Santa Barbara
60° F
Santa Maria
48° F
San Luis Obispo
55° F
54° F

Landing fees at SM Airport cut in half for Forest Service

By Andrew Gray, NewsChannel 3 Reporter,
Published On: Mar 04 2013 08:39:59 AM CST
Updated On: Mar 04 2013 06:17:18 PM CST

Airport District approves fee decrease

The U.S. Forest Service will now pay half of its landing fees. The Santa Maria Airport District Board approved the decrease Thursday night.

Fighting fires from the air is essential to any operation in the back country in Santa Barbara County. With government agencies pinching pennies, cutting some fees is welcoming news.

It cost the Forest Service $1 per 1,000 pounds to land at the airport for the last couple of years. If an air tanker weighs 100,000 pounds, it cost $100 every time one lands. That $100 can add up fast when fighting a large fire. Now, that number is cut in half.

“It makes sense in my view, and again, I am only one vote of five, to charge the Forest Service less and (to have) a more streamlined process and get more of the airplanes and more service and more airplanes here ready for fighting the fire,” said David Baskett, one of the airport directors.

The base has been in operation at the Santa Maria Airport since 2007. From 2009 and 2011, it had been downgraded to an on-call status. Since then, it has been a full-time facility.

On top of decreasing fees, Baskett is trying to have a new plane in the area fighting fires. It's called the B-E 200. Rather than land at an airport for refilling, it scoops up water from lakes and rivers.

“It represents the only newly built air tanker, it represents the only airplane flying that was designed to be an air tanker,” said Baskett.

If the funds are still available, the B-E 200 could be there as early as this summer.


The views expressed are not those of this company or its affiliated companies. Please note by clicking on "Post" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms Of Service and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. 
blog comments powered by Disqus
  • Triple Fatal Auto Accident on Highway

    3 Dead In Early Morning Accident, Driver Arrested For DUI

    The 101 southbound through Santa Barbara reopened just before 12:30 Monday afternoon as authorities investigate what they say was a deadly two car DUI accident.

  • Witnesses to Fatal Crash

    Eyewitnesses See Triple Fatal Crash from Roadside Camp

    A homeless couple watching the freeway from their campsite in Santa Barbara this morning, witnessed the triple fatal accident that took the lives of two teens and a young man.

  • Triple Fatal Auto Accident on Highway

    DUI Driver in Fatal Early Morning Accident Ordered to Detox Program in 1995

    The Santa Barbara woman arrested for DUI in the early morning accident that left three people dead early Monday morning has a lengthy court record out of Ventura County. Kimberly Kreis, 52, was ordered to serve 30 days in a detox program as far back as 1995.

    The car that Kreis was driving crashed into a disabled Mazda near the Castillo off-ramp of the southbound 101 freeway in Santa Barbara. Two 17 year old North Torrance High School students were killed in the accident- Jessica Leffew and Danielle Murillo. 20 year old Brian Lopez also died in the wreck. The driver of the Mazda, Eric August, is hospitalized in critical condition.

    A NewsChannel 3 investigation found records out of Ventrua County that appear to show that Greis has at least one prior conviction involving drugs and or alcohol, and in 1995 she was ordered to serve 30 days in a Cottage Hospital detox program.

    CHP investigators are still trying to piece together why the Mazda veered right into a guardrail, causing it to flip onto it's roof before coming to rest in the middle of the southbound freeway, which set into motion the deadly accident.

    CHP Officer Jonathan Guiterrez, said "A lot of things could have happened, He could have fallen asleep. We just don't know at this point."

  • Santa Barbara Fatal Accident Folo

    Extensive Investigation into Triple Fatal Accident

    An extensive investigation is underway to determine the cause of death in a triple fatal rollover accident Monday morning in Santa Barbara.

  • Parents of Mallory Dies Sue Congresswoman, Her Former Aide, and U.S. Government

    The parents of a young Santa Barbara woman killed in a high profile, DUI case are suing Congresswoman Lois Capps, her former aide Raymond Morua, and the U-S government in federal court.

  • Larry Lee Cal Poly Coach

    Cal Poly Baseball Earns No. 1 National Ranking

    The Mustangs achieved the school's second No. 1 national ranking in Division I as Collegiate Baseball Newspaper has placed Cal Poly atop its Top 30.

  • fuzion_store_business_santa_barbara

    UCSB Group Boycotts Business For Promoting Deltopia

    A UCSB student group is boycotting a local business for creating the Deltopia Facebook page, which they said brought in thousands of outsiders to the small college town.

  • girl_child_coughing_sick_whooping_cough

    Contagious Diseases Making a Comeback in California

    Deadly diseases that were a thing of the past are making a comeback in California.

  • Slideshow: 3 Dead In Early Morning Accident, Driver Arrested For DUI

    The 101 southbound through Santa Barbara reopened just before 12:30 Monday afternoon as authorities investigate what they say was a deadly two car DUI accident.

  • Netflix file

    Brian Snyder/Reuters

    14 alternatives to Netflix

    Out of love with Netflix? Check out these alternatives to the company's instant streaming and DVD-by-mail services.