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San Luis Obispo County Regional Airport is getting a makeover

Posted at 5:03 PM, Jun 05, 2023

The San Luis Obispo County Regional Airport will be a lot quieter for the next couple of days.

Commercial flights won’t be arriving or departing from the airport for a total of three days starting Monday. That's all due to a repair project that has partially shut down the airport.

The airport's deputy director says they tried to find the best time to do these repairs with the least impact on passengers and just before peak travel season begins.

“I was not aware of the closure of this airport. That's my daily routine actually, like to spend the time here, my lunchtime," said local resident Laszlo Juhach.

“Our primary focus is our terminal apron. We have asphalt repairs as well as concrete repairs," said SLO County Airports Deputy Director Craig Piper.

Piper says the asphalt and concrete involved in the project haven’t been worked on since 2010, meaning it was time to get the repairs underway.

“There's always a need for repairing or maintaining asphalt. If you don't take care of it, it gets weathered, aggregates start coming out, and then you ultimately have to then grind it off and replace it. So by doing this, you preserve that and it lasts much longer," Piper added.

Airport officials are also taking advantage of not having any passengers coming through to get work done in front of the terminal, adding a couple of speed bumps and deep cleaning the terminal floors.

“They notified us, I'm going to say two months ago probably, that they would be closing," said Spirit of San Luis restaurant owner Mike Stanton.

The terminal will remain open and car rental counters are not impacted and neither is the Spirit of San Luis restaurant, but the owner says business just isn’t the same.

“It definitely is impacting it today. I mean, we are normally quite busy every day at lunch, and today we're not and the phone's not even ringing, so it's a little bit of an odd situation," Stanton explained.

It’s odd because Stanton says his customers aren’t typically travelers.

“Of the people who eat here, 98% of them have nothing to do with traveling. They’re just our local customers," Stanton said.

Airport officials add that they also let the airlines know ahead of time about the closure.

“Now, if somebody had booked flights prior to that, then yes, there are likely a few people that were impacted and the airlines would have reached out to them to rearrange their flights, whether it was a different day or potentially going out of a different airport," Piper said.

“I fly out of this airport quite often, but I'm not planning to in the next couple of days," Juhach added.

The terminal apron side repair project is funded through passenger facility charges typically seen when you buy an airline ticket.

The closure is in effect now. Operations will resume Thursday at 7 a.m.