San Antonio International Airport

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San Antonio International Airport
File:San Antonio International Airport Logo.jpg
File:San Antonio International airport.JPG
SAT is located in Texas
Location of San Antonio International Airport
Airport type Public
Owner City of San Antonio
Operator San Antonio Aviation Department
Serves San Antonio–New Braunfels
Location San Antonio, Texas, US
Hub for Xtra Airways Non Air Carrier – Charter Operations
Elevation AMSL 809 ft / 246 m
Coordinates Lua error in Module:Coordinates at line 668: callParserFunction: function "#coordinates" was not found.
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 (2012, 2014)
Aircraft operations (2014) 171,961
Based aircraft (2014) 202
Passengers (2012) 8,243,221

San Antonio International Airport (IATA: SATICAO: KSATFAA LID: SAT) is an international airport located in San Antonio, Texas, US and serving the Greater San Antonio metropolitan area. The airport is located in Uptown San Antonio, about 8 miles north of Downtown San Antonio. The airport has three runways and covers 2,600 acres (1,100 ha). Its elevation is 809 feet (247 m) above sea level. SAT is a Class C airport.


In 2014, airport passenger traffic was up 1.42% over 2013 to 8,369,628 passengers. Total domestic traffic increased by 1.63% to 7,904,863 while international passenger traffic decreased by 2.07% to 464,765 passengers.

SAT averages 260 daily departures and arrivals at its 25 gates, which serve 10 airlines flying non-stop to 33 airports, 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.

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.

Between 2011 and 2013, SAT experienced tremendous growth in international passengers and routes. In November 2011, VivaAerobus added service to Monterrey. In December 2011, Interjet added two new international routes to Mexico City and Toluca. In May 2012, AirTran Airways added flights to Mexico City and Cancun, with Southwest Airlines taking over both routes in 2014 and 2015 respectively. In December 2012, Interjet added a route to Monterrey.[2] In December 2013, Volaris entered the market and added service to Guadalajara. Interjet also added service to Guadalajara. With 6 destinations in Mexico with over 50 weekly flights, SAT is ranked among the nation's top ten gateways to Mexico in terms of seat capacity.[3]

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.

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, Boeing 737, and Airbus A320, United Express operated by ExpressJet Airlines, Embraer RJ145, and by SkyWest Airlines, Bombardier CRJ-700.


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.

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.

On August 1, 2012 both terminals of the airport were evacuated due to a bomb threat called from the parking garage. After a search yielded no explosives, the airport reopened.


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. Frank Miller was Aviation Director from 2009 to 2011.


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

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 dollar 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.[4]

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

  • Aeromexico Connect uses Gates A7, A8.
  • Alaska uses Gate A5.
  • Allegiant uses Gate A8.
  • American uses Gate A15 and A17.
  • Delta/Delta Connection uses Gates A2–A5
  • Interjet and Volaris uses Gate A6.
  • Southwest uses Gates A9–A14.

Gate A1 is mainly used for charter flights but may also used for overflow flights. Gate A16 may be used for overflow flights.

Terminal B

Opened on November 9, 2010, Terminal B contains eight gates. Corgan Associates, Inc. and 3D/International designed the new terminal.[5] 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.

Airlines and destinations


Airlines Destinations Terminal
Aeroméxico Connect Mexico City, Monterrey A
Alaska Airlines Seattle/Tacoma A
Allegiant Air Fort Lauderdale, Las Vegas, Orlando/Sanford A
American Airlines Charlotte, Dallas/Fort Worth, Miami A, B
American Eagle Charlotte, Chicago-O'Hare, Los Angeles, Phoenix A, B
Delta Air Lines Atlanta, Salt Lake City
Seasonal: Detroit, Minneapolis/St. Paul, New York-JFK
Delta Connection Detroit, Los Angeles, Minneapolis/St. Paul, New York-JFK, Salt Lake City A
Frontier Airlines Atlanta (begins May 13, 2016),[6] Denver (begins May 13, 2016),[7] Las Vegas (begins May 15, 2016),[8] Philadelphia (begins May 13, 2016)[9] TBD
Interjet Guadalajara, Mexico City, Monterrey A
Southwest Airlines Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago-Midway, Dallas-Love, Denver, El Paso, Houston-Hobby, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Mexico City (ends March 9, 2016),[10] Nashville, New Orleans, Orlando, Phoenix, San Diego, St. Louis, Tampa
Seasonal: Cancún
United Airlines Chicago-O'Hare, Denver, Houston-Intercontinental, Newark
Seasonal: Cancún
United Express Chicago-O'Hare, Denver, Houston-Intercontinental, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Washington-Dulles B
Volaris Guadalajara A


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 Corpus Christi, Del Rio, Eagle Pass, Houston-Intercontinental, Laredo
UPS Airlines Chicago/Rockford, El Paso, Guadalajara, Houston-Intercontinental, Laredo, Louisville, McAllen, Monterrey


