San Antonio International Airport
San Antonio International Airport is a commercial airport in San Antonio, Texas
Texas is the second largest U.S. state by both area and population, and the largest state by area in the contiguous United States.The name, based on the Caddo word "Tejas" meaning "friends" or "allies", was applied by the Spanish to the Caddo themselves and to the region of their settlement in...

, USA. The airport has three runways and covers 2600 acre (1,052.2 ha). Its elevation is 809 feet (247 m) above sea level. SAT is a Class C airport.


In 2010, airport passenger traffic was up 2.5% over 2009. Total enplaned and deplaned passengers was 8,034,720. International passenger traffic decreased 4.7% (136,970 passengers) in 2010 due in part to the cessation of flights by Mexicana Airlines. During 2009, the airport handled 7,831,267 domestic and international passengers.

In 2008, San Antonio International Airport handled 8,358,515 passengers, up 3.5 percent from the 2007 total, making this the airports fourth consecutive year of increasing passenger numbers. SAT averages 280 daily departures and arrivals at its 27 gates, which serve 16 airlines flying to 31 metro areas, including Mexico City. The airport's top-ranked destinations are Dallas, Houston, Las Vegas, Chicago, Baltimore, New York, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Atlanta and Washington, D.C. As of December 2006, Southwest Airlines
Southwest Airlines
Southwest Airlines Co. is an American low-cost airline based in Dallas, Texas. Southwest is the largest airline in the United States, based upon domestic passengers carried,...

 is the airport's largest passenger air carrier, enplaning 35.24 percent of the airport's total passengers. Delta, American, and Continental are the next three largest carriers.

From February to September 2006, the airport was a "focus city
Focus city
In the airline industry, a focus city is a location that is not a hub, but from which the airline has non-stop flights to several destinations other than its hubs...

" for United Airlines (which the airline called it a 'hublet') with flights to 12 cities in conjunction with their partner Trans States Airlines
Trans States Airlines
Trans States Airlines is the thirteenth largest American regional airline and is headquartered in Bridgeton, Missouri. It operates as United Express for United Airlines and US Airways Express for US Airways.- History :...

. Trans States Airlines redeployed their aircraft elsewhere, eliminating service to seven cities. Mexicana
Mexicana de Aviación
Founded in 1921, Compañía Mexicana de Aviación, S.A. de C.V. was Mexico's oldest airline, before ceasing operations on August 28, 2010. The group's closure was announced by the company's recently installed management team a short time after the group filed for Concurso Mercantil and US Chapter 15...

 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.

The airport is undergoing a major, multi-million 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
Stinson Municipal Airport
Stinson Municipal Airport , originally called Stinson Field, is a reliever airport located six miles south of downtown San Antonio’s central business district...

, currently serving general aviation, to become the city's secondary commercial airport.

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 due to head winds) from San Antonio International Airport is to San Francisco International Airport
San Francisco International Airport
San Francisco International Airport is a major international airport located south of downtown San Francisco, California, United States, near the cities of Millbrae and San Bruno in unincorporated San Mateo County. It is often referred to as SFO...

, a distance of 1482 miles (2,385 km), with an average duration of 3 hours 34 minutes. (Served by United Airlines
United Airlines
United Air Lines, Inc., is the world's largest airline with 86,852 employees United Air Lines, Inc., is the world's largest airline with 86,852 employees United Air Lines, Inc., is the world's largest airline with 86,852 employees (which includes the entire holding company United Continental...

, Canadair CRJ-700)

The longest flight (by distance) from San Antonio International Airport is to New York - John F. Kennedy International Airport, a distance of 1580 miles (2,542.8 km), with an average duration of 3 hours, 33 minutes. (Served by Delta Air Lines
Delta Air Lines
Delta Air Lines, Inc. is a major airline based in the United States and headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia. The airline operates an extensive domestic and international network serving all continents except Antarctica. Delta and its subsidiaries operate over 4,000 flights every day...

, Airbus A319)

The shortest flight from San Antonio International Airport is to Houston George Bush Intercontinental Airport, a distance of 191 miles (307.4 km), with an average duration of 50 minutes. (Served by Continental Airlines
Continental Airlines
Continental Airlines was a major American airline now merged with United Airlines. On May 3, 2010, Continental Airlines, Inc. and UAL, Inc. announced a merger via a stock swap, and on October 1, 2010, the merger closed and UAL changed its name to United Continental Holdings, Inc...

, Boeing 737
Boeing 737
The Boeing 737 is a short- to medium-range, twin-engine narrow-body jet airliner. Originally developed as a shorter, lower-cost twin-engine airliner derived from Boeing's 707 and 727, the 737 has developed into a family of nine passenger models with a capacity of 85 to 215 passengers...

, Boeing 757
Boeing 757
The Boeing 757 is a mid-size, narrow-body twin-engine jet airliner manufactured by Boeing Commercial Airplanes. Passenger versions of the twinjet have a capacity of 186 to 289 persons and a maximum range of , depending on variant and cabin configuration...

