Major Commercial Airports in California
California, known for its diverse landscape and bustling cities, is served by a network of efficient airports that connect it to the rest of the United States and the world. From the world-renowned Los Angeles Airport (LAX) to the smaller, more regional airports such as the Merced MacReady Field Airport, each airport in California offers unique services and amenities to cater to the needs of every traveler. Whether you're traveling for business or leisure, the airports in California provide a range of options to ensure a smooth and comfortable journey.
This guide lists the major commercial airports in California, starting with the busiest in terms of passenger volume.
Los Angeles Airport
The Los Angeles Airport, widely known by its IATA code LAX, is located in the city of Los Angeles, California. LAX is one of the busiest airports in the world, serving millions of passengers each year. The airport is a major hub for domestic and international travel, offering flights to a wide range of destinations. While it doesn't have a specific nickname like some other airports, locals and travelers alike often simply refer to it as "LAX".
San Francisco Airport
Known by locals and travelers alike as simply "SFO", the San Francisco Airport is a major gateway to Europe and Asia. Located 13 miles south of downtown San Francisco, California, it is the second busiest airport in California. SFO is a hub for United Airlines and Alaska Airlines. The airport has four terminals - three for domestic flights and one for international flights. SFO is known for its iconic control tower, modern architecture, and a wide range of amenities including numerous eateries, shops, and art exhibitions.
San Diego Airport
Located in the city of San Diego, California, the San Diego Airport is a major hub for air travel in the region. Known by its IATA code, SAN, it serves millions of passengers every year, connecting them to various domestic and international destinations. Although it doesn't have a specific nickname like some other airports, locals often simply refer to it as "SAN" or "San Diego International".
San Jose Mineta Airport
Located in the heart of Silicon Valley, the San Jose Mineta Airport (IATA Code: SJC) serves as a key gateway to the tech hub of the United States. Often referred to as Mineta San Jose or simply Mineta, the airport is named after Norman Y. Mineta, a former Transportation Secretary and San Jose mayor. It is the second largest airport in the Bay Area and prides itself on its modern, efficient facilities and services, making it a popular choice for both business and leisure travelers.
Metropolitan Oakland Airport
Located in the bustling city of Oakland, California, the Metropolitan Oakland Airport (IATA Code: OAK) serves as a major gateway for travelers. Often referred to simply as "Oakland Airport", this hub is renowned for its efficient operations and passenger-friendly amenities. Whether you are heading to the vibrant city of Oakland or catching a connecting flight, the Metropolitan Oakland Airport ensures a smooth and comfortable travel experience.
Located in the city of Sacramento, California, Sacramento Airport (IATA Code: SMF) serves as a key gateway for travelers heading to Northern California. Known for its easy accessibility and modern facilities, Sacramento Airport, also informally referred to as SMF, provides a range of services to ensure a comfortable travel experience. Whether you're visiting Sacramento for business or leisure, this bustling airport is the perfect starting point for your journey.
Orange County John Wayne Airport
Located in Santa Ana, California, the Orange County John Wayne Airport (IATA Code: SNA) is a major gateway to Orange County and the Greater Los Angeles area. Named after the famous actor John Wayne, who was from Orange County, the airport is commonly referred to as "John Wayne Airport". It is well-known for its distinct aviation-themed architecture and offers a range of amenities for travelers, including dining, shopping, and transportation services.
LA Ontario Airport
Located in the city of Ontario, California, the LA Ontario Airport (IATA Code: ONT) is a significant hub for both domestic and international flights. Often referred to as "Ontario Airport", this bustling travel center serves millions of passengers each year, offering them a variety of amenities and services to ensure a comfortable travel experience.
Hollywood Burbank Airport
Located in the heart of Burbank, California, Hollywood Burbank Airport (IATA Code: BUR) is a public airport known for its convenience and ease of access. Often referred to as Bob Hope Airport, this aviation hub is an excellent choice for travelers looking to avoid the hustle and bustle of larger Los Angeles airports. Its proximity to Hollywood and downtown Los Angeles makes it a popular choice for both tourists and business travelers alike.
Palm Springs Airport
Palm Springs Airport, known by its IATA code PSP, is located in the city of Palm Springs, California. Known for its modern architecture and open-air layout, this airport provides a unique experience for travelers. It serves as a gateway to the scenic desert resort city and is often bustling with tourists during the peak travel season. While it doesn't have a specific nickname, it is sometimes referred to simply as "Palm Springs" by locals and frequent visitors.
