San Antonio International Airport

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San Antonio International Airport
San Antonio International Airport Logo.jpg
San Antonio International airport.JPG
Airport type Public
Owner City of San Antonio
Operator San Antonio Aviation Department
Serves Greater San Antonio
Location San Antonio, Texas, U.S.
Hub for Xtra Airways Non Air Carrier – Charter Operations
Elevation AMSL 809 ft / 246 m
Coordinates 29°31′36″N 098°28′19″W / 29.52667°N 98.47194°W / 29.52667; -98.47194
San Antonio International Airport is located in Texas
San Antonio International Airport
San Antonio International Airport
Direction Length Surface
ft m
4/22 8,505 2,592 Concrete
12L/30R 5,519 1,682 Asphalt
12R/30L 8,502 2,591 Concrete
Statistics (2016)
Aircraft operations 168,051
Passengers 8,618,139

San Antonio International Airport (IATA: SATICAO: KSATFAA LID: SAT) is an international airport located in San Antonio, Texas and serving the Greater San Antonio metropolitan area. It is located in Uptown Central San Antonio, about 8 miles north of Downtown. It has three runways and covers 2,305 acres (933 ha).[1] Its elevation is 809 feet (247 m) above sea level. SAT is a Class C airport.


SAT averages 260 daily departures and arrivals at its 25 gates, which serve 11 airlines flying non-stop to 43 destinations. These destinations include 38 in the United States, four in Mexico, and one in Canada. The airport's top-ranked destinations are Dallas, Houston, Las Vegas, Chicago, Baltimore, New York, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Atlanta and Washington, D.C.[3]

Airport officials produce a 30-minute news program about once every quarter. "Airport Airwaves" airs on Tuesdays at 9 p.m., Wednesdays at 11 a.m., and Fridays at 1:30 p.m. on the Government-access television (GATV) cable TV channel.

The longest flight (by flight time and distance) from San Antonio International Airport is to Seattle–Tacoma International Airport, a distance of 1,776 miles (2,858 km), with an average duration of 4 hours 7 minutes. This flight is served by Alaska Airlines, Boeing 737-800.

The shortest flight from San Antonio International Airport is to Houston's George Bush Intercontinental Airport, a distance of 191 miles (307 km), with an average duration of 50 minutes. The flight is served by United Airlines.

In 2014, the airport ranked as the 44th busiest in the United States. It is considered a "medium hub" among U.S. airports, ranking just behind the Luis Munoz International Airport and ahead of the Southwest Florida International Airport. Airport passenger traffic was up 1.42% over 2013 to 8,369,628 passengers. Total domestic traffic had increased by 1.63% to 7,904,863 while international passenger traffic had decreased by 2.07% to 464,765 passengers.

The airport has been the busiest in South Texas. It ranked behind Texas airports at Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW and Love), Houston (Bush and Hobby), and Austin but ahead of El Paso.[4]


San Antonio International Airport was founded in 1941 when the City of San Antonio purchased 1,200 acres (490 ha) of undeveloped land that, at the time, were north of the city limits (now part of the city's Uptown District) for a project to be called "San Antonio Municipal Airport." World War II Wartime needs meant the unfinished airport was pressed into federal government service. The airport opened in July 1942 as Alamo Field and was used by the United States Army Air Forces as a training base.

The 77th Reconnaissance Group, equipped with various aircraft (P-39, P-40, A-20, B-25, O-47, O-52, and L-5) trained reconnaissance personnel who later served overseas. One squadron (113th) flew antisubmarine patrols over the Gulf of Mexico.

At the end of the war the airfield was no longer needed by the military and was turned over to the City of San Antonio for civil use.

The former Terminal 2 was built in 1951–53, along with the FAA control tower and a baggage claim area. For HemisFair '68, a new satellite concourse was built, containing eight jet bridge gates and passenger waiting areas.

Airport diagram for March 1962

In 1975 the city adopted its first Airport Master Plan with plans for a new 1,300 space parking garage and a new 360,000 sq ft (33,000 m2) Terminal (formerly called Terminal 1, now called Terminal A). Once the new terminal was completed in 1984 it brought the airport's capacity up from eight gates to 27 gates. In 1986 a new 221-foot (67 m) FAA Air Traffic Control Tower was built at a new location.

