San Diego Area Airports

Here’s what you need to know if you’re planning to travel to or from San Diego by air.

Two international airports serve the greater San Diego area.  

San Diego International Airport, also known as Lindbergh Field.  It’s located three miles northwest of San Diego’s central business district.  Close proximity to downtown and points throughout San Diego county, along with a wide array of transportation options make this one of the more user-friendly airports in the nation.  

It is also one of the most heavily trafficked, ranking as the second busiest single-runway airport in the world with 24 million annual passengers (pre-pandemic).  It features two terminals and 51 gates and is also home to Coast Guard Air Station San Diego.

To the south, Tijuana International Airport, also known as General Abelardo L. Rodríguez International Airport, is adjacent the USA-Mexico border.

If you’re traveling from San Diego to a Mexico or Latin American destination, consider flying out of this airport instead.  The fares tend to be cheaper when flying on Volaris, Viva Aerobus, Aeromexico, and Interjet out of Tijuana  There are also more flight times and Latin American cities served than from Lindburgh Field.  Shuttles leave from San Diego and take passengers directly to the Tijuana airport, or you can park in Otay Mesa and take a taxi across the border  

Los Angeles area visitors heading to Carlsbad and North San Diego County may want to use the Palomar Airport, just outside of Carlsbad. United Express/SkyWest operates several daily flights from LA.  This airport is also convenient for private or chartered flights.

Several other towered general aviation airports serve San Diego as well.  They include Brown Field Municipal Airport, 13 miles southeast of San Diego and along the US-Mexico border; Gillespie Field, a county-owned public-use airport located 10 miles northeast of El Cajon’s central business district;  Montgomery Field, located six miles north of San Diego’s central business district; and, Ramona Airport, located two miles west of Ramon’s central business district.
There are also several military airfields in San Diego.  If you’re on active duty, you may be able to catch a ride to Coast Guard Air Station San Diego at San Diego International Airport, Naval Air Station North Island on Coronado Island, Naval Outlying Landing Field Imperial Beach, Marine Corps Air Station Camp Pendleton, or the Marine Corps Air Station Miramar.

Non-towered general aviation airports include Agua Caliente Airport, Borrego Valley Airport, Fallbrook Community Airpark Jacumba Airport, Oceanside Municipal Airport, Ocotillo Airport, and Pauma Valley Airfield.