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Sonoma County Airport

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Sonoma County Airport

Charles M. Schulz–Sonoma County Airport

Santa Rosa Army Airfield

2006 USGS Photo
Location of the Airport in California
Airport type Public
Owner/Operator Sonoma County DOT
Location Sonoma County, near Santa Rosa, California
Elevation AMSL 125 ft / 38 m
Coordinates 38°30′32″N 122°48′46″W / 38.50889°N 122.81278°W / 38.50889; -122.81278

Direction Length Surface
ft m
1/19 5,002 1,525 Asphalt
14/32 5,115 1,559 Asphalt
Statistics (2007)
Aircraft operations 128,875
Based aircraft 350
Source: Federal Aviation Administration[1]

Charles M. Schulz–Sonoma County Airport (IATA: STSICAO: KSTSFAA LID: STS) is a county-owned public airport 7 miles (11 km) northwest of downtown Santa Rosa, in Sonoma County, California, United States.[1][2] It serves the county and surrounding areas of northern California's Wine Country.

The airport is named after Charles M. Schulz, the famed cartoonist of the Peanuts comic strip, who lived in Santa Rosa for more than 30 years. The airport's logo features Snoopy in World War I flying ace attire atop his Sopwith Camel, that is to say, his doghouse.

Facilities and aircraft

Charles M. Schulz–Sonoma County Airport covers 1,014 acres (410 ha) at an elevation of 125 feet (38 m) above mean sea level. It has two asphalt runways: 1/19 is 5,002 by 100 feet (1,525 x 30 m) and 14/32 is 5,115 by 150 feet (1,559 x 46 m).[1]

In 2007 the airport had 128,875 aircraft operations, an average of 353 per day: 95% general aviation, 4% air taxi, 1% scheduled commercial and <1% military. 350 aircraft were then based at this airport: 86% single-engine, 11% multi-engine, 2% jet, 1% glider and <1% helicopter.[1]

Airlines and destinations

Airlines Destinations
Alaska Airlines operated by Horizon Air Los Angeles, Portland (OR), San Diego, Seattle/Tacoma


Top Business Routes December 2011-December 2012

| 1 | Los Angeles, CA | 55,000 | Alaska

| 2 | Seattle, WA | 26,000 | Alaska

| 3 | Portland, OR | 24,000 | Alaska

| 4 | San Diego, CA | 14,000 | Alaska

Service to Las Vegas was stopped June 3, 2012. Nonstop service to San Diego started June 4, 2012.

The maximum number of people to Los Angeles in one year is 55,480- 83,200 people on two daily flights. During heavy months there will be three flights a day to Los Angeles. The maximum number of people to travel to Seattle, Portland, and San Diego in one year is 27,740 people. Each destination has one daily flight.

Alaska Airlines operated by Horizon Air, has 5 or 6 flights a day from Santa Rosa, 2 or 3 flights a day to Los Angeles and 1 flight a day to Seattle, Portland, and San Diego.


Military use

In the 1930s Santa Rosa had a small municipal airfield owned by Richfield Oil Corporation next to the Redwood Highway about 4 miles southeast of the present airport. Use of the 3,000-foot sod runway at the earlier airfield was discontinued during World War II as facilities at the present airport improved.[3]

Opened in June 1942 and known as Santa Rosa Army Air Field, the airfield was assigned to Fourth Air Force as a group and replacement training airfield. Known units assigned to Santa Rosa were:

The 478th Fighter Group was permanently assigned to Santa Rosa in December 1943 and began training replacement pilots, who were sent to combat units overseas after graduation.

The airfield was inactivated on 31 January 1946 and turned over to the War Assets Administration for eventual conversion to a civil airport.

Commercial flights

From the late 1940s until about 1974 Southwest Airways and successors Pacific Air Lines, Air West and Hughes Airwest served Santa Rosa. DC-3s and Fairchild F-27s flew mainly to San Francisco (SFO).

Commuter airlines flew smaller aircraft to San Francisco or San Jose from STS until 2001. In 1985 Westates Airlines had nonstop Convair CV-580s to Los Angeles for several months before expiring; the July timetable listed 38 round trips a week between Sonoma County Airport and LAX. Other turboprop flights included American Eagle (for American Airlines) to San Francisco on Fairchild Swearingen Metroliners and Reno Air Express to San Jose with Jetstream 31s.

Around 1986 United Airlines hooked up with WestAir, the commuter airline at STS, and started calling it "United Express", which flew to SFO until 2001.[4] In 1989 WestAir ("United Express") started four weekday BAe 146-200 nonstops to Los Angeles, soon replaced with EMB-120 "Brasilia" turboprops; this ended in 1991. The Westair BAe 146s were the only airline jets ever scheduled to Santa Rosa.

In March 2007 airline flights resumed on Horizon Air, (a subsidiary of Alaska Airlines) with flights to Seattle–Tacoma and Los Angeles. Horizon added flights to Portland, Oregon in late 2007, to Las Vegas in early 2008,[5] and to San Diego in mid-2012.

In early 2011 Alaska Airlines announced it would retire its Horizon brand;[6] and all flights operated by Horizon now use the Alaska Airlines name. In June 2012 the airline ended flights from STS to Las Vegas.[7]

As part of an agreement between the airport, Alaska Airlines, and the local enotourism industry announced in January 2012 that passengers are allowed to check a 12 bottle case of wine for free on all Alaska Airlines flights from the airport.[8]

All Alaska Airlines flights from the airport are on the 76-seat Bombardier Q400, one of the Bombardier Dash 8 regional turboprops.

Other uses

Sonoma Air Attack Base

The Sonoma Air Attack Base of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (known as CDF or CAL FIRE) was established in 1964 and is located at the northeast corner of the airport. Sonoma responds to an average of 300 calls per year. Staff at the base consists of one battalion chief and one fire captain (air tactics group supervisors), one fire apparatus engineer (base manager), and six firefighters. The complement of aircraft located at Sonoma includes one OV-10 Bronco (Air Attack 140) and two Grumman S-2 Tracker air tankers (classified as S-2T's, Tankers 85 and 86.)

On average, the base pumps about 300,000 US gallons (1,000 m3) of retardant a year. With the base’s pumps, four loading pits and equipment, Sonoma has a possible peak output of 120,000 US gallons (450 m3) of retardant each day. The base’s immediate response area covers 4,000 square miles (10,000 km2) and includes Marin County and portions of the CDF Sonoma–Lake–Napa, Santa Clara, San Mateo–Santa Cruz, and Mendocino Units.

Pacific Coast Air Museum

The Pacific Coast Air Museum is located on the southeast corner of the airport, next to the airplane hangar used in the 1963 Hollywood all-star comedy movie, It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World. Known as the Butler Building, the hangar was built during World War II, and is still in use today.

See also


External links

  • Sonoma County Sheriff Helicopter Unit
  • PDF), effective May 29, 2014
  • FAA Terminal Procedures for STS, effective May 29, 2014
  • Resources for this airport:
    • FAA airport information for STS
    • AirNav airport information for KSTS
    • ASN accident history for STS
    • FlightAware live flight tracker
    • NOAA/NWS latest weather observations
    • SkyVector Terminal Procedures


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