General Abelardo L Rodriguez Intl Airport Mexican airports - General Abelardo L Rodriguez Intl Airport
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General Abelardo L Rodriguez Intl Airport

General Abelardo L. Rodríguez International Airport
Aeropuerto Internacional de Tijuana General Abelardo L. Rodríguez
View of Main Terminal
Airport type Public, Military
Operator Grupo Aeroportuario del Pacifico
Serves Tijuana-San Diego
Location Tijuana, Baja California
Hub for Volaris
Elevation AMSL 149 m / 489 ft
Coordinates 32°32′27″N 116°58′12″W / 32.54083°N 116.97°W / 32.54083; -116.97
Website Aeropuerto Internacional de Tijuana
Direction Length Surface
m ft
09/27 2,960 9,711 Asphalt
Statistics (2009)
Total Passengers 3,407,400
Source: Grupo Aeroportuario del Pacífico

General Abelardo L. Rodríguez International Airport (IATA: TIJ, ICAO: MMTJ) in Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico, is Mexico's second northernmost airport after Mexicali International Airport. Tijuana's airport is a busy, modern airport, which handled almost 4 million passengers in 2008 and 3.4 million passengers in 2009, representing a decrease of 14.1% over 2008; as former low cost carrier operator Avolar based in Tijuana suspended operations due to financial difficulties. It is the fifth busiest airport in Mexico after Mexico City, Cancun, Guadalajara and Monterrey airports. The airport can handle up to 10 million passengers per year and 360 flights per day.

The airport serves as focus city for Aeroméxico (together with Aeroméxico Connect), the leading airline in Tijuana, which operates up to 20 daily flights to/from 15 Mexican cities. Aeroméxico is trying to develop the airport as a gateway to Asia. Since the first flight in November 2006, Aeroméxico operates 2 weekly flights to Tokyo-Narita. Aeroméxico resumed services to Shanghai on March 26, 2010 after the airline halted service 11 months earlier due to the Swine flu outbreak. The airport serves as hub for Volaris, currently the second leading airline at TIJ, and the only one operating at both concourses. It formerly was a focus city for Aero California, Aerolíneas Internacionales, Líneas Aéreas Azteca, and ALMA de Mexico. Tijuana's airport was the largest and main hub for Avolar, a new low-cost airline (since August 2005), and the airport's second leading airline at a time. It was the first low-cost airline in Mexico, before some airlines as Interjet and Volaris.

It is part of the Grupo Aeroportuario del Pacífico, a holding group that controls 12 international airports in central and northern Mexico.


The airport opened in 1958, replacing Tijuana's former airport, then located on today's Aguacaliente Boulevard. The new airport's first terminal was built on the southwest part of the airport, facing the new and current terminal building. The airport was incorporated to ASA in 1965.

By the end of the 60's, the demand of flights to the then-developing city of Tijuana increased, as more passengers were arriving and settling in the city. The construction of the new terminal began and was opened in October 15, 1970, by then-President Gustavo Diaz Ordaz.

The original terminal was then assigned as an air base for the Mexican Armed Forces, and it is now simply known as the aeropuerto viejo, or old airport. The terminal, however, is seldom referred as Terminal 1, with Main Terminal being referred as Terminal 2.

The airport is named after General Abelardo L. Rodríguez, Governor of Baja California, and late President of Mexico.


The airport terminal was expanded and renovated in 2002, when the extension of concourse A and B was built, allowing the terminal to double its capacity. Several taxiways were also expanded, to allow the operations of larger aircraft such as the Boeing 747. Nevertheless, as the airport has become one of the most important hubs and gateways in the country, and the only international gateway from Asia to Latinamerica, there is a plan of a new terminal, which could house the operations of the major airline at the airport: Aeroméxico (including Aeroméxico Connect). As of today, both of the concourses have been expanded and remodeled, including the progressive introduction of glass-jetways replacing the old ones.

