Guadalajara International Airport

Coordinates: 20°31′18″N 103°18′40″W / 20.52167°N 103.31111°W / 20.52167; -103.31111
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Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla Guadalajara International Airport

Aeropuerto Internacional de Guadalajara Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla
Airport typePublic
OperatorGrupo Aeroportuario del Pacífico
ServesGuadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico
LocationTlajomulco de Zúñiga, Jalisco
OpenedMarch 1, 1951; 73 years ago (1951-03-01)
Focus city forAeromexico
Operating base for
Time zoneCST (UTC-06:00)
Elevation AMSL1,529 m / 5,016 ft
Coordinates20°31′18″N 103°18′40″W / 20.52167°N 103.31111°W / 20.52167; -103.31111

Guadalajara airport diagram
GDL is located in Jalisco
Location of airport in Jalisco
GDL is located in Mexico
GDL (Mexico)
Direction Length Surface
m ft
11R/29L 4,000 13,123 Asphalt
11L/29R (under construction) 3,538 11,608 Asphalt
02/20 1,818 5,964 Asphalt
Statistics (2023)
Total passengers17,710,200
Ranking in Mexico3rd Steady
Source: Grupo Aeroportuario del Pacífico[1]

Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla Guadalajara International Airport (IATA: GDL, ICAO: MMGL), simply known as Guadalajara International Airport, is the primary international airport serving Guadalajara, Jalisco, the third-largest city in Mexico. It facilitates flights to and from destinations across Mexico, the Americas, and Europe.[2] It is the largest hub for Volaris, functioning as the airline's primary gateway to the United States.[3] Additionally, it serves as a hub for Aeromexico and Viva Aerobus. Operated by Grupo Aeroportuario del Pacífico (GAP), the airport is named after Miguel Hidalgo, a prominent leader in the Mexican War of Independence.

The airport is the second-busiest in Mexico for cargo flights, providing cargo services to countries in the Americas, Asia, and Europe. Additionally, the airport supports various tourism initiatives, flight training programs, and general aviation activities. In terms of passenger traffic, Guadalajara Airport ranks as the third busiest in Mexico, following Mexico City and Cancún. Furthermore, it stands as the ninth busiest in Latin America and the 44th busiest in North America. It handled 15,606,600 passengers in 2022 and experienced an increase to 17,710,200 passengers in 2023, reflecting a growth rate of 13.5%.[1]


Early operations[edit]

Terminal main entrance

The Guadalajara Airport was inaugurated on March 1, 1951, featuring two asphalt runways, an apron, and a small passenger terminal. The opening ceremony was officiated by President Miguel Alemán Valdés.[4]

Guadalajara Airport has undergone significant expansions since its early days. In 1966, operations were briefly suspended due to safety concerns raised by the Technical Commission of the Mexican Pilots Association (Spanish: Asociación Sindical de Pilotos Aviadores de México ASPA). Urgent repairs were carried out, with airlines temporarily redirected to the Zapopan Air Force Base. The renovation efforts included enlarging the original 2,200 metres (7,200 ft) runway 10/28. By 1968, the runway was reconstructed and extended to 4,000 metres (13,000 ft), coinciding with the reconstruction of the airport's passenger building.

The airport was reinaugurated as the new Miguel Hidalgo International Airport. This transformation allowed it to accommodate wide-body aircraft and was executed largely using existing infrastructure, with the old runway, apron, and building repurposed for general aviation. Throughout the following years, the airport underwent further transformations. In 1973, runways, taxiways, aprons, passenger buildings, parking lots, a control tower, and fuel storage areas were completely renovated or newly constructed. Technological enhancements, such as jetbridges, high-intensity lights, visual approach slope indicator (VASI) and runway end identifier lights (REIL), were implemented to ensure operational efficiency and safety.

Hub operations[edit]

In the 1980s, Mexicana, a key player in the country's aviation industry, began a decentralization effort to address congestion at Mexico City International Airport. Guadalajara, alongside airports like Monterrey and Mérida, played a pivotal role in accommodating additional routes and frequencies to alleviate pressure on the capital's airport. As part of this initiative, a Maintenance Base was inaugurated in 1988. This facility had the capacity to service ten Boeing 727-200 aircraft and two DC-10s, constituting a significant portion (approximately 23%) of the airline's fleet. Until Mexicana's bankruptcy, the airport served as a hub for the airline, functioning as one of its gateways to the United States.

