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Santa Barbara Airport Commission passes motion to change independent service provider policy

Airport Commission meeting
Tracy Lehr / KEYT

SANTA BARBARA, Calif.

Pilots packed a Santa Barbara Airport Commission meeting to speak out against proposed changes to prohibit independent commercial services providers .

Santa Barbara Flying Club's James Watson said at issue is, "the freedom of access for certified flight, independent flight instructor, independent of flight schools and independent maintenance contractors."

Pilots including Jarrod Bradly worry costs will go sky high

"I would love to see a lot more people get involved in aviation. It is way too expensive and all of these policies they are putting forth mean it is going to even more expensive and there is a critical shortage of pilots," said Bradley.

One businesses owner said the current policy undercuts fixed based operator and the two local flight schools and that must pay the airport and comply with rules and regulations.

Another business owner said the airport is a like a car dealership and car dealerships don't let other mechanics on the lot.

The commission passed the motion to allow the commission to work on the details of a policy that will protect FAA grant funds.

The Santa Barbara City Council will have the final say.

Outgoing council member Jason Dominguez said, "I think we are going to get a handle on it. and we could find a solution that keeps everyone happy. Part of it is people have to have insurance and hold the airport harmless. We want to make sure that our greater customer base and our entire community is safe."

The council could take up the issue at the end of the year.

Economy / Money and Business

Tracy Lehr

Tracy Lehr is a reporter and the weekend anchor of KCOY|KEYT|KKFX.