Here is a link to a story that we ran this week updating the expansion project at the Charles M. Schulz-Sonoma County Airport.

The $53 million project will extend the airport’s main runway to 6,000 feet. For anyone who flies anywhere east of California at least twice per year, this development should be exciting. The expanded runway should be enough to entice a major airline to serve Sonoma County with destinations east of California. Airport manager Jon Stout said the most likely developments are a United Airlines service to Denver and an American Airlines flight to Phoenix. A new service could start next Spring.

Alaska Airlines currently offers the only commercial flights in and out of Sonoma County with service to Seattle, Portland, Los Angeles and San Diego. Besides connecting through one of those cities, the only way to fly east of Sonoma County is to make the trek to SFO or Oakland. That involves either an expensive bus ticket or driving through traffic and paying for parking (or enlisting a friend to drive) then battling long check-in and security lines, cross-terminal hikes, etc.

If you have ever flown out of Sonoma County Airport, or STS, you know that it is the best kept transportation secret in the North Bay. New air service to the east should make the airport even more useful.

Do you use Sonoma County Airport? What do you think about the potential of eastbound flights out of STS?