Santa Maria Public Airport aims for Denver flights

Armed with more incentives, information district seeks meeting with United, other carriers
2013-09-22T01:00:00Z Santa Maria Public Airport aims for Denver flightsBrian Bullock/ Santa Maria Times
September 22, 2013 1:00 am  • 

Santa Maria Public Airport has long desired to be able to offer a home to an airline with passenger service to a Midwest hub.

Armed with a new sweeter support package and information gathered from a new survey being compiled by the Santa Maria Valley Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development Commission, airport General Manager Chris Hastert is hoping the latest effort will pay off.

“We’re trying to schedule a headquarters meeting with United in November,” Hastert said last week. “We want to go back to them with our increased airline support program along with some additional information on our community and our travel habits.”

Last year, the airport got a Small Community Air Service Development Program grant from the Federal Aviation Administration that will allow it to seek better service from commercial carriers.

In July, the airport district’s Board of Directors approved a request to increase the incentives it’s offering to airlines. Santa Maria can now offer roughly $1.1 million in what Hastert calls “support” to an airlines that would provide service to a Midwest hub, which would open routes to the East Coast.

The revenue guarantee includes $490,000 from the air services grant, $510,000 from the airport district, $100,000 in marketing and an additional contribution in in-kind marketing through the Chamber of Commerce.

The incentives package includes waivers for landing fees, terminal space rental and fuel flowage.

The chamber and Economic Development Commission is boosting the effort by rallying local businesses with a business travel survey.

“We want to continue to add support especially from the business community to show airlines that we have businesses and companies that would use additional flights regularly, especially to Denver and other destinations,” said Dave Cross, director of the Economic Development Commission.

Airport district representatives have had several meetings with United, Skywest and Frontier airlines over the past year. Hastert said United Airlines is the main target because it operates out of Denver. United Air Express already operates commuter flights between Santa Maria and Los Angeles.

Copyright 2015 Santa Maria Times. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

No Comments Posted.

Civil Dialogue Policy for Commenting on

We provide this community forum for readers to exchange ideas and opinions on the news of the day. Passionate views, pointed criticism and critical thinking are welcome. Comments can only be submitted by registered users. By posting comments on our site, you are agreeing to the following terms:

Commentary and photos submitted to the Santa Maria Times ( may be published or distributed in print, electronically or other forms. Opinions expressed in's comments reflect the opinions of the author, and are not necessarily the opinions of the Santa Maria Times or its parent company. See the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy for more information.

Our guidelines prohibit the solicitation of products or services, the impersonation of another site user, threatening or harassing postings and the use of vulgar, abusive, obscene or sexually oriented language, defamatory or illegal material. You may not post content that degrades others on the basis of gender, race, class, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, disability or other classification. It's fine to criticize ideas, but ad hominem attacks on other site users are prohibited. Users who violate those standards may lose their privileges on

You may not post copyrighted material from another publication. (Link to it instead, using a headline or very brief excerpt.)

No short policy such as this can spell out all possible instances of material or behavior that we might deem to be a violation of our publishing standards, and we reserve the right to remove any material posted to the site.

Add Comment
You must Login to comment.

Click here to get an account it's free and quick

Activate subscription button gif

Follow Us

Deals and Offers

Featured Businesses

View More...

Online e-Edition

Read your newspaper online, anytime, anywhere!

Read today's Santa Maria Times print edition at any time from any computer. Your local news and information at your convenience!

Read | Subscribe