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Santa Barbara Airport Airspace
Flight Clearance Requirements
Submitted by Rob Sporrer 4/2010

Santa Barbara Tower/TRACON has verbally agreed to permit flight within it's airspace based on the conditions and limitations set forth in the following verbal agreement.  See also the file submitted for posting in [PDF] or [MS Word] dated 4/2010

  1. A telephone request seeking approval notification must be made prior to any foot launched flight at any of the Local Mountain or coastal flying sites where you will potentially fly in the SBA Airspace. You are not permitted to land at the T, or fly More Mesa or Wilcox unless the respective mountain and beach windows have been opened.
     
  2. We must open the beach window every time we fly both the Wilcox and More Mesa. This was the request made by Santa Barbara Tower/TRACON.
     
  3. We have become accustomed to opening the mountain window only when we fly from the Alternator or La Cumbre Peak area. Pilots should open the mountain window if there is any chance of heading west towards West Bowl from the Eliminator and Skyport, and EJ Bowl. There is always the possibility of sinking out and having to land at the T. Landing at the T without opening the mountain window jeopardizes our agreement and the future of mountain flying for everyone.
     
  4. When a telephone request is approved Santa Barbara Tower/TRACON will announce on the Santa Barbara ATIS that flying activity will continue until sunset. Pilots shall notify the Santa Barbara Tower/TRACON if flight operations have terminated ONLY when they are certain all Hang Gliding and Paragliding flight operations have commenced at the mountain or beach locations, and ONLY if flight operations terminate more than 2 hours before sunset.
     
  5. The SBSA BOD is recommending pilots avoid making flights from the mountains to Elings Flight Park. The flight to the training hill from the mountains stresses out the Santa Barbara Tower/TRACON. The tower has been observing the flights to the training hill from the mountains and has rerouted traffic on a number of occasions.

    The flight from the mountains to the training hill at Elings Park is likely where we are going to get reported by private and commercial pilots. This is the one flight where the tower actually sees us very clearly, and we look a great deal closer to the restricted air space than we actually are when gliding to the training hill from the mountains.

    The SBSA BOD concluded there is no good reason to fly to the training hill from the mountains and risk losing our flying privileges. Itís difficult for most paragliders to make the glide to the training hill without violating air space. Hang Gliders and Paragliders must be at or below 1500 MSL when arriving at the 101 freeway. This is only a recommendation, but the instructors and leaders in the community have agreed to stop flying to the training hill from the mountains in order to ensure the best possible chances for keeping all the flying sites and landing zones used on a more frequent basis. We can decide as a group if we wish to determine a day when it is agreeable for pilots to fly to the training hill. Pilots must be certain they can get to the training hill without violating air space for events like the New Years day Fly-in. Again, this is a recommendation not a rule.
     
  6. Any pilot wanting a telephone request to open the airspace should contact any of the guides on the SBSA home page. The guides will call the tower seeking an approval notification for flight operations in the beach or mountain windows. Pilots should first check 132.650 on the two meter radio band or call Santa Barbara ATIS at 805.967.0283 in order to determine if an approval notification has already been granted by listening to the ATIS recording in its entirety. The ATIS transmission on 132.650 may not be as clear when you are in town, but you will get a good signal as you head up the mountain.

To summarizeÖ.We need to call the tower and request approval notification every time we fly any of our coastal sites, and must open the mountain window anytime there is a possibility of entering the SBA air space. We should always first check 132.650 on the two meter radio band or call Santa Barbara ATIS before making a request to determine if an approval has already been given.

We need to realize flying to the training hill from the mountains has potential to stress the Santa Barbara Tower/TRACON, and the club is recommending we stop flying to the training hill from the mountains. The only time we will attempt this flight is during a club event like the New Years Day Fly-in. We also recommend not flying to the east of launch where the residences begin at Wilcox. The SBSA BOD decided itís not worth having neighbors complain and create noise. We agreed what we are enjoying at present at Wilcox is good enough. The cup is half full, and may even be spilling over.

We also need to be aware of how sensitive property owners are at Hope Ranch. We need to follow the previous protocol we developed for flying in this area. We need to give them as much space as possible, and we are not to engage any person on the properties along the cliff. Please avoid flying in an area where you see a person on any property has become agitated.

We do not need to call the Santa Barbara Tower/TRACON to close flight operations unless we are 100% certain all flying has terminated, and only if these operations have terminated more than 2 hours before sunset.

We need to be aware of the airspace borders and altitudes. When special events for flying to Elings Park occur we do not fly west of Las Positas, and be no higher than 1500 feet when crossing the 101 freeway. This is the one flight where we are very visible to both the tower and other air traffic which puts undue stress on the people working in the tower.

The Google Maps below help show the areas where we can and canít fly if we want to continue to enjoy our flying privileges, and keep all the aircraft using the Santa Barbara airspace as safe as possible.

 

MORE MESA

The above image illustrates the residential area to the west of more mesa as our flight boundary to the west. All USHPA rated pilots may fly in the main window and only pilots with at least an H3 or P3 rating can fly east of the eucalyptus trees which are just east of the launch area.  Pilots flying east of launch along the hope ranch area must follow the established protocol.  We are not to engage any person on the residential properties along the cliff in any manner, and are advised to avoid flying in areas where residents are agitated.
 

ELINGS FLIGHT PARK

The above image illustrates the no fly zone with Las Positas defining the west edge of our usable air space.
 

The SBSA Board of Directors has made the recommendation to stop flying from the mountains to the training hill at this point. However, we can decide to contact the Santa Barbara Tower/TRACON and open the mountain and beach windows if we wish to make this flight for club events like the annual New Years Day Fly-in. We want you to be aware of the air space issues when making this flight for a special club event. The above image illustrates a larger scale shot from Google Earth of the flight from the mountains to the training hill at Elings Flight Park. The red line defines the west edge of our usable airspace, and the white line indicates the direct flight path from the top of West Bowl to the launch area at Elings Flight Park. The 101 Freeway is located just south of the Santa Barbara Municipal Golf Course, and we must be no higher than 1500 feet when we reach the 101 Freeway.