On May 24, 1993, the airport parking lot became the site of a tragic firefight between the Logan Heights Gang, associated with the Tijuana Cartel, and the Sinaloa Cartel. This confrontation resulted in seven fatalities, including Catholic Archbishop Juan Jesús Posadas Ocampo.[5]

In 1994, expansion and adaptation projects were funded by Aeropuertos y Servicios Auxiliares (ASA), leading to significant improvements in the passenger terminal and departures concourse. The apron was extended, and two taxiways were added. A transformative year came in 1995 with the publication of the 'Ley de Aeropuertos' (Airports Law) by the Department of Communications and Transportation (Spanish: Secretaría de Comunicaciones y Transporte), marking the inception of Mexico's airport privatization program. In 1999, Guadalajara Airport joined Grupo Aeroportuario del Pacífico (GAP), a consortium headquartered in Guadalajara.

The airport served as a hub for Aero California from its establishment in 1960 until its bankruptcy in 2006. In the 2000s, it also served as the primary hub for the now-defunct regional airline ALMA and was a secondary hub for Aeromar. In 2010, Volaris commenced service to Guadalajara, absorbing routes from the defunct Aerocalifornia and Mexicana. This marked the establishment of what is now Volaris' largest hub.

Passenger terminal

Expansion challenges and local concerns[edit]

In 2020, Grupo Aeroportuario del Pacífico announced a substantial investment of 14 billion pesos in Guadalajara Airport. This funding was dedicated to essential developments, including the construction of a new runway located on the northern side of the airport, converting the terminal and other buildings into midfield facilities. Other developments include improved terminal access, an expanded parking lot, a hotel, an office complex, and a solar power plant. The comprehensive expansion project is slated for completion by 2024.[6]

Despite the promising vision, expansion initiatives have faced setbacks due to conflicts with residents. Protests have disrupted parking lot access, leading to a reevaluation of the construction timeline. Residents argue that Grupo Aeroportuario del Pacífico holds debts for the land, originally expropriated in 1975 for airport expansion. This contested terrain, spanning the airport's polygon and an additional 320 hectares (790 acres), designates 51 hectares (130 acres) for the second runway. The ongoing dispute has prompted Grupo Aeroportuario del Pacífico to appeal to the Department of Communications and Transportation, resulting in a temporary postponement of the second runway's construction. Successful completion of these expansions is anticipated to substantially boost the airport's capacity, accommodating over 40 million passengers. In the absence of fruitful negotiations, the potential for another expropriation remains an option to advance the project.

In December 2021, Guadalajara Airport achieved a significant milestone with the introduction of Aeroméxico's nonstop flights to Madrid, operated by a Boeing 787. This marked the airport's inaugural direct connection to Europe.[7]


Terminal map
Departures concourse C

The airport is located in the municipality of Tlajomulco de Zúñiga, approximately 17 kilometres (11 mi) southeast of Downtown Guadalajara. Situated within built-up areas of the Metropolitan zone, the airport is situated at an elevation 1,529 metres (5,016 ft) above sea level, featuring two asphalt runways: Runway 11R/29L measuring 4,000 metres (13,000 ft) and Runway 02/20 measuring 1,818 metres (5,965 ft). To the north of the airfield, plans for a new Runway 11L/29R are underway, situated in a build-up area that is currently in the process of expropriation.

Passenger Terminal[edit]

The airport's single terminal spans an area of 89,300 square metres (961,000 sq ft) and is currently undergoing renovations. Operating as a two-story facility, the terminal facilitates domestic and international flights. The ground floor encompasses arrival amenities, including baggage claim carousels, domestic check-in sections, and a commercial corridor housing snack kiosks, banks, souvenir shops, and car rental services. The upper floor features security checkpoints and a departures area extending 630 metres (2,070 ft), housing food courts, restaurants, and 43 gates distributed across four concourses:

  • Concourse A: Airside Walk-up gates A1 - A8
  • Concourse B: Jetbridge gates B10 - B13
  • Concourse C: Jetbridge gates C30 - C37
  • Concourse D: Ground Floor, Bus gates D40 - D50[8]
    Food court at the departures concourse
    Terminal main entrance
    Volaris Airbus A320-271N N530VL at GDL
    Aeromexico Boeing B737-9 MAX XA-HSB at GDL

