Passenger boardings at Bay Area airports have outpaced population growth, increasing nearly 24 percent since 2001 to a total of more than 34 million in 2015. This reflects growing air travel demand from Bay Area residents, as well as increases in connecting passengers. San Francisco International Airport (SFO) has seen particularly robust growth. With 70 percent of our region’s total passenger boardings, SFO is clearly the Bay Area’s busiest airport, accounting for all net regional passenger growth in the region since 2001. Passenger levels at both Oakland International Airport (OAK) and San Jose International Airport (SJC) still remain below 2001 levels as a result of recession-era airline service cuts that hit midsized airports hardest.
Sonoma County Airport (STS) in Santa Rosa recorded just 129,000 boardings in 2015, 0.4 percent of the regional total. Since Alaska Airlines resumed service to Santa Rosa in 2007, the airport has provided a valuable alternative for North Bay residents traveling to select West Coast cities. If regional demand for air travel continues to increase over the coming years, excess capacity in Santa Rosa, Oakland and San Jose may provide relief to SFO, the region’s primary passenger hub.