, and Continental Connection
Continental Connection
Continental Connection is a brand name under which several commuter airline carriers and their holding companies operate services marketed exclusively by Continental Airlines...

 operated by Colgan Air
Colgan Air
Colgan Air, Inc. is an American certificated regional airline subsidiary of Pinnacle Airlines Corp. The headquarters of Colgan Air are located in Memphis, Tennessee....

, Bombardier Q400).


San Antonio International Airport was founded in 1941 when the City of San Antonio purchased 1200 acres (485.6 ha) of undeveloped land north of the city limits for a project to be called “San Antonio Municipal Airport.” World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 Wartime needs meant the unfinished airport was pressed into government service. The airport was opened in July 1942 as Alamo Field and was used by the United States Army Air Forces
United States Army Air Forces
The United States Army Air Forces was the military aviation arm of the United States of America during and immediately after World War II, and the direct predecessor of the United States Air Force....

 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
Gulf of Mexico
The Gulf of Mexico is a partially landlocked ocean basin largely surrounded by the North American continent and the island of Cuba. It is bounded on the northeast, north and northwest by the Gulf Coast of the United States, on the southwest and south by Mexico, and on the southeast by Cuba. In...


At the end of the war the airfield was not needed by the military and was turned over to the local government for civil use.

The former Terminal 2, began construction in 1951 and was completed in 1953. In addition to the new terminal the FAA control tower and a baggage claim system were built. When news of the 1968 World Fair coming to San Antonio came, a new satellite concourse with eight jet bridge gates and passenger holding areas were built.

In 1975, the city adopted its first Airport Master Plan. It included plans for a new 1,300 space parking garage, and a new 360000 sq ft (33,445.1 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 feet (67.4 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.

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.

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.


San Antonio International Airport is owned by the city of San Antonio. 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.

Effective April 21, 2009, Frank Miller was hired as San Antonio International's Aviation Director. Mr. Miller earned a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration from Pacific Lutheran University. He is currently the President for Airports Council International (ACI) - North America, and his current term will expire October 2011. In the past, Miller has served as Vice President, twice on ACI's Board of Directors. He currently serves on the ACI – World Governing Board. Mr. Miller is Past President for the American Association of Airport Executives, Southeast Chapter. He was awarded the Federal Aviation Administration's Southern Region Commercial Service Airport Manager of the Year in 2006.

Terminals, airlines and destinations

San Antonio International Airport has two terminals with an overall 24 jet bridge gates. The original one-level terminal
Airport terminal
An airport terminal is a building at an airport where passengers transfer between ground transportation and the facilities that allow them to board and disembark from aircraft....

 (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
HemisFair '68
HemisFair '68 was the first officially designated world's fair held in the southwestern United States. San Antonio, Texas hosted the fair from April 6 through October 6, 1968. More than thirty nations hosted pavilions at the fair. The fair was held in conjunction with the 250th anniversary of the...

. 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 scheduled for Janury 2012. A second terminal (formerly Terminal 1, now Terminal A) opened in 1984 with a 16-gate (Gates A1-A16) concourse. The U.S. Customs Federal Inspection Station
U.S. Customs and Border Protection
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is a federal law enforcement agency of the United States Department of Homeland Security charged with regulating and facilitating international trade, collecting import duties, and enforcing U.S. regulations, including trade, customs and immigration. CBP is the...

 (FIS) is located in Terminal A. Gates A1-A2 and A10-A11 have direct access to the FIS. Terminal A will soon begin going through an updating and modernization project.

On November 9, 2010, San Antonio International Airport announced the opening of the brand new Terminal B, which contains 8 gates, (B1-B8). Once the merger between United Airlines
United Airlines
United Air Lines, Inc., is the world's largest airline with 86,852 employees United Air Lines, Inc., is the world's largest airline with 86,852 employees United Air Lines, Inc., is the world's largest airline with 86,852 employees (which includes the entire holding company United Continental...

 and Continental Airlines
Continental Airlines
Continental Airlines was a major American airline now merged with United Airlines. On May 3, 2010, Continental Airlines, Inc. and UAL, Inc. announced a merger via a stock swap, and on October 1, 2010, the merger closed and UAL changed its name to United Continental Holdings, Inc...

 is completed, the new United will fly out of Terminal B. This move is expected to be completed early 2012 once demolition and clean up of the old Terminal 2 is complete.

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. The FAA control tower became operational in 1986.

Public transportation to and from the airport is provided by VIA
VIA Metropolitan Transit
VIA Metropolitan Transit is the mass transit agency serving San Antonio, Texas. It began operation in 1978 as a successor to the San Antonio Transit System...

 bus #5.

