Santa Barbara, Queen of the Missions, or the American Riviera: whatever you want to call it, Santa Barbara airport (KSBA) is like no other. Santa Barbara is situated in the north of SoCal, just 95 miles north of Los Angeles, and a short hop from San Diego. One of many SoCal airports, Santa Barbara sees its traffic mainly from regional airlines and a few majors, with CRJs and 737s being a regular occurrence at the field. Business jet and general aviation traffic is also heavy, with the airport housing two FBOs and a staggering three flight schools. All in all, this makes for a rather busy airport situated in one of the busiest airspaces in the world.
When Orbx first announced Santa Barbara at FlightSimCon 2016, many were excited to see another large SoCal airport coming from Orbx. After this initial announcement, the project went pretty quiet for a while, apart from the occasional reassurance that the project hadn’t been canceled. Seemingly out of the blue, Santa Barbara developer Misha Cajic made an announcement to the Orbx forums back in October announcing all that we could expect to see from the project, along with a plethora of previews showing the airport in an advanced state. Released just 13 days after the initial announcement, the release was met with great excitement to finally see the project in our sims, but how does it hold up against their previous releases and high-quality standard? Let’s find out!