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The Top 8 Busiest Airports In California  
User currently offlineg500 From United States of America, joined Oct 2011, 977 posts, RR: 0
Posted (1 year 8 months 1 week 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 10877 times:
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Anybody have any numbers for the busiest airports in California as far as passenger numbers?

the top 3 are fairly obvious, 1-LAX, 2-SFO, 3-SAN

I'm interested in what comes after

Burbank and Orange County are busy little airports, it wouldn't surprise me if those two are busier than SJC, OAK, LGB (Jetblue's hub) and SMF (California's capital)

Thanx

33 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineScottB From United States of America, joined Jul 2000, 6780 posts, RR: 32
Reply 1, posted (1 year 8 months 1 week 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 10816 times:

The CY 2011 numbers may be found at: http://www.faa.gov/airports/planning...edia/cy11_primary_enplanements.pdf

1: LAX
2: SFO
3: SAN
4: OAK
5: SMF
6: SJC
7: SNA
8: ONT
9: BUR
10: LGB
11: PSP
12: FAT
13: SBA
14: MRY
15: BFL
16: SBP
17: STS
18: ACV
19: SCK
20: CRQ
21: SMX
22: RDD
23: MMH
24: CIC
25: MOD
26: CEC


User currently offlineN782NC From United States of America, joined Feb 2012, 73 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (1 year 8 months 1 week 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 10764 times:

By enplanements from 2011

1- LAX - 44,414,121
2- SFO - 20,038,679
3- SAN - 8,465,683
4- OAK - 4,550,526
5- SMF - 4,370,895
6- SNA - 4,247,802
7- SJC - 4,108,006
8- ONT - 2,281,032
9- BUR - 2,151,250

While SNA is indeed busier than SJC, passenger numbers have been stagnant the past decade. I don't believe SNA ever overtook SMF.
As for OAK, until the recession, Oakland was one of the fastest growing airports in the nation. In 2007, it handled around 7 million enplanements. It has always been ahead of SNA. It's kind of funny really. For decades OAK had been taking passengers away from SFO through LCCs like WN. In the last few years the trend has reversed thanks to consolidation.



Stairway to Seven
User currently offlineBoeingGuy From United States of America, joined Dec 2010, 3097 posts, RR: 7
Reply 3, posted (1 year 8 months 1 week 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 10753 times:

According to what I can find on Wiki:

LAX
SFO
SAN
OAK
SMF
SNA
SJC
ONT


SMF being higher than SNA and SJC surprised me.


User currently offlineWingtips56 From United States of America, joined Dec 2010, 398 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (1 year 8 months 1 week 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 10650 times:

Quoting BoeingGuy (Reply 3):
SMF being higher than SNA and SJC surprised me.

I'm not. Last I knew, SNA was still heavily slot-restricted. Both SNA and SJC have noise issues. And SMF gets a lot of business because it is the state capital and healthy hi-tech industry presence. And the SMF SMSA (metro area) is home to over 2.5 million people, with a very large geographic catchment area without competing airports like the others.



Worked for WestAir, Apollo Airways, Desert Pacific, Western, AirCal and American Airlines
User currently offlineg500 From United States of America, joined Oct 2011, 977 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (1 year 8 months 1 week 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 10630 times:
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SNA sure seems busier than SMF and OAK. A 737/A319/320 landing every minute

User currently offlineBoeingGuy From United States of America, joined Dec 2010, 3097 posts, RR: 7
Reply 6, posted (1 year 8 months 1 week 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 10616 times:

Quoting Wingtips56 (Reply 4):
Quoting BoeingGuy (Reply 3):
SMF being higher than SNA and SJC surprised me.

I'm not. Last I knew, SNA was still heavily slot-restricted. Both SNA and SJC have noise issues. And SMF gets a lot of business because it is the state capital and healthy hi-tech industry presence. And the SMF SMSA (metro area) is home to over 2.5 million people, with a very large geographic catchment area without competing airports like the others.

I don't disagree with your point. I was thinking in terms of my recollection (so I thought) of what airlines, flights and destinations serve each airport. Seemed like SJC and SNA have more service, but apparently that was wrong.

Quoting N782NC (Reply 2):
For decades OAK had been taking passengers away from SFO through LCCs like WN. In the last few years the trend has reversed thanks to consolidation.

Yep, like AA and CO dropping OAK all together. I don't recall if DL still does OAK-ATL; and NW/DL never did OAK-MSP. I think WN is what carries OAK. Other than that (and maybe B6), I believe SJC has more airlines and destinations.


