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Parking problems arise as Santa Barbara Airport sees record number of travelers

Santa Barbara Airport Parking
Blake DeVine / NC3
The Santa Barbara Airport’s long-term parking lot has been running out of room throughout Fourth of July weekend.

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. — With Fourth of July festivities taking place nationwide, plenty of people are flying out of town this weekend at the Santa Barbara Airport.

“Folks are obviously very comfortable with traveling right now,” airport business development manager Deanna Zachrisson said. “Our planes are full as people are looking to get out of town.”

However, the airport’s long-term parking lot has been running out of room while causing chaos for some travelers. 

“We filled around 10 a.m. this morning, we’ve been consistently full,”  airport parking lot general manager Xiomara Lopez said. “We just did a car count and there were about six spots and two were taken up already with this lot crammed with cars…shuttles pick people up from the airport’s off-sight parking location on Hollister Avenue.

With the long-term lot crammed with cars, people are parking at the economy lot — located at the corner of Hollister Avenue and Frederick Lopez Road — before being picked up by shuttles and driven to the terminal.

According to Zachrisson, the airport is is experiencing its busiest weekend since the pandemic began.

“We have already seen a couple of days over the past week where we had almost 1,900 departing passengers in a day,” she said. “That’s pretty close to an all-time high for us.”

“It shows how much people are trying to travel,” Lopez said. “We just didn’t expect it to happen so quickly.”

As flights fill up fast, passengers are being advised to arrive early.

“We really need folks to be coming to the airport no later than an hour and a half before their departure,”  Zachrisson concluded. “To ensure that if there’s no parking available, they have time to get parking in our economy lot.”

To book a parking spot before your flight at the Santa Barbara Airport, click here

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Blake DeVine

Blake DeVine is a multimedia journalist at NewsChannel 3-12. To learn more about Blake, click here.

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