Binational Terminal

On 2008, authorities from both Mexico and the United States launched Project Smart Border 2010, in which among other things, it was expressed the intention for building an alternate U.S.-Mexico terminal that would relieve the high congestion at San Diego International Airport. The project consists of terminal building built on U.S. soil, immediate to the border, with parking, check-in counters, and customs offices that would be linked via a bridge crossing the border to the Tijuana airport. Property on the U.S. side of the border has already been secured for this project, but planning, diplomatic and regulatory hurdles need to be cleared before any construction can begin.


Airport's runway; UABC Campus is seen at background
Airport's runway; UABC Campus is seen at background

Waiting room
Waiting room

Terminal Building View
Terminal Building View

The runway of the Tijuana Airport runs (east-west) parallel to the U.S.-Mexico border fence and is approximately 100 meters south of it. The approach to the runway is either from the east (normally) or from the west (when Santa Ana wind conditions exist). The airport's main runway is located just 30 meters away from the Autonomous University of Baja California.

Brown Field Municipal Airport (SDM / KSDM) in San Diego, California lies just over one nm north of TIJ, with a similar runway length and a slightly different orientation (08 / 26). However SDM is a general aviation field not set up for scheduled passenger service.


Commercially speaking, the airport is composed of a single runway, a parallel taxiway, and a 23 gate main terminal with two concourses, a food court and a high-tech control tower, one of the tallest in Mexico. At the opposite side of the Main Terminal building there is another terminal, the Old Airport Terminal, which houses military aviation, mostly performed by the Mexican Armed Forces. The airport is also used to a lesser extent for general aviation, housed at the General Aviation Building (GAB Terminal).

Main Terminal:

Airport Main Terminal Layout
Airport Main Terminal Layout

View From Parking Lot
View From Parking Lot
  • Number of gates: 23
  • Contact positions: 12
  • Remote positions: 4
  • Number of jetways: 10
  • Number of baggage claiming carousels: 4
  • Lounges:
    • Aeroméxico Salón Premier (Concourse A - Floor Level)
    • VIP Room Tijuana (Main Terminal - Upper Level)
  • Food court (Concourses A, B - Floor & Upper Level)
  • Customs (Arrivals area)
  • Taxi & car rentals (Arrivals & Departures area)
  • Buses (Arrivals & Departures area)
  • Duty Free (Main corridor, Concourses A, B)
  • Parking area (Building E)

GAB Terminal:

  • General aviation apron
  • VIP Room
  • Pilots lounge
  • Passengers lounge

Old Airport Terminal

  • Apron
    • Contact positions: 2
    • Helipads: 2
  • Parking area

Terminals, airlines and destinations

Aeroméxico Boeing 737
Aeroméxico Boeing 737

Last waiting room
Last waiting room
Airlines Destinations Concourse
Aeroméxico Culiacán, Guadalajara, León/El Bajío, Mexico City, Shanghai-Pudong, Tokyo-Narita
Seasonal: Morelia
Aeroméxico Connect Chihuahua, Ciudad Juárez, Ciudad Obregón, Culiacan, Durango, Guadalajara, Hermosillo, Los Mochis, Mexico City, Monterrey A
Interjet Guadalajara, Mexico City, Toluca
Seasonal: Culiacán
VivaAerobus Culiacán, Hermosillo, Los Mochis, Monterrey B
Volaris Acapulco, Aguascalientes, Cancún, Cuernavaca, Culiacán, Guadalajara, Hermosillo, La Paz, León/El Bajío, Los Mochis [begins November 8], Mazatlán, Mexico City, Monterrey, Morelia, Oaxaca, Puebla, Puerto Vallarta, San José del Cabo, Toluca, Uruapan, Zacatecas A & B

Cargo airlines

Airlines Destinations
Ameriflight Ontario
Estafeta Culiacán, Hermosillo

Old Airport Terminal

Old Airport Terminal seen from above
Old Airport Terminal seen from above

The Old Airport Terminal (known for locals as Aeropuerto Viejo, old airport) is set for aviation of the Mexican Military and federal police forces. This military airbase belongs to the Northwestern Region of the Mexican Air Force. One cargo airline operates at the terminal.