User currently offlineLAXintl From United States of America, joined May 2000, 25532 posts, RR: 50
Reply 7, posted (1 year 8 months 1 week 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 10512 times:

Quoting N782NC (Reply 2):
1- LAX - 44,414,121

   

No clue where you got your numbers, but LAX total for 2011 was 61,862,052.

Domestic 45,130,728 with 16,731,324 international.



From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
User currently offlineg500 From United States of America, joined Oct 2011, 977 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (1 year 8 months 1 week 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 10408 times:
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Quoting LAXintl (Reply 7):

61 million for LAX, that's more like it

Than means LAX handles 3X more passengers than SFO, if San Fran handles 21million. Interesting


User currently offlineDarksnowynight From United States of America, joined Jan 2012, 1367 posts, RR: 3
Reply 9, posted (1 year 8 months 1 week 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 10371 times:

Makes enough sense. We have both more twin aisles & asian carriers than SFO, & just as much domestic ops as well. Other than UA, there really isn't anything there that we don't have more of here.


Posting without Knowledge is simply Tolerated Vandalism... We are the Vandals.
User currently offlinesteex From United States of America, joined Jun 2007, 1665 posts, RR: 9
Reply 10, posted (1 year 8 months 1 week 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 10311 times:

Quoting g500 (Reply 8):
61 million for LAX, that's more like it

Than means LAX handles 3X more passengers than SFO, if San Fran handles 21million. Interesting

SFO doesn't handle 21 million, that's a mistake also. The 2011 yearly total for SFO was nearly 41 million total pax (40,907,389 is the number I see).


User currently offlineN782NC From United States of America, joined Feb 2012, 73 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (1 year 8 months 1 week 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 10250 times:

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 7):
Quoting g500 (Reply 8):
Quoting steex (Reply 10):

Uh Guys.....
Quoting N782NC (Reply 2):
By enplanements from 2011

... and only enplanements. The numbers were not totaled. Essentially double what my figures were to approximate the total passenger ops.

[Edited 2013-01-21 15:26:49]


Stairway to Seven
User currently offlineSFOA380 From United States of America, joined Aug 2010, 193 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (1 year 8 months 1 week 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 10250 times:

Quoting g500 (Reply 8):
Than means LAX handles 3X more passengers than SFO,

SFO will likely have handled around 45 million for 2012 when the full year stats come out... Growth for the partial year was just over 10%. Not sure where everyone is getting their numbers. Seems like there's a set of enplanement numbers in some places and total passengers in others.

SFO has become much more accessible to the greater Bay Area since Bart was added in the early 2000's. While many leagcy carriers have reduced or eliminited flights at SJC and OAK, they have added at SFO. Add VX and a growing stable of international carriers and you have the answer.

OAK is convenient for those of us in the East Bay, but with Bart so is SFO. When the Bart connector to OAK is done it will certainly improve accessibility. I think SJC will bounce back eventually as the new terminal is beautiful and functional. When the NH flight stabilizes, I think other Asian carriers will take note and launch some Dreamliner services of their own.


User currently offlineLH707330 From United States of America, joined Jun 2012, 788 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (1 year 8 months 1 week 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 10218 times:

Quoting SFOA380 (Reply 12):
I think SJC will bounce back eventually as the new terminal is beautiful and functional. When the NH flight stabilizes, I think other Asian carriers will take note and launch some Dreamliner services of their own.

If that's going to be the case, SJC better get its act together and improve its customs facilities to include more than just 2 gates....


User currently offlineBeardown91737 From United States of America, joined Jun 2011, 547 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (1 year 8 months 1 week 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 10188 times:

SMF also has State of California related travel, including employees, politicians, and lobbyists. Ironically, some of these are High Speed Rail lobbyists. SMF also probably gets north/south connecting traffic on WN.


135 hrs PIC (mostly PA-28) - not current. Landings at MDW, PIA, JAN.
User currently offlinesteex From United States of America, joined Jun 2007, 1665 posts, RR: 9
Reply 15, posted (1 year 8 months 1 week 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 10068 times:

Quoting N782NC (Reply 11):
... and only enplanements. The numbers were not totaled. Essentially double what my figures were to approximate the total passenger ops.

