SANTA ROSA -- More than 17,300 passengers flew in and out of Charles M. Schulz-Sonoma County Airport in November, fewer than October but slightly above last year's total, representing a 0.3 percent gain over the year, according to figures released this morning.

But while traffic was off over the month, the total amount of passengers this year, to date, is over 190,600 -- a 10.6 percent increase over last year. The drop in passenger volume  from October to November corresponds with the end of the tourism season and will likely continue through February. 

"It’s a seasonal dip," said Melinda Gay, marketing coordinator for the airport.

Horizon Air, the sister carrier of Alaska Airlines,  operates five flights daily to Los Angeles, Seattle, Portland and Las Vegas from Santa Rosa.

In October, ridership in and out of the airport  grew by 5.6 percent in  from September, with more than 18,700 passengers flying in and out of Santa Rosa on Horizon Air.

Passenger volume peaked in July, when over 19,400 passengers came to and from the airport.

The yearly increase comes as the airport is seeking approval for a significant expansion that would extend the runway by 885 to 6,000 feet, improving safety and allowing regional aircraft to land. The Planning Commission last week, by a 4-1 vote, supported the $84 million project.

The board of supervisors is expected to vote on the plan on Jan. 10. Federal authorities must also approve of the plan.