San Antonio International Airport
San Antonio International Airport is located on Airport Boulevard, approximately fifteen miles from the downtown area. Major freeways provide easy access to the airport. The airport is comprised of three runways and spans some 2,600 acres.
History of San Antonio Airport
This airport was originally established in 1941 following the purchase of 1,200 acres of undeveloped land by the City of San Antonio. This area, north of the city, is now part of the Uptown District. At the time, the project was known as the San Antonio Municipal Airport. With the onset of World War II, the yet to be completed airport was needed for government service and was officially opened in July of 1942. The United States Army Air Forces quickly began to use Alamo Field as a training base. Reconnaissance personnel from the 77th Reconnaissance Group who would later serve overseas began to train at the field. By the conclusion of the war, the airfield was no longer required for military service and was subsequently turned back over to the City of San Antonio.
The terminal formerly known as Terminal 2 was constructed between the years of 1951 and 1953. During this time, the FAA control tower as well as a baggage claim area was also built. A new satellite concourse, featuring eight jet bridge gates, was constructed for the HemisFair in 1968.
The airport’s first master plan was adopted in 1975 and included plans for a spacious new parking garage as well as a new terminal. Following the completion of Terminal 1, now known as Terminal A, in 1984, the airport went from a mere eight gates to 27 gates. Two years later, a new control tower was constructed.
After almost twenty years, it became necessary to develop a new Airport Master Plan that would set the airport on the path for the 21st century. The 1994 master plan included a number of significant updates to the airport, including an additional 3,000 parking-space garage, improved airport access, and improved concessions. In addition, two new terminals were added to the plans to replace the ancient Terminal 2. These plans would bring the gate capacity at the airport to 35.
In November of 2010, Terminal 2 was finally closed and Terminal B was opened. At this time, the former Terminal 1 became known as Terminal A. By the end of 1999, the airport had witnessed 3.5 million passengers.
Today, two terminals continue to serve the needs of passengers at the San Antonio International Airport. Terminal A, originally opened in 1984, features a 16-gate concourse. This terminal also contains the U.S. Customs Federal Inspection Station. A modernization project is planned for Terminal A. Terminal B contains an eight-gate concourse. Directly across from Terminal A is a two-level parking garage as well as a five-level parking garage. One of the stark differences that do exist between the San Antonio International Airport and other major airports is that it is not possible to go between the two terminals in the security level. Instead, passengers must leave one terminal and then enter the security area again before proceeding to the other terminal.
Airlines Serving San Antonio Airport
The San Antonio International Airport services just over 8 million passengers annualyl. It is the hub city for XTRA Airlines only. The San Antonio International Airport has two terminals with a grand total of 24 gates for passenger flights. In Terminal A, passengers will find AeroMexico, AirTran Airways, Alaska Airlines, Delta Airlines, Interjet, Southwest Airlines, US Airways, and VIvaAerobus. In Terminal B, passengers will find flights by American Airlines and United Airlines. Terminal B has 8 gates and Terminal A has the other 16 gates. It is important to note that passengers who land in one terminal and have to connect in another terminal cannot do so without leaving the secure portion of the airport and heading back through security, which is why airlines that service this airport suggest that passengers who have a layover here leave plenty of time between flights on different airlines to get to the next terminal.
Of all the airlines that service the San Antonio International Airport, Southwest is the one with the most flights and most passengers on an annual basis. Flights out of the San Antonio International Airport go all over the country and out of the country, but the single busiest destination is Dallas/Fort-Worth. American Airlines transports approximately 603,000 people to Dallas each year. Following that with traffic of more than 468,000 passengers on an annual basis is Atlanta. AirTran and Delta share service to Altanta. Nearly 343,000 passengers fly from the San Antonio International Airport to Houston’s Intercontinental Airport each year on United Airlines.
Southwest Airline’s busiest flights are to Dallas’ Love Field Airport. Southwest flies approximately 339,000 people to Dallas Love Field each year. US Airways is another major airline in the San Antonio International Airport, and this airline’s busiest route is to Phoenix. It takes more than 205,000 people to this city each year.
One of the perks of choosing an airline and flying out the San Antonio International Airport is the fact that passengers can fly nonstop to dozens of cities all across the United States as well as Mexico. Nonstop flights from San Antonio’s International Airport include cities such as Cancun, Los Angeles, Chicago, and New York.