My statement was in reference to g500's statement below:

Quoting g500 (Reply 8):
if San Fran handles 21million

Saying SFO handles 21M while acknowledging LAX to handle over 61M is mixing and matching total throughput and enplanements. I didn't connect the dot back to your post, I just meant that 21M is in error in that context.


User currently offlineUA787DEN From United States of America, joined Dec 2012, 420 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (1 year 8 months 1 week 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 10001 times:

Quoting LH707330 (Reply 13):
Quoting SFOA380 (Reply 12):
I think SJC will bounce back eventually as the new terminal is beautiful and functional. When the NH flight stabilizes, I think other Asian carriers will take note and launch some Dreamliner services of their own.

If that's going to be the case, SJC better get its act together and improve its customs facilities to include more than just 2 gates....

While I agree, 2 CUTE gates can handle quite a few daily flights, if SJC chooses to manage them correctly. But I don't know if a ton of 787s are going to be rolling in during the next few years. The 787 has a few issues about ops and delivery, and many Asian carriers would rather launch other routes. I wouldn't be surprised to see a Canadian Airline, another Mexican Airline (though AS serves a darn lot of Mexican destinations). Another Asian carrier might be in the mix in a few years. I honestly don't think SJC will max out those gates for 10 years at least.

Quoting Beardown91737 (Reply 14):
SMF also probably gets north/south connecting traffic on WN.

Quite true. Also, SNA and SJC are both parts of larger metro area airport systems. LAX, SFO, OAK, ONT and BUR affect the pax numbers to some degree. I realize many of these airports are 40 miles or more from each other, but for a house equidistant from a few airports, they might choose a major airport for destinations, price, or simply because there is this airport called LAX. Add in noise bans and slots, and SNA just really isn't super busy, though it can feel quite busy while flying in.


User currently offlineLAXintl From United States of America, joined May 2000, 25532 posts, RR: 50
Reply 17, posted (1 year 8 months 1 week 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 9970 times:

Quoting N782NC (Reply 11):
... and only enplanements. The numbers were not totaled. Essentially double what my figures were to approximate the total passenger ops.

  

Regardless your numbers are wrong.

If you say LAX had 44,414,121 enplanement thats means its total was almost 89mil.

But in reality LAX handled 61,862,052 passengers in 2011, so the enplanements would be about 30.9mil.

So either way you slice it, your posted figure is wrong.



From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
User currently offlineScottB From United States of America, joined Jul 2000, 6780 posts, RR: 32
Reply 18, posted (1 year 8 months 1 week 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 9960 times:

Quoting N782NC (Reply 2):
While SNA is indeed busier than SJC, passenger numbers have been stagnant the past decade. I don't believe SNA ever overtook SMF.

SNA's passenger traffic is not only restricted by slots for air carrier operations, but also by passenger allocations. The Settlement Agreement for the airport currently limits traffic to 10.8 million passengers per year and the airlines are each allocated a share of that total.


User currently offlineg500 From United States of America, joined Oct 2011, 977 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (1 year 8 months 1 week 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 9926 times:
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Quoting UA787DEN (Reply 16):
Add in noise bans and slots, and SNA just really isn't super busy, though it can feel quite busy while flying in.

SNA feels really busy for an airport with a 5700ft long runway....Mostly 737 and narrow-body AIrbuses + the occasional 757.

Not that many RJs into SNA


User currently offlineyeelep From United States of America, joined Apr 2011, 661 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (1 year 8 months 1 week 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 9917 times:

I have the answer to the LAX emplanement mystery. The 44,414,121 number is the 2011 emplanement number for ATL, which is two lines up from LAX on the pdf linked in reply 1.

User currently offlineN782NC From United States of America, joined Feb 2012, 73 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (1 year 8 months 1 week 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 9894 times:

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 17):

I double checked and realized I copied the ATL figures instead of LAX......   
But yeah, I completely missed that. However, the other 8, including SFO, are correct.



Stairway to Seven
User currently offlineBoeingGuy From United States of America, joined Dec 2010, 3097 posts, RR: 7
Reply 22, posted (1 year 8 months 1 week 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 9833 times:

Quoting UA787DEN (Reply 16):
I wouldn't be surprised to see a Canadian Airline, another Mexican Airline (though AS serves a darn lot of Mexican destinations).

AS only serves SJD and GDL from SJC. I wouldn't call that a lot. I'll bet they could make SJC-PVR and SJC-MEX work if they wanted to. There have been Canadian flights in the past. AC did YYZ and YOW (for a very short time). AA did YVR. Also a Canadian Airlines regional subsidiary did SJC-YVR with F28s for a short time.