Various VIP lounges, such as the Aeroméxico Salón Premier, Citibanamex Salón Beyond, VIP Lounge East, and VIP Lounge West, are available within the passenger terminal. Additionally, nearby hotel services include City Express Guadalajara Aeropuerto, Hampton Inn by Hilton Guadalajara-Aeropuerto, and Hangar Inn.[9] Car rental services include Avis, Enterprise, Hertz, Veico Car Rental, City Car Rental, and Mex Rent A Car. Restaurants at the airport include:


Other facilities[edit]

Air Force Station No. 1 (Spanish: Estación Aérea Militar N.º 1 Aeropuerto Internacional de Guadalajara) (E.A.M. 1) is situated on the airport grounds.[10] Adjacent facilities encompass a maintenance base for Volaris, Aeromexico, an FBO terminal, a general aviation apron with several hangars, and a cargo terminal, recently expanded to store approximately 350,000 tons of goods annually within its 27,000 square metres (290,000 sq ft). The cargo terminal features six positions capable of handling various wide-body aircraft.

Airlines and destinations[edit]


Aeroméxico Chicago–O'Hare, Fresno, Los Angeles, Madrid, Mexico City, Mexico City–AIFA, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, San Francisco
Aeroméxico Connect Atlanta, Mexico City, Mexico City–AIFA
Alaska Airlines Los Angeles, San Jose (CA)
American Airlines Dallas/Fort Worth, Phoenix–Sky Harbor
Calafia Airlines La Paz, Los Mochis
Copa Airlines Panama City–Tocumen
Delta Air Lines Atlanta
Flair Airlines Toronto–Pearson (begins September 13, 2024),[11] Vancouver (begins May 31, 2024)[12]
Magnicharters Cancún
Seasonal: Tijuana
Mexicana de Aviación Mexico City–AIFA, San José del Cabo
TAR Aerolineas Ciudad Juárez, Durango
United Airlines Houston–Intercontinental
United Express Houston–Intercontinental
Viva Aerobus Bogotá, Cancún, Chicago–O'Hare, Chihuahua, Ciudad Juárez, Culiacán, Hermosillo, La Paz, Los Angeles, Mérida, Mexico City, Mexico City–AIFA, Monterrey, Puebla, Puerto Vallarta, Reynosa, Tijuana, Tulum, Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Veracruz, Villahermosa
Seasonal: Houston–Intercontinental, San José del Cabo
Volaris Acapulco, Cancún, Charlotte, Chetumal, Chicago–Midway, Chicago–O'Hare, Chihuahua, Ciudad Juárez, Ciudad Obregón, Cozumel, Culiacán, Dallas/Fort Worth, Denver, Fresno, Hermosillo, Houston–Intercontinental, Huatulco, La Paz, Loreto, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Los Mochis, Mérida, Mexicali, Mexico City, Mexico City–AIFA, Miami, Monterrey, New York–JFK, Oakland, Oaxaca, Ontario, Orlando, Phoenix–Sky Harbor, Portland (OR), Puerto Escondido, Puerto Vallarta, Reno/Tahoe, Sacramento, San Antonio, San Jose (CA), San José del Cabo, Seattle/Tacoma, Tapachula, Tijuana, Toluca/Mexico City, Torreón/Gómez Palacio, Tulum (begins December 5, 2024),[13] Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Veracruz, Villahermosa


ABX Air Cincinnati
Aeronaves TSM Laredo
AeroUnion Los Angeles, Mexico City–AIFA
Air Canada Cargo Dallas/Fort Worth, Mexico City–AIFA, Toronto–Pearson
Air France Cargo Paris–Charles de Gaulle
Amerijet International Miami
Atlas Air[14] Anchorage, Campinas, Los Angeles, Miami
Cargolux Anchorage, Houston–Intercontinental, Los Angeles, Luxembourg, Mexico City–AIFA
Cathay Cargo Anchorage, Hong Kong
DHL Aviation Cincinnati, Los Angeles, Querétaro
Emirates SkyCargo Dubai–Al Maktoum, Frankfurt, Houston–Intercontinental, Mexico City–AIFA
Estafeta La Paz, San Luis Potosí
FedEx Express Memphis
Korean Air Cargo Seoul–Incheon, Vancouver
Lufthansa Cargo Dallas/Fort Worth, Frankfurt
Mas Air Bogotá, Los Angeles, Miami
Panalpina operated by Atlas Air Huntsville, London–Stansted
Qatar Airways Cargo[15] Doha, Liège
TUM AeroCarga Hermosillo, Reynosa, Tijuana, Toluca
UPS Airlines Louisville