In 1994 a second Airport Master Plan was developed that would take the airport well into the 21st century. This master plan included major updates for the airport. It called for more parking spaces made available through a new 3,000 space parking garage that would be completed by 2007. In addition it had plans for improved airport access, as well as an improved concession program. Two new terminals were planned to replace the aging Terminal 2, to increase the airports gate-capacity to 35.

San Antonio closed the end of the 20th century with over 3.5 million passenger boardings in 1999. Since 1966, the airport has boarded more than 80 million people.

From February to September 2006, the airport was a "focus city" for United Airlines (the airline called it a "hublet") with flights to 12 cities in conjunction with their partner Trans States Airlines. Trans States Airlines redeployed their aircraft elsewhere, eliminating service to seven cities. Mexicana celebrated 50 years serving the airport in September 2007, only to suspend service to San Antonio in August 2010 when the airline went bankrupt and suspended operations.

November 9, 2010 saw the closure of the original Terminal 2, and the opening of the new Terminal B. Terminal 1 was then renamed Terminal A. The removal of fixtures in the old Terminal 2 began in January 2011. The final structural demolition of Terminal 2 took place in May 2011.

In 2013, the SAT Customs and Border Protection became a Global Entry enrollment center.

The Airport is undergoing a major, multimillion-dollar expansion project which will add new terminals and parking facilities. The master plan for the project will increase gate capacity to 35. In addition, construction projects involving Interstate 410 and U.S. Highway 281 have improved access to the airport. (The airport sits near the northeast corner of the I-410/US 281 intersection.) Future plans also call for Stinson Municipal Airport, currently serving general aviation, to become the city's secondary commercial airport.

In January 2017, the airport began constructing a consolidated rental car facility. The 1.8 million square feet facility is planned to house up to 14 rental car brands and short-term public parking and will eliminate the need for shuttles to remote rental car locations. The public parking portion was completed in April 2017. The rental car portion is slated to be completed for passenger use in December 2017.[5]


Terminal A

San Antonio International Airport is owned by the City of San Antonio and operated by the San Antonio Aviation Department. The aviation director is briefed on a regular basis by Airport Advisory Committee members. These consist of neighboring communities, pilots, business community, local neighborhoods, taxicab industry and travel and tourism. This information is then relayed by the Aviation Director to the city council.


Main ticketing area.

San Antonio International Airport has two terminals with an overall 24 jet bridge gates. The original one-level terminal (formerly Terminal 2) opened in 1953 with ground-loading holding areas and was expanded twice, once in 1959 with new east and west wings, and again in 1968 with an eight-gate satellite concourse, which was built to handle visitors to HemisFair '68. Terminal 2 closed on November 9, 2010 as the new Terminal B opened, and Terminal 2 began to be demolished in March 2011, with completion in January 2012. A second terminal (formerly Terminal 1, now Terminal A) opened in 1984 with a 16-gate concourse. The U.S. Customs Federal Inspection Station (FIS) is located in Terminal A and is accessible from Gates A6-A9. Terminal A will soon begin going through an updating and modernization project.

Terminal A[edit]

Terminal A (previously Terminal 1) is the larger of the two concourses with 17 gates in total. All international carriers operate out of Terminal A. On June 18, 2014, a $35.6 million renovation was completed for this terminal, with the most visible improvements to passengers being new terrazzo floors, updated food courts, and new signage. On October 15, 2014, all gates in Terminal A were renumbered in sequential order.[6]

Currently eight carriers operate out of Terminal A, with 15 of the 17 gates in use.

  • Aeromexico Connect uses Gates A7 and A8.
  • Air Canada Express uses Gate A5
  • Alaska uses Gate A5.
  • Allegiant uses Gate A8.
  • American uses Gates A15 and A17.
  • Delta uses Gates A2–A5
  • Frontier uses Gate A8, occasionally will use A6, If A6 and A8 are both unavailable, They will use A7
  • Interjet and Volaris use Gate A6.
  • Southwest uses Gates A9–A14.

Gate A17 also has a parking position designated as A17A that utilizes the same Jetway, The only difference is the parking position of the aircraft.

Gate A1 is mainly used for Delta charter flights but may also used for overflow flights. Although listed on the Terminal map at the Airport's Website, Gate A16 is not a physical gate at the terminal.