I am surprised that no one tries SJC-YVR again. I would have expected AS to try it, but then again, they couldn't make SFO-YVR work. So right now, SJC has no Canada flights.

Quoting UA787DEN (Reply 16):
Quite true. Also, SNA and SJC are both parts of larger metro area airport systems.

Right. I suggested that AS try SJC-ORD and SJC-BOS. Others pointed out that the daily traffic between them is very low. I suspect that's because there aren't many flights. There is more demand, but it has to go to SFO due to availability of flights.


User currently offlineUA787DEN From United States of America, joined Dec 2012, 420 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (1 year 8 months 1 week 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 9766 times:

Quoting BoeingGuy (Reply 22):
AS only serves SJD and GDL from SJC.

True. It does seem like more. It still is the most! They also serve Hawaii quite nicely. It does seem the AS has a large Mexican presence. IIRC, they serve the most Latin American destinations from LAX.

Quoting BoeingGuy (Reply 22):
I'll bet they could make SJC-PVR

I think they already serve SFO-PVR.

Quoting BoeingGuy (Reply 22):
There have been Canadian flights in the past

Well I get your point, SJC also had Taiwan and Paris flights. I am surprised that no one has made SJC-YVR or YYC work recently.

Quoting BoeingGuy (Reply 22):
daily traffic between them is very low

That is simply because there is already plenty of SFO/OAK service to those cities. PDEW numbers with specific airports within a major area are skewed, simply because the route is often already served from another airport. There is plenty of demand on many of these routes, but because many fly from the major airport or hub, often nonstop (most multi airport systems involve at least 1 hub), the PDEW from the secondary airport is insanely small. I don't know if SJC-ORD or BOS is in the best interest for AS expansion currently, however.


User currently offlineBoeingGuy From United States of America, joined Dec 2010, 3097 posts, RR: 7
Reply 24, posted (1 year 8 months 1 week 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 9721 times:

Quoting UA787DEN (Reply 23):
SJC also had Taiwan and Paris flights.

Yep, for six months only back in 2001. Almost had London flights too. AA also did SJC-MIA for only about six months in that time frame. IIRC, AA started TPE and CDG on the same day; and MIA and OGG on the same day from SJC. OGG lasted a few years.

Quoting UA787DEN (Reply 23):
Quoting BoeingGuy (Reply 22):
I'll bet they could make SJC-PVR

I think they already serve SFO-PVR.

AS serves both SFO and SJC to SJD (and both SJC and OAK to the Hawaiian destinations). They did SJC-PVR in the past.

Quoting UA787DEN (Reply 23):
That is simply because there is already plenty of SFO/OAK service to those cities. PDEW numbers with specific airports within a major area are skewed, simply because the route is often already served from another airport.

That was kind of my point. There is probably much more potential demand, say SJC-ORD, than the current low PDEW shows simply because there are only 1 or 2 flights on that route. A lot of potential traffic that would prefer to fly out of SJC, instead has to travel to SFO to go to ORD (or many other examples). If you build it, they will come.


25 LH707330 : I flew on the AC SJC-YYZ flight back in 2000, we left from the C gates, so that means no additional load on the two customs gates because of pre-clea
26 incitatus : It is not double. In total traffic statistics connecting passengers are counted once. So total traffic is emplanements plus deplanements minus connec
27 brilondon : This is for commercial operations only. Anybody have any information on total movements including private aircraft?
28 midex461 : Common Use Terminal Equipment. Basically, it means the gates aren't leased to one airline exclusively. The podium, gate signage, etc., aren't propriet
29 g500 : As far as aircraft movenments, (Not passenger numbers): VNY, SNA and SJC get a ton of private jets.
30 Mir : If Airnav's stats are to be believed, VNY is the busiest airport in the state with 1381 movements per day. LAX is 2nd with 1187, SFO 3rd with 1169, L
31 wedgetail737 : Don't forget that UA has also completely pulled out of OAK. OAK is slowly turning into WN's airport. DL has operated OAK-ATL seasonally (during the s
32 Post contains links LAXintl : In movement activity -- 2011 LAX - 603,912 VNY - 302,367 source - www.lawa.org
33 modesto2 : DL last operated this route in Nov. 2010 and hasn't returned (unfortunately). In 2006 and prior, they even operated this route 3x. CO ended 3x IAHOAK
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