Top destinations

Busiest domestic routes from SAT (Oct 2014 – Sep 2015)[11]
Rank City Passengers Carriers
1 Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas 560,000 American
2 Atlanta, Georgia 427,000 Delta, Southwest
3 Dallas–Love, Texas 334,000 Southwest
4 Houston–Intercontinental, Texas 296,000 United
5 Phoenix, Arizona 214,000 Southwest, US Airways
6 Denver, Colorado 198,000 Southwest, United
7 Los Angeles, California 189,000 American, Delta, Southwest, United
8 Las Vegas, Nevada 153,000 Southwest
9 Chicago–O'Hare, Illinois 148,000 American, United
10 Houston–Hobby, Texas 128,000 Southwest
Busiest international routes from SAT (2014)[12]
Rank City Passengers Carriers
1 Mexico City, Mexico 300,559 Aeroméxico Connect, Interjet, Southwest
2 Guadalajara, Mexico 51,883 Interjet, Volaris
3 Monterrey, Mexico 50,205 Aeroméxico Connect, Interjet
4 Cancún, Mexico 24,337 Southwest, United
5 Toluca, Mexico 24,260 Interjet
Carrier shares for Aug 2014 – July 2015[11]
Carrier   Passengers (arriving and departing)


Ground transportation

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. In 2015, the two-level short-term parking garage closest to the terminals will be torn down and construction will begin on a larger replacement garage that will also incorporate the rental car services which are presently located at various lot locations on lots around the airport.

Public transportation to and from the airport is provided by VIA Metropolitan Transit Authority's Route 5 bus.[13] For those headed downtown, this is usually the best-value form of transportation with the route passing within 2-3 blocks of most of the major hotels. The trip downtown costs $1.20 per person. It takes about the same length of time as the private shuttle does and takes only about 15 minutes longer than a taxi. Because the airport is the end station of the line, there is plenty of room for luggage. Going elsewhere in the city will often require a transfer. Use the Trip Finder at the VIA webpage above to determine the route, time involved, and cost for other destinations.

A private shuttle service is operated by Go. Going downtown, the rate of $19 is cheaper than a taxi for a single passenger. Because its rates are per person, the taxi becomes cheaper for 2 or more passengers going downtown. Going elsewhere in the city, only occasionally is the shuttle cheaper than a taxi, since they are taking a whole bus in a direction that few, if any other, passengers will be heading. Check the rate and remember that it is PER PERSON for comparison purposes to the cost of a taxi.

Taxi service to downtown is metered and ranges between $25 and $30. Taxis will take up to 6 passengers and their luggage at that one price. There is a taxi rank at each terminal which is manned by a person who can give estimated costs of taking the taxi to other locations in the city. For 2 or more persons, the taxi will tend to be cheaper than the private shuttle no matter where the destination. And for 1 person, the taxi will tend to be cheaper than the shuttle to most destinations other than downtown. It is best to check costs at both the taxi rank and at the shuttle booth before deciding between the two when there is only one passenger.

Airport Ambassadors, volunteers wearing denim vests and cream colored cowboy hats, will give accurate information to those wanting to compare the costs of the various forms of transport. They also have the VIA bus schedule and can show the route the bus follows for those interested. They can locate your hotel on a map so you can see where the nearest bus stop is in relation to your hotel.


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.[14]

Other operations

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."[15] Previously the airport housed Fairchild Dornier U.S. manufacturing facilities.[16]

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.[17]

West Cargo & Southwest Cargo area

Many charters such as professional sport teams (NBA teams, Mostly for San Antonio Spurs Games) 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 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 as well as flights who are on overflow.

San Antonio International Airport uses a system for its evening arrival aircraft using the terminals. Once all 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, The plane will then be towed by a tug to the West Cargo area to 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 "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.

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

  • 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.[18]
  • 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.[19]
  • 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. All 2 passengers and the pilot made it out safely and without any injuries.

See also


  1. FAA Airport Master Record for SAT (Form 5010 PDF), effective October 29, 2015
  5. New Terminal B San Antonio International Airport
  10. "Southwest Airlines Mexico City Service Changes from March 2016". December 11, 2015. Retrieved December 11, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. 11.0 11.1
  12. "U.S. International Air Passenger and Freight Statistics Report". 2013. Retrieved March 31, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  13. "Bus Schedules". VIA Metropolitan Transit. Retrieved March 13, 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  15. "Contact Us." M7 Aerospace. Retrieved on February 12, 2011. "M7 Aerospace LP [...] 10823 NE Entrance Road San Antonio, Texas, USA 78216."
  16. "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."
  17. "Xrta Airways". RLCA10. Retrieved June 2, 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  18. "San Antonio Airport Reopens After Bomb Threat". Airport International. August 2, 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  19. Ley, Ana (October 29, 2012). "Plane makes emergency landing in S.A." Retrieved October 29, 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links

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