Ah, those lovely, meandering, tranquil, maddening, construction-laden, neverending, three-hour (plus) drives to the coast. How many times have we wished that the trek was as short as it looks on a map?

Ah, those lovely, meandering, tranquil, maddening, construction-laden, neverending, three-hour (plus) drives to the coast. How many times have we wished that the trek was as short as it looks on a map?

Well ...

Skywest Airlines is considering substituting one of its daily flights between Crescent City and Arcata for one to and from Medford. Del Norte County officials said the new flight could provide a more convenient route from Crescent City to Sacramento and open up more connections.

Passengers can fly from Crescent City to Sacramento with a stop in Arcata, but this can turn a one-day business trip into a three-day jaunt.

There are probably a number of people from the Crescent City area who drive to Medford to fly, Border Coast Regional Airport Manager Jim Bernard said.

A marketing study to determine local flying habits will determine if that is true. The survey, available at www.AdvancedSurvey.com/default.asp?SurveyID=61788, will continue until June 30.

Another benefit of the proposed change for coastal residents is that the Rogue Valley International Medford Airport has more connecting flights than the Arcata/Eureka Airport.

More people would probably take advantage of the Medford flight, Bernard said, adding, "There are more connections out of Medford," he said. "It opens up a northbound route."

The Medford Airport has 56 daily flights to eight hubs. U.S. Air, Horizon Air, United Airlines and Delta Air Lines offer service to San Francisco, Portland, Seattle, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Denver, Las Vegas and Salt Lake City.

United offers flights from the Arcata/Eureka Airport to Portland, Sacramento and San Francisco. Flights to Seattle, Portland, Redding and Los Angeles are available through Horizon Air.

Medford Airport Director Bern Case could not immediately be reached for comment.

Material from the Curry Coastal Pilot of Brookings was used in this report.