Fresno Yosemite Airport
The Fresno Yosemite Airport, also known as FAT, is situated in Fresno, California. It's the primary commercial gateway into the Yosemite, Sequoia, and Kings Canyon National Parks. Despite its small size, FAT plays a significant role in connecting the Central Valley of California with major hubs across the United States. Its unique location and proximity to some of the most beautiful national parks in the country make it a popular choice among travelers.
Long Beach Airport
The Long Beach Airport (IATA Code: LGB) is a city-owned public airport located in Long Beach, California. It is a perfect gateway for those traveling to and from the Los Angeles and Orange County areas. Known for its Streamline Moderne style terminal, it is often referred to as just "Long Beach" by locals and frequent travelers. Its open-air concourse and vintage aesthetics make it a unique and charming travel hub in Southern California.
Santa Barbara Muni Airport
Often referred to as Santa Barbara Muni Airport, this airport is located in the city of Santa Barbara, California. The IATA code for the airport is SBA. Despite its smaller size compared to major hubs, it offers a range of services and amenities for travelers. Known for its beautiful architecture reflecting the Spanish heritage of the city, the airport provides a charming start or end to any journey.
Van Nuys Airport
Van Nuys Airport (IATA Code: VNY) is one of the busiest general aviation airports in the world. Located in the heart of the San Fernando Valley, it serves as a key community asset for the city of Los Angeles, California. While it doesn't have a specific nickname, it's often simply referred to as "VNY" based on its IATA code.
San Luis Obispo County Regional Airport
Located in the city of San Luis Obispo, California, the San Luis Obispo County Regional Airport, often referred to simply as SLO Airport, is a key gateway to the Central Coast region. The airport, with its IATA code SBP, offers both commercial and general aviation services. It plays a crucial role in supporting the local economy and providing convenient travel options for residents and visitors alike.
Bakersfield Meadows Field Airport
Located in the city of Bakersfield, California, the Bakersfield Meadows Field Airport (IATA Code: BFL) is a significant gateway to the southern Central Valley. Often referred to simply as "Meadows Field", this airport provides both commercial and general aviation services. Its strategic location makes it an ideal choice for travelers looking to explore the rich agricultural and oil-producing region of California.
Sonoma County Airport
The Sonoma County Airport, also known as STS by its IATA code, is located in the heart of California's renowned wine country, Sonoma County. This regional airport serves not only the local community but also wine enthusiasts and tourists from around the world. Its close proximity to the vineyards and wineries of the region makes it a convenient gateway for those seeking to explore the wine routes of Northern California.
Monterey Peninsula Airport
Located in the charming coastal city of Monterey, California, the Monterey Peninsula Airport (IATA Code: MRY) is a key gateway to the scenic beauty of the Monterey Bay area. While it doesn't have a specific nickname, it is often simply referred to by its IATA code, MRY. The airport offers a range of services and amenities to ensure a comfortable travel experience for all its passengers.
Located in the city of Carlsbad, McClellan-Palomar Airport (IATA Code: CRQ) serves as a gateway to and from San Diego's North County. It is often referred to simply as Palomar Airport by locals. The airport is known for its convenience and accessibility, offering both commercial and private flights. Whether you're a business traveler or a vacationer, McClellan-Palomar Airport provides a hassle-free travel experience.
Modesto City County Airport
Located in the vibrant city of Modesto, California, the Modesto City County Airport (IATA Code: MOD) serves as a significant hub for regional air travel. While it may not have a commonly used nickname like some larger airports, locals and frequent travelers often refer to it simply as 'Modesto Airport'. Offering a variety of services for travelers, the airport is a vital part of the city's transportation infrastructure.
Arcata Eureka Airport
Located in the heart of Humboldt County, California, the Arcata Eureka Airport (IATA Code: ACV) is a significant travel hub for the region. The airport is sometimes referred to simply as "Arcata Airport" by locals and frequent travelers. It provides essential travel services to those visiting the picturesque cities of Arcata and Eureka, each known for their unique charm and natural beauty. The airport is well-equipped with modern facilities to ensure a smooth and comfortable journey for all its passengers.
Imperial County Airport
Located in the city of El Centro, the Imperial County Airport (IATA Code: IPL) is a public airport that serves the Imperial County in the state of California, United States. Although it doesn't have a specific nickname, it is often referred to by its IATA code, IPL. The airport is primarily used for general aviation, but also offers commercial flights operated by Mokulele Airlines. It is a convenient and accessible option for travelers heading to this sunny Southern California region.
Merced Macready Field Airport
Located in the city of Merced in the heart of California's San Joaquin Valley, Merced Macready Field Airport (IATA Code: MCE) serves as a vital transport hub for the region. Although it doesn't have a widely recognized nickname, the airport is known for its efficient services and convenient location. It is a gateway to the Yosemite National Park and other attractions in the central California area.