The city council of Santa Barbara is in the midst of debating the naming of a newly constructed airline terminal. The city began construction back in August 2011 and has received two requests to name the terminal after John T. Rickard and Dwight Murphy respectively.

The City of Santa Barbara Municipal Code Chapter 22.48, adopted in 1971 established principles, policies, and procedures for the election of names for public facilities. This code provides a process for such requests to be considered by the City.

According to the staff report the city’s Airport Commission held a public hearing earlier this year and  unanimously recommended to the Council that the new airline terminal building retain its current name and not be named for an individual.

Fast forward now to July 24, 2012 where the Council received the Airport Commission’s report and comments from Mr. Hartfeld and Mr. Staton. A 90 day delay of action was passed which allowed the community time to submit recommendations by letter or email to Council regarding the naming of the terminal. The report stated that Karen S. Ramsdell, Airport Director received 76 emails that ranged from keeping the current name for the airline terminal building to names reflecting California and local history and culture.  Several local individuals were also recommended.

Current Airport Facilities Named for Individuals

1948 – Council named 25 airport streets for local aviators who gave their lives during World War II.
1969 – The Santa Barbara Air Terminal was renamed and dedicated to Earle L. Ovington.
1970s – The Santa Barbara Airport airfield was dedicated to former Airport Commissioner Thomas McDermott.
1978 – A plaque was dedicated to the role and major effort former Mayor Patrick J. Maher played in the acquisition of the airport land for the City of Santa Barbara.

You can read the full staff report here.