The Santa Barbara Airport opened its new terminal on August 18 to improve services and amenities for the 750,000 passengers travelling annually through the Goleta airfield.

The $54 million project consists of a new 72,000 square foot terminal featuring a departure lounge, a new security screening area, improved food service and concessions, a new indoor baggage claim area and a new ramp with rental car counters. In addition to the new facilities, the structure will serve as a venue for public art including the current exhibit,

“The Art of Travel,” featuring renowned local artist Channing Peake’s “Fiesta Mural,” woodwork by Vidya Gauci and a floor mosaic by Santa Barbara’s Lori Ann David.

According to SBA public spokesperson Terri Gibson, the works in the exhibit pay homage to local landmarks including the county courthouse and the Channel Islands kelp beds.

“It’s about creating a sense of place for those traveling through our airport,” Gibson said. “We want to present the region to travelers and this exhibit serves as a gateway for travelers to our city.”

The new terminal also houses a more environmentally friendly operation system and is expected to contend for an Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) Gold rating once the renovations are completed next spring.

Gibson said the terminal needs to provide sustainable lighting and water, energy-efficient lighting, good air quality and limits on waste transportation amongst other elements to achieve Gold status.

“Santa Barbara requires all new buildings to reach Silver medal status but as we got into building and design it became apparent we could meet Gold status,” Gibson said.

Third-year film & media studies major Cassie MaccInes said the nearby location of the airport provides convenient traveling for students flying to and from home.

“I love how close the airport is to school,” MaccInes said. “The new terminal is way better than the old one — now I wouldn’t mind arriving for my flight a little bit early.”

For a complete overview of the terminal project and to view the flight schedule, visit