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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?

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Comments

5 Comments

  1. Volt guy

    One of the best parts of flying out of STS is the TSA people actually treat you like a human being.

    January 7th, 2014 2:49 pm

  2. Norm Robertson

    I, for one, am very excited about the potential to fly to eastern destinations from the airport that it literally across the street from my neighborhood on the west side of the airport. I fly east 4 or 5 times a year and making the trek to the Bay is costly, both in time and cost. I have had the pleasure of flying out of Sonoma County a few times on commercial flights (Seattle and San Diego), and it was very nice. That is my personal impact feeling. The other side of this is the displaced folks on the north side of the airport and the increase in noise and frequency of large planes going over at low altitude for those that live north and south of the airport. I hope at least that the folks that had to give up land on the north side of the airport were paid what the land is actually worth in the end, rather than what the folks with the money were able to got appraisers to identify as it’s value previously, which seemed to be a joke last I heard. Not sure where that ended up………

    January 7th, 2014 3:18 pm

  3. Ben

    I said it on another recent RW post, and I’ll say it again. STS needs more competitive pricing. Example:

    STS-PDX: $228

    SFO-PDX: $148

    STS is 50% more expensive! Even $148 + $68 for the bus is cheaper than STS flight (yes, yes, of course I would pick the STS flight because it’s close to home and only marginally more expensive… especially if you assign value to the 3 hour round-trip bus ride).

    I would like an answer why STS is so much more expensive. It seems like operating out of a small local airport would be cheaper. Surely the taxes and infrastructure costs are MUCH less compared to the monstrosity that is SFO.

    January 7th, 2014 3:47 pm

  4. Volt Guy

    Four hour of my time (the time penalty for driving to/flying out SFO vs STS) is worth far more then $70 to me. If you value your time so little then don’t fly out of STS. Pretty simple. I always fly out of STS unless I am flying overseas.

    January 8th, 2014 5:14 pm

  5. Cisco Nichols

    I’d love to see flights from Santa Rosa to the east. My parents live in SR and I (fortunately) live in Montana. Santa Rosa to Billings would be great.

    January 9th, 2014 10:18 am

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