Economic Activity Analysis

SBP is a significant economic engine for San Luis Obispo County and the surrounding region.

The San Luis Obispo County Regional Airport recently completed a comprehensive Airport Economic Activity and Impact study of the Airport. The study estimated the economic impact of all measurable runway and dependent economic activity at the Airport. Key areas of economic activity measured included:

  • Existing air service;
  • Net-new-visitors brought to the San Luis Obispo County region by existing air service;
  • Scenarios for new air service, including net-new-visitors generated by those services;
  • All non-airline runway dependent activity including general aviation, FBOs, Flight Training, MROs, and other aviation related functions;
  • All government aviation and aviation support functions including Airport Administration, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).

SBP is a critical element for the economy of San Luis Obispo County, both in terms of direct on-airport employment and in terms of the volume of inbound visitors brought to the county as well as the local spending of those visitors. Highlights from the report can be found below. 

Overall Summary

  • Total estimated annual SBP Airport regional economic output of $85.24 million dollars.
  • 562 on-airport full-time employment jobs at SBP with labor income of $19.51 million.
  • If SBP was considered a single employer, it would be the 15th largest in the county.

Visitor Impact

  • An estimated 97,150 annual inbound visitors (2018) used SBP as their gateway to the County.
  • Those visitors spent an estimated $22.514 million dollars during their visits in 2018.
  • Visitor spending created an estimated 418.2 Full-time employment jobs by direct, indirect and induced effect.
  • Visitor spending resulted in $41.509 million dollars of annual regional economic output.

Potential New Airline Service

  • The two possible new air service routes to Portland, OR and San Diego, CA, would create 21.0 new on-airport FTE jobs and 26.4 new FTE jobs overall.
  • The two new routes combined would generate 23,967 net new annual visitors to the County.
  • These visitors would spend an estimated $5.45 million dollars locally each year, creating an estimated 101.3 new FTE jobs via direct, indirect and induced effect.
  • These visitors would create an estimated $10.05 million in annual local economic output.

Non-Airline Aviation

  • The Airport hosts 13 non-airline businesses or government entities.
  • The Airport handled 80,791 flight operations in 2018.
  • Private sector and government non-airline aviation support 228.4 on airport FTE jobs and another 54.6 local FTE jobs via indirect and induced effect.
  • Those 283.0 local FTE jobs have an annual labor income of $19 million dollars and an estimated annual economic output of $28.333 million dollars.

So What’s Next?

SBP Airport Master Plan

The San Luis Obispo County Regional Airport aims to provide the highest levels of service to its passengers, tenants, and the San Luis Obispo community. The airport Master Plan below serves as a 20-year guide to help the airport achieve its vision. The Master Plan will be updated in 2020.