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Noise Abatement

Noise Abatement Procedures for Santa Barbara Airport

Non High Performance General Aviation Aircraft

High Performance Aircraft


Noise Complaint Hotline   805.967.1900    Noise Complaint Form


Flying in the Santa Barbara area

There is no officially restricted airspace in the Santa Barbara or Goleta area, and the Airport Department has no control over how or where any aircraft is flown: only the Federal Aviation Administration has authority over aircraft in flight. The Airport has developed voluntary noise abatement flight tracks that minimize noise over residential areas, and pilots are encouraged
(but not required) to follow these flight tracks.

The altitude at which aircraft may fly is established by Federal law and regulations, which
states that, except when necessary for takeoff of landing, no person may operate an aircraft
below the following altitude: “Over any congested area of a city, town or settlement, or over
any open air assembly of persons, an altitude of 1,000 feet above the highest obstacle within
a horizontal radius of 2,000 feet of the aircraft.” However, as most aircraft operating in the
vicinity of the Santa Barbara Airport are in the process of landing or taking off, this regulation
does not apply. Also, helicopters are specifically exempted from this regulation.

As the owner and operator of the Santa Barbara Municipal Airport, the City of Santa Barbara
has the authority and responsibility to assure that the physical facilities of the Airport (runways,
taxiways, lighting, etc) are safe for aircraft to use in accordance with strict FAA standards.
The Airport Department has no authority over aircraft in flight.

Airport Master Plan

The Airport Master Plan is an evaluation of current and forecasted airport activity, facility requirements, and a review of various alternatives for Santa Barbara Airport.  The objective of the Airport Master Plan is to provide guidance for future development which will satisfy aviation demand in an environmentally and fiscally responsible manner while adhering to appropriate Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) safety design standards. Alternative development scenarios will be devised, each satisfying projected needs in a unique way.

Through coordinated review by the City of Santa Barbara, the FAA, airport users, and the public, a recommended development concept will evolve which serves as a guide to realistic and achievable airport development. The plan then acts as a guide to aid local, state, and federal decision-makers when considering airport improvements.


For more detailed information go to our Airport Master Plan website.