Destinations map[edit]

European destinations from Guadalajara International Airport
Red = Year-round destination
Blue = Future destination
Green = Seasonal destination



Guadalajara Airport Passengers. See Wikidata query.
Annual passenger traffic
Year Passengers % change
2010 6,918,621 Steady
2011 7,154,959 Increase 3.41%
2012 7,389,897 Increase 3.28%
2013 8,104,762 Increase 9.67%
2014 8,695,183 Increase 7.28%
2015 9,758,516 Increase 12.22%
2016 11,362,552 Increase 16.43%
2017 12,779,874 Increase 12.47%
2018 14,340,152 Increase 12.21%
2019 14,823,592 Increase 3.37%
2020 8,125,600 Decrease 45.40%
2021 12,243,000 Increase 50.7%
2022 15,606,600 Increase 30.6%
2023 17,710,200 Increase 13.5%

Busiest routes[edit]

Busiest domestic routes from Guadalajara International Airport (2023)[16]
Rank City Passengers Ranking Airline
1  Mexico City, Mexico City 1,496,980 Steady Aeromar, Aeroméxico, Aeroméxico Connect, VivaAerobús, Volaris
2  Baja California, Tijuana 1,111,478 Steady Aeroméxico, Magni, VivaAerobús, Volaris
3  Quintana Roo, Cancún 540,126 Steady Magni, VivaAerobús, Volaris
4  Nuevo León, Monterrey 512,389 Steady VivaAerobús, Volaris
5  Baja California Sur, Los Cabos 271,197 Increase 1 Calafia Airlines, VivaAerobús, Volaris
6  Chihuahua, Ciudad Juárez 252,740 Increase 1 TAR, VivaAerobús, Volaris
7  Sonora, Hermosillo 238,069 Increase 1 Interjet, VivaAerobús, Volaris
8  Baja California, Mexicali 204,411 Decrease 3 Volaris
9  Yucatán, Mérida 188,779 Increase 2 VivaAerobús, Volaris
10  Baja California Sur, La Paz 167,241 Steady Aeromar, Calafia Airlines, VivaAerobús, Volaris
11  Sinaloa, Culiacán 161,445 Decrease 2 VivaAerobús, Volaris
12  Jalisco, Puerto Vallarta 160,722 Increase 1 Aeromar, TAR, VivaAerobús
13  Chihuahua, Chihuahua 155,419 Decrease 1 VivaAerobús, Volaris
14  Veracruz, Veracruz 121,559 Increase 1 VivaAerobús, Volaris
14  State of Mexico, Mexico City-AIFA 116,069 New entry VivaAerobús, Volaris
Busiest international routes from Guadalajara International Airport (2023)[16]
Rank City Passengers Ranking Airline
1  United States, Los Angeles 528,241 Steady Aeroméxico, Alaska Airlines, VivaAerobús, Volaris
2  United States, Chicago (Midway and O'Hare)[a] 239,493 Steady Aeroméxico, VivaAerobús, Volaris
3  United States, Dallas/Fort Worth 209,273 Steady American Airlines, Volaris
4  United States, Houston–Intercontinental 160,918 Steady United Airlines, United Express, VivaAerobús, Volaris
5  United States, San Jose 159,456 Increase 2 Alaska Airlines, Volaris
6  United States, Oakland 122,528 Increase 2 Volaris
7  United States, Fresno 121,576 Decrease 1 Aeroméxico, Volaris
8  United States, Sacramento 119,077 Decrease 3 Aeroméxico, Volaris
9  United States, Las Vegas 101,589 Steady Volaris
10  United States, Phoenix–Sky Harbor 82,333 Steady American Airlines, American Eagle, Volaris
11  United States, Ontario 78,497 Increase 1 Volaris
12  United States, Seattle 66,974 Decrease 1 Volaris
13  United States, Portland 59,936 Steady Volaris
14  Spain, Madrid 57,413 New entry Aeroméxico
15  United States, San Antonio 56,246 New entry Volaris
  1. ^ The official statistics combine both Midway and O'Hare airports.

