Elevator at new San Luis Obispo Regional Airport terminal still - KSBY.com | San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Area News

Elevator at new San Luis Obispo Regional Airport terminal still not operational

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Three and a half months after the new terminal at the San Luis Obispo Regional Airport opened, visitors are still unable to use the elevator from the parking lot to the terminal.

"I was bummed to see that it was still closed," said Allison Hayward of Cambria. "I don't think it has ever been open. I don't understand how you would open a brand new terminal and not have a working elevator."

The new elevator was installed when the new terminal was built, but travelers have yet to experience its convenience.

"Airports are about safety, they're about convenience and if the elevator isn't working, what else might not be working?" Hayward asked.

"That's exactly what I thought when I first saw that it was out. I was like, still? Why's that?" said Ashley Marshall of San Luis Obispo.

She and her three-year-old son stopped by the airport to pick up visitors, but the thought of navigating the rest of her family up and down the stairs or ramp to the terminal from the sunken parking lot was daunting.  

"We're going to be a family of five soon and that's a lot of luggage to carry and there's no way I could have done either. I might have to consider dropping stuff off and then going to park by myself. If that's what I have to do, then that's what I have to do, but I hope it's open," Marshall said.

Airport officials are well aware visitors are disappointed.  

"We have had people certainly disappointed that the elevator wasn't available," said Director of Airports Kevin Bumen.

Bumen explained the elevator isn't needed to meet ADA requirements. The ramp, which Bumen estimates is a little over 200 feet long, is enough to meet access requirements, along with the stairs.

The elevator's opening has also faced some delays.  

"We had some redesign work and some additional construction that was needed to meet current code requirements," Bumen said.

A preliminary inspection was done Wednesday, but more testing and work is needed before the elevator can pass the state inspection and permitting process to open for operation. Bumen says the state still has not confirmed a date for that inspection, but it should be sometime next week.  

"We wish it could have been open sooner but construction is sometimes complicated and this is certainly an example of that," Bumen said.

An engineer working on the elevator Thursday said after Wednesday's inspection, it stopped working, but Bumen said the elevator would be in proper working order by the time the final inspection is done.  

In the meantime, visitors can check the airport's website for updates and information on how to access the terminal.  

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