization called Clean and Quiet SBA has been formed by some citizens, expressing concerns regarding noise and air pollution.
An online petition created by Clean and Quiet SBA had received 190 signatures as of Tuesday afternoon, as well as 150 written signatures.
In the petition, the group asks for several things, including an airport noise abatement policy that includes restrictions of departures and arrivals between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m., an independent noise study, an updated SBA environmental impact report, and more.
“Please support the effort to get SBA to put resources into getting compliance from the airlines to use both the western and eastern noise abatement corridors,” public commenter and Ellwood resident Mike Glick said. “The bluffs/ocean are great natural corridors for noise abatement for Goleta residents, and SBA has not been allocating sufficient efforts to encourage the airlines to utilize that resource.”
Others have been asking Goleta to take a stronger position regarding citizens’ concerns, particularly as the airport is technically in the City of Santa Barbara’s jurisdiction.
“As a senior citizen living about a mile from the airport, I am aware that the type of air pollution emitted from airplanes on takeoff has been found to cause or exacerbate serious illnesses such as COPD, asthma and heart disease,” Cheryl Rogers said in written public comment. “We can no longer ignore how our airport is impacting our residents’ illnesses, from children to seniors.”
The special Goleta City Council meeting is scheduled to begin at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday in the Goleta Council Chambers, 130 Cremona Drive, Suite B. The meeting can also be viewed on the city’s website or through Zoom, with information on participating through Zoom in the meeting’s agenda.