Accidents and incidents[edit]

  • On June 2, 1958, Aeronaves de México Flight 111, a Lockheed L-749A Constellation (registration XA-MEV), crashed into La Latilla Mountain, 16 kilometers (10 miles) from the airport, shortly after takeoff for a flight to Mexico City, after the airliner's crew failed to follow the established climb-out procedure for the airport after taking off. The crash killed all 45 people on board, and two prominent American scientists – oceanographer Townsend Cromwell and fisheries scientist Bell M. Shimada – were among the dead. It was the deadliest aviation accident in Mexican history at the time.[17][18][19]
  • Aeroméxico Flight 498: On August 31, 1986 an Aeroméxico DC-9 that originated from Mexico City and stopped at Guadalajara, Loreto and Tijuana collided with a private aircraft while attempting to land at Los Angeles International Airport.
  • On May 24, 1993, Juan Jesús Posadas Ocampo, the Archbishop of Guadalajara, and six other people were killed in a shootout between rival drug cartels in the airport parking lot.[20]
  • On September 16, 1998, Continental Flight 475, a Boeing 737-524 registered N20643. Departed Houston at 20:56 for an IFR flight to Guadalajara. After executing a missed approach on their first ILS approach to runway 28, the flight was vectored for a second approach to runway 28. The second approach was reported by both pilots to be uneventful; however, after touchdown, the aircraft drifted to the left side of the runway. The left main landing gear exited the hard surface of the runway approximately 2700 feet from the threshold and eventually, all 3 landing gears exited the 197-foot wide asphalt runway, and all the passengers survived.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "GAP Traffic Report 2023" (PDF). Grupo Aeroportuario del Pacífico. January 2024. Retrieved January 27, 2024.
  2. ^ "Statistics by Airport" (Web). Secretaría de Comunicaciones y Transportes. Retrieved January 29, 2021.
  3. ^ "Volaris cements Guadalajara as a hub" (Web). Milenio. April 2018. Retrieved January 29, 2021.
  4. ^ "Guadalajara dio una Calurosa Recepción al Presidente. Gran Concurrencia en el Aeropuerto". El Informador (in Spanish). March 2, 1951. Retrieved March 29, 2022.
  5. ^ Golden, Tim (May 25, 1993). "Cardinal in Mexico Killed in a Shooting Tied to Drug Battle". The New York Times.
  6. ^ "Guadalajara, Puerto Vallarta airports in line for major upgrades". Mexico News Daily. February 7, 2020. Retrieved February 11, 2020.
  7. ^ "Fly nonstop to Europe from Guadalajara". Aeroméxico. August 5, 2021. Retrieved August 9, 2021.
  8. ^ Quarter Studios - Soluciones Digitales. "Aeropuerto de Guadalajara". Retrieved July 29, 2015.
  9. ^ Hangar Inn
  10. ^ "Bases Aéreas. Secretaría de la Defensa Nacional".
  11. ^ Robertson, Becky (April 11, 2024). "New cheap and direct flights under $150 will connect Toronto to historic sun destination". blogTO. Retrieved April 11, 2024.
  12. ^ Parkinson, Bruce (November 1, 2023). "Flair Touts Improved Performance, Announces New YVR-GDL & YYZ-YQB Routes". TravelPulse Canada. Retrieved November 1, 2023.
  13. ^ "Volaris connects Guadalajara with Tulum: Take advantage of the opening offer with flights from $99 pesos". El Debate (in Spanish). April 2024. Retrieved April 10, 2024.
  14. ^ "Atlas Air Schedule". Atlas Air. Retrieved December 19, 2023.
  15. ^ "Qatar Airways Cargo commences Macau-Guadalajara transpacific freighter service". Gulf Times Commercial Press. January 2019. Retrieved September 10, 2020.
  16. ^ a b "Estadística operacional por origen-destino / Traffic Statistics by City Pairs" (in Spanish). Agencia Federal de Aviación Civil. January 2024. Retrieved January 29, 2023.
  17. ^ "Accident". Aviation Safety Network. June 1958. Retrieved September 10, 2020.
  18. ^ "Bell Masayuki Shimada (1922-1958)". National Ocean Service. July 2017. Retrieved September 10, 2020.
  19. ^ "NOAA Honors Nisei with Launch of Fisheries Vessel". Japanese American Veterans Association. December 2008. Retrieved September 10, 2020.
  20. ^ Golden, Tim (May 25, 1993). "Cardinal in Mexico Killed in a Shooting Tied to Drug Battle". The New York Times. Retrieved October 9, 2021.

External links[edit]