Typical Boarding area in Terminal A

Terminal B[edit]

Opened on November 9, 2010, Terminal B contains eight gates. Corgan Associates, Inc. and 3D/International designed the new terminal.[7] American and Continental were the two original airlines at Terminal B. United, at the time located in Terminal A, moved into Terminal B on August 1, 2012 during the merger with Continental. A United Club is located between gates B3 and B5. The USO is located on the bottom level of Terminal B next to baggage claim.

  • American uses Gates B2, B4 and B6.
  • United uses Gates B1, B3, B5, B7 and B8.

Gate B7 also has a parking position designated as Gate B7A that utilizes the same Jetway, The only difference is the parking position of the aircraft.

Located right between the very end of the Terminal and the taxiway, right beside Gate B8 is an old parking area designated as Parking bay "27". this is currently not in use.

Airlines and destinations[edit]


Airlines Destinations
Aeroméxico Mexico City
Air Canada Toronto–Pearson
Alaska Airlines Seattle/Tacoma
Allegiant Air Las Vegas, Orlando/Sanford
American Airlines Charlotte, Chicago–O'Hare, Dallas/Fort Worth, Los Angeles, Miami, Philadelphia (begins February 15, 2018),[8] Phoenix–Sky Harbor
Delta Air Lines Atlanta, Detroit, Los Angeles, Minneapolis/St. Paul, New York–JFK, Salt Lake City
Frontier Airlines Cincinnati (begins April 9, 2018), Colorado Springs (begins April 8, 2018),[9] Denver, Las Vegas, New Orleans, Ontario, Phoenix–Sky Harbor,[10] San Diego, San José (CA) (begins April 9, 2018),[11] Washington–Dulles
Seasonal: Atlanta, Orlando (begins April 8, 2018), Philadelphia
Interjet Guadalajara, Mexico City, Monterrey
Southwest Airlines Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago–Midway, Dallas–Love, Denver, El Paso, Fort Lauderdale (begins July 8, 2018),[12] Houston–Hobby, Kansas City, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Nashville, New Orleans, Oakland (begins July 8, 2018),[12] Orlando, Phoenix–Sky Harbor, San Diego, St. Louis, Tampa
Seasonal: Cancún (resumes June 7, 2018),[13] New York–La Guardia
United Airlines Chicago–O'Hare, Denver, Houston–Intercontinental, Los Angeles, Newark, San Francisco, Washington–Dulles
Seasonal: Cancún
Volaris Guadalajara, Mexico City[14]


Airlines Destinations
Ameriflight Brownwood, Corpus Christi, Dallas/Fort Worth, Del Rio, Midland, San Angelo
FedEx Express Fort Worth/Alliance, El Paso, Indianapolis, Laredo, Memphis
Martinaire Brownwood, Corpus Christi, Del Rio, Eagle Pass, Houston–Intercontinental, Laredo
UPS Airlines Chicago/Rockford, El Paso, Guadalajara, Houston–Intercontinental, Laredo, Louisville, McAllen, Monterrey

Former Airlines[edit]


Top destinations[edit]

Busiest domestic routes from SAT
(November 2016 – October 2017)
Rank City Passengers Carriers
1 Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas 512,000 American
2 Atlanta, Georgia 452,000 Delta, Southwest, Frontier
3 Dallas–Love, Texas 317,000 Southwest
4 Houston–Intercontinental, Texas 296,000 United
5 Denver, Colorado 245,000 Southwest, United, Frontier
6 Phoenix–Sky Harbor, Arizona 235,000 American, Southwest
7 Las Vegas, Nevada 203,000 Southwest, Allegiant, Frontier
8 Los Angeles, California 189,000 American, Delta, Southwest, United
9 Chicago–O'Hare, Illinois 172,000 American, Frontier, United
10 Houston–Hobby, Texas 168,000 Southwest
Busiest international routes from SAT (2016)[16]
Rank City Passengers Carriers
1 Mexico Mexico City 236,086 Aeroméxico, Interjet, Volaris
2 Mexico Monterrey 63,937 Aeroméxico, Interjet
3 Mexico Guadalajara 59,68 Interjet, Volaris
4 Mexico Cancún 29,76 Southwest, United
5 Mexico Puerto Vallarta 1,869 American, United, Southwest
6 Honduras San Pedro Sula 1,232 United
7 Mexico San José del Cabo 1,017 American, United, Southwest
8 Guatemala Guatemala 878 United
9 El Salvador San Salvador 826 United
10 Jamaica Montego Bay 559 American, United, Southwest
Carrier shares for (Apr 2016 – Mar 2017)[15]
Carrier   Passengers (arriving and departing)

Ground transportation[edit]

A two-level parking garage immediately across from Terminal A opened in 1982, and the five-level parking garage opened in 1999. An expansion of the five-level parking garage was completed in mid-2008.

