Located on Harbor Drive along the beautiful San Diego harbor, San Diego International Airport offers a pleasurable flying experience and a unique and beautiful view of the bay and the downtown area as flights descend over the city to make their landing. There is plenty of parking available at Lindbergh field with three terminals and short- and long-term parking, as well as convenient access off of Interstate 5. And there are many public and private off-terminal parking and shuttle services available. Over thirty food and beverage vendors serve passengers in the terminals, and there is a display of local arts as well as a jazz concert series for the enjoyment of travelers.
With the eighth largest city population in the US of 1.3 million people, and with a county population of over 3 million, San Diego is a major international travel center for vacationers, business conference attendees, and people relocating to the area. And with proximity to Mexico and Pacific Rim nations, San Diego’s International Airport at Lindbergh Field is one of the busiest terminals in the world. It is the 30th busiest commercial airport in the US and the busiest single-runway commercial airport.
San Diego International Airport is run by the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority and serves over eighteen major airlines, including commuter, cargo, and international flights, with over 300 departures daily. The airport contributes $4.5 billion annually to the regional economy.
Lindbergh Field, named after the famous aviator Charles Lindbergh, was inaugurated on August 16, 1928. There is even a life-sized replica of Lindbergh’s plane, “The Spirit of St. Louis,” over the terminal 2 baggage claim area. It was from the site of this airport that Lindbergh began his famous flight across country and then across the Atlantic to Paris. Known as the “Aviation Capital of the West” in the early years of manned flight, San Diego is still home to aviation manufacturers and commercial, private, and military pilots. The beautiful weather, clear skies, gorgeous scenery, and ocean views make for a pilot’s paradise of flying opportunities. There are also many opportunities for flight training as well.
The city runs two other general aviation airports at Montgomery Field, just south of the Marine air base at Miramar. Montgomery has a 4,600-ft. lighted runway, a parallel 3,400-ft. runway and a 3,400-ft. crosswind runway, with the tower open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. And the city operates Brown Field, a port-of-entry 8,000-ft. runway just north of the Mexican border that serves private aircraft from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. year-round. San Diego County has eight general aviation airports serving private pilots and located at Agua Caliente, Borrego Valley, Fallbrook Airpark, Gillespie Field, Jacumba, Ocotillo,
McClellan-Palomar, and Ramona.
There is a movement to build another airport serving the San Diego area, but so far plans have stalled over where the new airport will be built. The rapid growth of the area, however, and the limited space available at the current Lindbergh site will probably mean that a new site will be found in the near future.