The REAL problem for both communities is that SBP
are 22 nautical miles apart - and driving wise, they are only 32.4 miles apart. SBA
is 64 driving miles from SMX
, there nearest other airport with commercial service.
Sorry folks, two small airports that close together are always going to compete. Maybe if both airports closed and a newer joint facility for the two metropolitan areas was built, then perhaps more service could be enticed.
However, California airports are hit or miss. The big ones - SMF
, Bay Area, Los Angeles metroplex, and SAN
- have lots of flights and are usually very competitive with each other. FAT
, due to a combination of its geographical "isolation" and explosive growth, is quickly approaching the level of service comparable to the larger airports.
The smaller airports, on the other hand, exist in the shadow of the "big boys" - for example, BFL
, despite being a metro area of over 500,000 people (city limits and unincorporated areas) is a notorious revolving door for airlines coming in and out. Unless all the L.A. metro area airports max out, people in Bakersfield will swarm to the Airport Bus service direct to LAX
to save a couple of hundred dollars on flights that out of BFL
might be limited and very pricey.
I just don't see things changing much in California anytime soon - growth will happen VERY slowly, but SMX
are going to be competing for service.
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