AirTran Airways
AirTran Airways
AirTran Airways, a subsidiary of the Dallas, Texas-based Southwest Airlines, is an American low-cost airline headquartered in Orlando, Florida. AirTran operates over 650 daily flights , primarily in the eastern and midwestern United States...

 has filed for authority to provide direct service from San Antonio to Cancun
Cancún International Airport
Cancún International Airport is located in Cancún, Quintana Roo, on the Caribbean coast of Mexico's Yucatán Peninsula. It is Mexico's second busiest airport, after Mexico City International Airport in Mexico City, but the biggest in Mexico and Latin America for International passengers...

 and Mexico City
Mexico City International Airport
Benito Juárez International Airport , in Venustiano Carranza, one of the sixteen boroughs into which Mexico's Federal District is divided, is a commercial airport that serves Mexico City, the capital of Mexico...

 to be effective May 2012 if approved.

Passenger operations


Top Ten Busiest Domestic Routes Out of SAT
(June 2010 - May 2011)
Rank City Passengers Carriers
1   Dallas/Fort Worth, TX 574,000 American
2   Atlanta, GA 451,000 AirTran, Delta
3   Houston, TX
George Bush Intercontinental Airport
George Bush Intercontinental Airport, is a Class B international airport in Houston, Texas, serving the Houston–Sugar Land–Baytown metropolitan area, the sixth-largest metropolitan area in the United States. Located north of Downtown Houston between Interstate 45 and U.S. Highway 59...

348,000 Continental
4   Dallas, TX (Love Field) 328,000 Southwest
5   Denver, CO
Denver International Airport
Denver International Airport , often referred to as DIA, is an airport in Denver, Colorado. By land size, at , it is the largest international airport in the United States, and the third largest international airport in the world after King Fahd International Airport and Montréal-Mirabel...

227,000 Frontier, Southwest, United
6   Phoenix, AZ
Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport
Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport is a joint civil-military public airport located southeast of the central business district of the city of Phoenix, in Maricopa County, Arizona, United States...

194,000 Southwest, US Airways
7   Chicago, IL (O'Hare)
O'Hare International Airport
Chicago O'Hare International Airport , also known as O'Hare Airport, O'Hare Field, Chicago Airport, Chicago International Airport, or simply O'Hare, is a major airport located in the northwestern-most corner of Chicago, Illinois, United States, northwest of the Chicago Loop...

159,000 American, United
8   Las Vegas, NV 150,000 Southwest
9   Houston, TX (Hobby) 139,000 Southwest
10   Baltimore, MD 114,000 AirTran, Southwest

Cargo operations


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 will then be 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 28. 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 of 2009 and extended to provide service to the new terminals. A 1100000 square feet (102,193.3 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.

Other operations

Emivest Aerospace, formerly Sino Swearingen Aircraft Corporation, has its headquarters on the grounds of the airport. In addition, M7 Aerospace
M7 Aerospace
M7 Aerospace LP is an aerospace company with its headquarters on the property of San Antonio International Airport in San Antonio, Texas.M7 is the successor organization to Fairchild-Dornier Aviation, having bought much of that firm's assets out of bankruptcy. M7 occupies the...

 has its headquarters on the airport property. Previously the airport housed Fairchild Dornier U.S. manufacturing facilities.

The San Antonio Spurs' charter Champion Air used SAT but the airline ceased operations in May 2008.

San Antonio Aerospace occasionally receives VIP aircraft under maintenance contracts. They also maintain commercial airline aircraft. On January 20, 2011 the FAA proposing a civil penalty of $1,025,000 against San Antonio Aerospace LP for violating the Department of Transportation’s Workplace Drug and Alcohol Testing programs.

San Antonio airport houses the flight operations for Seven Q Seven which operates a modified 707 in-air tanker. Its hangar is along Wetmore Road. The plane is gray with tail number OMEGA71.

San Antonio receives a share of Dallas- and Houston-area diverted flights during bad weather. These diversions are more frequent during the thunderstorm-prone summer months than during the winter months. Past visitors have included trans-Atlantic flights.

Incidents and accidents

On January 31, 1967, a Saturn Airways
Saturn Airways
Saturn Airways was a US "supplemental carrier", i.e. a charter airline. It operated from 1948 until 1976. Its headquarters were located on the grounds of Oakland International Airport, Oakland, California.- History :The airline was initially known as All American Airways and used Curtiss C-46...

 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 1100 feet (335.3 m) below the glide slope, flew through trees and collided with a cliff.

See also

  • Texas World War II Army Airfields
    Texas World War II Army Airfields
    In today's United States Air Force, many personnel have spent some of their military service being trained in Texas during World War II. Be it basic military training at Lackland Air Force Base, technical training, officer training, or flight training at other facilities across the state...

  • Stinson Municipal Airport
    Stinson Municipal Airport
    Stinson Municipal Airport , originally called Stinson Field, is a reliever airport located six miles south of downtown San Antonio’s central business district...

External links

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