Current transportation options include VIA public buses, Uber, Lyft, and Get Me ride share services, and taxis. Airport Ambassadors, volunteers wearing denim vests and cowboy hats can provide accurate details of travellers' options according to each destination.


An expansion program began in 2006 to add additional parking, two new terminals, and roadway improvements. The plan calls for the recently renovated Terminal 2 to be razed and replaced by the new terminal. Terminal 1 would then renamed Terminal A, to correspond with Terminal B. Another new terminal, Terminal C, will then be constructed when it is needed. The new Master Plan estimates the design process could begin in 2020. Initial designs for Terminal C called for five gates which could subsequently be expanded to 11 gates as passenger counts require. When Terminal C is completed, it would bring San Antonio's total number of jet-bridge gates to 29. This number will eventually increase to 35 gates as Terminal C is expanded. There are preliminary plans for Terminal D, which could have up to 20 gates, to be built as needed.

On November 9, 2010, Terminal 2 closed, and the new Terminal B was opened. Terminal 1, in turn, assumed the name Terminal A.

The bi-level roadway in front of Terminal 1 (Terminal A) was opened to traffic November 2009 and extended to provide service to the new terminals. A 1,100,000-square-foot (100,000 m2) 3,000-space expansion to the existing five-level long-term parking garage was completed in mid-2008. Various ancillary utility projects and upgrades are also being performed as part of this program. To see a map of the construction click here.

On June 18, 2015, it was announced that on July 15, 2015, the over 30 year old 3 story short term parking garage will be closed and demolished in order to make way for a brand new 7 story parking garage and Consolidated Rental Car Center.[17]

Other operations[edit]

The building on the north side of the field previously owned by Sino Swearingen Aircraft Corp. followed by Emivest Aerospace Corp. is now owned and operated by Acer Tech. "M7, located at the San Antonio International Airport, manufactures aerospace components."[18] Previously the airport housed Fairchild Dornier U.S. manufacturing facilities.[19]

San Antonio also serves as a hub for Xtra Airways, formerly Casino Express. Based out of their newly relocated headquarters in Boise, Idaho, they offer charter service to any destination within the United States, Alaska, Canada, Mexico, and Central and South America. As of 2012, they had a Boeing 737-400 stationed at SAT.[20]

Numerous Sport Teams and various charters including many VIPs come to San Antonio and utilize the Airport for their aircraft. There is also a heavy military presence within the airport at times, and at times, the Mexican Air Force will fly its troops over to San Antonio to conduct military training exercises throughout the numerous military installations throughout the City.

Quest Diagnostics is known to fly lab materials and various other materials to different laboratories and research facilities using their aircraft. these flights are usually the last to depart and depart after all passenger aircraft and most cargo aircraft have departed, which occurs around 11-11:30pm.

West Cargo & Southwest Cargo area[edit]

As stated in the previous section, Many charters such as, but not limited to, professional sport teams (NBA teams, Mostly for San Antonio Spurs Games), College Football teams (Mostly for UTSA Games), Professional Baseball Teams (Occasionally for the spring training match up played in San Antonio with either the Texas Rangers or Houston Astros.) and many others will utilize the West Cargo area ( located in a large space next to Terminal B, where Terminal 2 used to exist.) to park their plane. and other aircraft belonging to different owners will utilize this area as well. The San Antonio Spurs use a Delta A319 as their main source of transportation. The plane is usually parked at Land Mark Aviation Services. Diverted flights are parked in the west Cargo area until they can resume their flights. this area is also used by flights who are on overflow.

San Antonio International Airport uses a system for its evening arrival aircraft using the terminals. Once all flights that are classified as passenger departures have departed, The airport would usually get very crowded in the terminal area, thus having no room for other aircraft. The San Antonio Airport Authority figured that a plan was needed to be placed into action. The plan was to have an arriving passenger aircraft park at a gate that is operated by their airline. Once all the passengers and crew are deplaned, and all servicing is completed on that aircraft, The plane will then be towed by a tug to the West Cargo area to sit parked overnight and give room for other aircraft.

