Charles M. Schulz–Sonoma County Airport (STS) in Santa Rosa, CA, is in the midst of a $31 million terminal expansion and renovation. The improvements that will come from renovating the airport’s 1960s-era terminal and adding 30,000 square feet of new space will significantly benefit customer service and amenities, and the overall experience for airport users.
Prior to this expansion, which is set to be completed in fall 2022, five airlines were working out of the same area with two or three flights at the same time. It was a red-line situation. The airport was well beyond capacity on a number of fronts. The situation was untenable—prior to the coronavirus pandemic, STS was on track to post its 11th consecutive year of passenger growth. In 2019, it served 488,179 passengers out of a single 4,200-square-foot hold room with just 200 seats. This project will also serve as the basis for future expansions as the terminal area grows to meet continued demand.
As Project Manager for this necessary project, I was recently asked to contribute to an article in Airport Magazine discussing some of the project challenges and benefits. In addition to classic challenges such as space and time constraints, the airport also had to endure a global pandemic and nearby wildfires during its terminal project. While neither the airport nor its construction contractors reported any cases of COVID-19, some employees were subject to precautionary quarantines.
Even accounting for these unprecedented challenges, however, this four-phase project has been consistently on schedule. The first of four phases for the terminal expansion/renovation started in November and is scheduled to be completed by May. The project is being executed in phases to accommodate the operational needs of the airport.
The design of the new terminal reflects the airport’s location in northern California wine country, and the scale is more intimate than many large commercial terminals. For a more in-depth look at this project, you can read the Airport Magazine article.