What We Do
With a budget of $5.5 million, the County of San Luis Obispo Airports make air travel accessible to our community. Unlike many other County departments, taxpayers don’t fund the airports’ budget through the General Fund. Instead, funding for the airports comes entirely from fees charged for airports services.
The department operates, maintains and develops aviation facilities at both the San Luis Obispo County Regional Airport and Oceano Airport, supporting general aviation and commercial air carriers.
San Luis Obispo County Regional Airport currently has over 70,000 annual flight operations. United and US Airways offer 15 daily flights to San Francisco, Phoenix and Los Angeles, while airport staff develops and implements policies and procedures to ensure the safety of airport users and enhance customer service. Staff also maintains and leases 65 County-owned general aviation hangars and one commercial hangar.
What We Did in 2014
Creating a Safer Airport Experience
In 2014, SLO County airports continued to plan for future airport development to ensure that anticipated aviation and community needs are met. The San Luis Obispo County Regional Airport installed new luggage screening equipment this year to automate the screening process, which was previously done manually be TSA staff. Watch the video below for more details on this new equipment.
Four Times More Space
New Terminal Presentation (July 2014)
Airport staff worked hard last year to design a new passenger terminal for the San Luis Obispo County Regional Airport and get the necessary approval from the County Board of Supervisors to move forward with securing funding for the $30 million project.
In November 2014, the Board of Supervisors approved a financial plan for the project, outlining options that include an application for a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) grant to fund a significant portion of the project. Once funding is secured, a final decision on whether to move forward with the project is anticipated in 2015.
“Airport staff worked closely with the design team to create a facility that will welcome visitors and residents traveling to and from the County,” said Kevin Bumen, Interim Director of County of San Luis Obispo Airports. “The current terminal has been in use for over 30 years and doesn’t meet the current airfield setback requirements.”
The estimated $30 million project is expected to be funded primarily through a $20 million FAA grant. About $7 million will be funded through passenger and rental car fees, and the remaining $3 million will need to come from the County, pending Board of Supervisor approval.
If built, the new terminal design includes 50,000 square feet of space to accommodate up to four airlines at four gates, quadrupling the size of the current terminal, which is about 12,500 square feet with two gates. The proposed terminal is designed to meet Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver specifications although, to minimize costs, a certification is not being proposed as part of this project. The new terminal design also incorporates the use of high-efficiency lighting and HVAC (Heating, Ventilation Air Conditioning) and low-maintenance materials and will allow for the future installation of solar panels.
The design also includes all of the typical features of a regional airport terminal, much like what is currently in use today in the existing facility, but in a much larger facility. The goal is to meet the current capacity and regulatory needs of the airport and allow for growth in the future. The building design allows for future expansion for ticketing and baggage claim as well as a hold room and security screening.
Funded by an FAA Airport Improvement Program Grant, the new airport terminal design was completed and approved by the Board of Supervisors in July 2014. With the approved to move on to the next phase, the County will continue to plan for the construction of the terminal building.
Should the Board of Supervisors decide to move forward with construction, the terminal project will provide a modern facility to address the growing needs of our community and contribute to the countywide goal of a more safe and livable community.