Top 10 International Airports in California [Update 2024]


First impressions of a new country? Airport, naturally. Whether you’re a tourist or a president, the very first thing you discover about a new country is its airport.

California is a major tourist destination, thus its airports are busy. Thousands of local and international travelers use California’s airports each year. Passengers increase each year. So airports keep expanding. LAX is one of California’s most famous airports.

The top international airports in California are listed below.

1. Los Angeles International Airport

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Los Angeles International Airport is one of the best international airports in California

Los Angeles International Airport, an international airport in the Greater Los Angeles Area, is renowned worldwide as LAX. LAX covers an area of 3,500 acres, making it one of the biggest airports in California.

Furthermore, Los Angeles International Airport has 4 parallel concrete runways ranging from 2,700 to 3,400 meters in length. Last year, this airport had over 28 million passengers and carried out 379,364 aircraft operations.

Los Angeles International Airport accounted for an economic impact of around $15 billion last year.

2. San Francisco International Airport

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San Francisco International Airport

Referred to as SFO, San Francisco International Airport is one of the busiest international airports in California. This historic airport is also the biggest in the San Francisco Bay Area. Moreover, San Francisco International Airport consists of four asphalt runways.

The city-operated SFO is a hub for United Airlines. In 2020, San Francisco International Airport had around 16 million passengers and a total of 231,163 aircraft operations. Moreover, this airport is home to the SFO Museum, which hosts exhibitions in more than 20 galleries.

3. San Diego International Airport

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San Diego International Airport

Previously known as Lindbergh Field, this airport is one of the most well-known international airports in California. Located in downtown San Diego, San Diego International Airport has one runway.

Due to its proximity to skyscrapers, landings at San Diego International Airport can be tough for pilots. This airport is a hub for Alaska Airlines and had over 9 million passengers last year, but only 247,349 were international passengers.

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4. Sacramento International Airport

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Sacramento International Airport operates in the Sacramento Metropolitan Area. This airport has two concrete runways, both around 2,600 meters. Furthermore, Sacramento International Airport had 5.5 million passengers and 91,625 aircraft operations last year, making it one of the busiest airports in California.

Sacramento International Airport also commissioned its wide range of solar power facilities back in 2018. It has plans laid out for future expansion.

5. San Jose International Airport

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San Jose International Airport, also known as SJC, is an amazing international airport in California that presents many incredible facilities. Being one of the most crowded airports in the San Francisco Bay Area, SJC had around 4.7 million passengers last year.

Alongside that, San Jose International Airport also had 115,952 aircraft movements. Furthermore, San Jose International Airport has two Asphalt Concrete runways which are each 11,000 feet long. This airport is also one of America’s fastest growing airports in terms of increasing seats annually.

6. Oakland International Airport

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Operated by the Port of Oakland, this stunning is the primary airport in the city of Oakland. A hub for FedEx Express, Oakland International Airport is also the focus city for JSX and Southwest Airlines.

Situated 16 km south of downtown Oakland, this international airport serves the San Francisco Bay Area. Additionally, Oakland International Airport has four asphalt runways, three for general aviation and one for commercial and cargo operations.

In 2020, Oakland International Airport had over 13 million passengers and 242,757 aircraft operations.

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7. John Wayne Airport

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John Wayne Airport, an international airport, serves the Los Angeles Metropolitan Area. Located in Santa Ana, John Wayne Airport features two asphalt runways.

The main runway is 5,701 feet long. Additionally, this airport is operated by Orange County. In 2020, John Wayne Airport had close to 3.8 million passengers and 238,340 aircraft operations.

8. Ontario International Airport

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Ontario International Airport, an international public airport operated by the Ontario International Airport Authority, is situated east of downtown Ontario, California. Operating in San Bernardino County, this airport is the focus city of Amazon Air.

Moreover, this amazing airport has two concrete runways, with the primary one being 12,197 feet long. In 2020, Ontario International Airport had 2.5 million passengers and 100,479 aircraft operations.

9. Hollywood Burbank Airport

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Located in downtown Burbank, in Los Angeles, Hollywood Burbank Airport is one of the best international airports in California. Hollywood Burbank Airport is one of the serving airports in the Los Angeles Metropolitan Area. Moreover, this airport is a hub for Avelo Airlines.

Additionally, Hollywood Burbank Airport has two asphalt runways, which carried out 105,357 aircraft operations and had close to 2 million passengers last year.

10. Palm Springs International Airport

Previously known as Palm Springs Municipal Airport, this is one of the best international airports in the Los Angeles Metropolitan Area. Being city-operated, this airport has flights year-round.

Palm Springs International Airport consists of two asphalt runways, covering 940 acres. In 2020, Palm Springs International Airport had just over 1.2 million passengers and 43,368 aircraft operations.

California is the largest state in US in terms of population, and it is also one of America’s main tourist attractions. Therefore, California is home to some of the busiest and biggest airports in the US. California’s iconic LAX is one of the renowned airports in the world.

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