The San Luis Obispo County Airport is working to expand their list of flight destinations. Direct flights to Dallas, San Diego and Portland, Oregon could be a possibility as soon as early next year.
The airport was recently ranked the fifth-fastest growing airport in the United States by the Airports Council International.
According to deputy director of San Luis Obispo County airports Craig Piper, they are trying to add these three destinations because of community feedback and statistics showing flight destinations of people flying from the San Luis Obispo airport.
“I usually fly out of SLO, have a layover in San Francisco and then get on a flight to Portland,” sociology sophomore Abby Cogen said. “Having a direct flight to Portland would save me a lot of time, so I hope it is something they can do in the future.”
In addition, the airport is looking to add five more flight destinations, including Houston, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, Chicago and Las Vegas in the future.
“We put our best foot forward, but ultimately it comes down to whether or not the airline wants to support that flight destination,” Piper said.
The airport is seeing a massive increase in passengers. For the San Luis Obispo County Airport, the number is already up 20.6 percent from last year, according to Piper.
Additional service to San Francisco, Seattle and Denver continues to bring more people to the local airport. The airlines increased the aircraft capacity from 38 passengers to 50-76 passengers, according to Piper. With the airport’s new $39.5 million terminal opening last November, airport officials expect to continue to see a spike in growth.
With only 15.7 percent of Cal Poly’s total student population being from out-of-state, these new flight destinations may not make a difference for all students.
“I’ve never flown out of SLO because it is way too expensive,” computer science sophomore Camden Stocker said. “I usually go down to Los Angeles or up to San Francisco to fly home to Denver. There was one time my driver bailed on me so it’s not easy getting to other airports, but it’s worth it just for the cheaper tickets.”
These new flight destinations are not confirmed, but the San Luis Obispo County Airport is currently collaborating with different airlines to try and increase flight options for the community.
“Our hope is that these new flight destinations increase competition and causes flights to be more affordable. It provides greater choices for the community,” Piper said.