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Santa Barbara Airport energizes local economy


At a meeting of the Santa Barbara City Council today, UCSB Professor of Economics Peter Rupert will present a recently completed study of the community benefit created by Santa Barbara Airport – quantified in jobs and economic vitality for the residents and businesses of the greater Goleta/Santa Barbara area.

The study showed that for each dollar spent by the Airport, its tenants, and via direct tourism spending, an additional dollar is generated by the activity of suppliers and employees. The total economic impact of the Airport is more than $205 million dollars, making Santa Barbara Airport a major contributor to the local and regional economy. In addition, for every job created directly by the Airport, another 0.5 job is created at a business that supports the Airport with goods and services.

Other specific examples of direct/indirect and induced impact are:

Airport businesses spent $62 million in purchases and wages/benefits Tourism benefit of $41 million by travelers arriving via SBA Direct support of 1,440 full-time jobs Indirect/induced support of an additional 750 full-time jobs

As evidence of the strong demand for convenient air service from Santa Barbara, two of the Airport’s commercial airlines, United Airlines and American Airlines, have announced dramatic increases in available seats departing from Santa Barbara Airport this summer. Overall, Santa Barbara expects to increase passenger capacity in 2017 by more than 10% – over an already banner year in 2016.

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