Airport Numbers Highest Since Recession

Santa Barbara Municipal Airport closed out the year with a passenger count of 723,297, the highest it’s been since 2008. The year-over-year uptick was noteworthy, too, with the passenger count 10.3 percent higher in November 2018 than it was in November 2017. Like other small to medium-sized airports around the country, Santa Barbara’s had struggled in recent years with low numbers as carriers consolidated their fleets around bigger hubs. The new figures are a significant turnaround for the self-sustaining enterprise operated by the city. The airport — the 13th largest in the state — now hosts five carriers with 26 daily departures to nine nonstop destinations.