This plan is used early in the morning for departing aircraft. Departing aircraft that are located at the West Cargo area will be held there until a gate operated by their airline opens. Once there is an open gate, the plane will be towed into the gate by a tug. Usually these operations take place for evening flights from 9PM to about midnight. For morning flights, it is usually around 6 am and will end around 8 am.

There is an area similar to the west cargo area, known as the "South West Cargo" area located beside Gate A1. This is mainly used by Delta or Delta connection Aircraft who are in overflow parking. This area is also used for charter and other aircraft. The Alpha Tango Flight school and flying services building is also located in this area.

VIPs will usually park their aircraft in the West Cargo area. Occasionally will there be a VIP in the South West Cargo area.

Accidents and incidents[edit]

  • On January 31, 1967, a Saturn Airways DC-6 was operating on a cargo flight to Kelly AFB. The crew decided to divert to San Antonio International Airport and commenced the approach. The airplane descended 1,100 feet (340 m) below the glide slope, flew through trees and collided with a cliff.
  • On August 1, 2012, a bomb threat was made at 14:00 local time that resulted in one cancellation, three diverted flights and 28 delays. Nearly 2,000 passengers and staff personnel were evacuated onto the runway and into nearby high school buildings.[21]
  • On October 29, 2012, Interjet Flight 2953, scheduled to Mexico City International Airport, made an emergency landing at San Antonio after suffering engine sputtering problems that was caused by a bird strike. No injuries or fatalities were reported.[22]
  • On July 2, 2014, A Beechcraft Bonanza A36 suffered a Landing Gear Malfunction while on approach to the airport. The aircraft made many go-arounds and attempts to land on the runway with no gears. The pilot then notified the tower that the plane was running low on fuel and that the pilot was going to make the decision and land on the smaller runway 12L. The pilot then began to dump fuel to slow the aircraft down. The pilot then shut down the engine, shut off the propeller and landed on the runway with the aircraft's belly. Both passengers and the pilot made it out safely and without any injuries.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b FAA Airport Master Record for SAT (Form 5010 PDF), effective October 29, 2015
  2. ^ "Financial Information & Statistics". City of San Antonio. June 2017. Retrieved September 24, 2017. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ "Calendar Year 2014 Passenger Boardings at Commercial Service Airports" (PDF). Federal Aviation Administration. p. 1. Retrieved November 19, 2015. 
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^ New Terminal B San Antonio International Airport
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^ "Blockbuster expansion: Frontier to add 21 cities, 85 routes". USA Today. July 2017. Retrieved July 22, 2017. 
  11. ^ "Frontier Airlines Announces More Nonstop Cities for Silicon Valley" (PDF). SJC. September 19, 2017. Retrieved September 19, 2017. 
  12. ^ a b "Southwest Launches New Flights to Cancun in 2018 Schedule". Questex. November 2017. Retrieved November 9, 2017. 
  13. ^ "Southwest announces more seasonal flights to Cancun" (in Spanish). EnElAire. November 2017. Retrieved November 13, 2017. 
  14. ^ "Volaris to start new route between Mexico City and San Antonio" (in Spanish). Transponder 1200. May 2017. Retrieved May 17, 2017. 
  15. ^ a b "RITA | BTS | Transtats". Retrieved January 19, 2018. 
  16. ^ "U.S. International Air Passenger and Freight Statistics Report". June 2017. Retrieved August 18, 2017. 
  17. ^
  18. ^ "Contact Us." M7 Aerospace. Retrieved on February 12, 2011. "M7 Aerospace LP [...] 10823 NE Entrance Road San Antonio, Texas, USA 78216."
  19. ^ "Contact Fairchild Dornier." Fairchild Dornier. April 18, 2003. Retrieved on February 12, 2011. "Manufacturing Facilities (U.S.A.) Fairchild Dornier Corp. & Fairchild Aircraft Services 10823 N.E. Entrance Road San Antonio, TX 78216."
  20. ^ "Xrta Airways". RLCA10. Retrieved June 2, 2012. 
  21. ^ "San Antonio Airport Reopens After Bomb Threat". Airport International. August 2, 2012. 
  22. ^ Ley, Ana (October 29, 2012). "Plane makes emergency landing in S.A". Retrieved October 29, 2012. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 29°31′37″N 98°28′19″W / 29.527°N 98.472°W / 29.527; -98.472