  • Mexican Military
    • Mexican Army
    • Mexican Air Force
  • Agencies of the Attorney General Office of the Republic
    • Federal Police
    • Federal Investigations Agency

In-coming flights of this armed forces agencies usually arrive from the Mexican Air Force Central Region, mostly from Mexico City International Airport or nearby airbases.

GAB Terminal

Note: The General Aviation Building (GAB Terminal) is used for general/non-commercial aviation or private jets. The General Aviation Building is designed to receive up to 120 persons per hour and it has all the services for the convenience of passengers during their private flights. It has a surface of 420 sq. mts. [4,700 sq. ft.], where there are government offices, administrative offices, a pilots lounge and passenger lounge. Two aviation schools are based at this terminal, along with one cargo airline operating there.

  • Centro Aeronáutico de Tijuana

Traffic Statistics

Busiest Domestic Routes out of Tijuana International Airport (2009)
Rank City Passengers
1 Guadalajara, Jalisco 382,429
2 México, D.F 358,241
3 Culiacán, Sinaloa 135,023
4 Toluca, Estado de Mexico 127,942
5 León, Guanajuato 75,999
6 Hermosillo, Sonora 75,338
7 Morelia, Michoacan 72,469
8 Monterrey, Nuevo León 66,010
9 Uruapan, Michoacan 41,388
10 Puebla, Puebla 41,036
11 La Paz, Baja California Sur 32,884
12 Zacatecas, Zacatecas 28,494
13 Aguascalientes, Aguascalientes 26,149
14 Acapulco, Guerrero 23,192
15 Mazatlán, Sinaloa 22,252

Ground transportation


The airport may be reached from Downtown Tijuana or Zona Rio by local bus. It costs $8.50 MXP ($.70 USD).


Aeroméxico provides a shuttle service from San Diego, California, United States to General Abelardo L. Rodríguez International Airport to allow San Diego residents make connections within Mexico, Japan,, while Volaris provides a shuttle service between the airport and San Diego International Airport to allow passengers travelling either to Mexico or the United States reach their final destination.


Due to a prohibition by Mexican law, Mexican cities' public taxis may only drop passengers to the airport, but cannot pick up passengers from the terminal. The airport thus offers transportation for passengers from the terminal to any point of the city on the SAAT Taxis (Servicio Aeroportuario de Autotransporte Terrestre, Spanish for Terrestrial Transport Airport Service, an airport government-leased taxi company). This and other authorized taxi carriers may be reached at the arrivals hall.

Incidents and accidents

  • Aeroméxico Flight 498: On August 31, 1986 an Aeroméxico DC-9 that originated from Mexico City and stopped at Tijuana and other Mexican destinations collided with a private aircraft while attempting to land at Los Angeles International Airport.
  • TAESA Flight 725: On November 9, 1999, covering the Tijuana – Mexico City route, with a stop in Uruapan, Michoacán, a McDonnell Douglas DC-9-31 went down a few minutes after leaving Uruapan International Airport en-route to Mexico City. 18 people were killed in the accident, which prompted inquiries regarding the airline's safety and maintenance procedures, and led to the collapse of the airline months later.
  • Northwest Aeronautical Institute: On November 16, 2009, whilst developing a training flight, a Piper Cherokee suffered a sudden stop on its engine, forcing the pilot to make an emergency landing at the airport in Tijuana. Maneuvered the aircraft and landed safely at the airport but the plane sufered some damage. The operations were canceled for about an hour in the General Aviation Terminal of the airport. The two people aboard escaped unhurt, with only some scratches.
  • Aeroméxico: On January 21, 2010, an Aeroméxico Connect struggled to land in difficult weather conditions. After circling the airport, the plane finally landed and jumped. Passengers were told to get into the brace position. The plane skidded off the runway, and ended up with a wing buried in the mud. No injuries were reported.

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General Info
Country Mexico
Time UTC-8(-7DT)
Latitude 32.541064
32° 32' 27.83" N
Longitude -116.970158
116° 58' 12.57" W
Elevation 489 feet
149 meters
Type Civil
Magnetic Variation 012° E (01/06)
Beacon Yes
Alternate Name TIJUANA INTL
Near City Tijuana
International Clearance Status Airport of Entry
Daylight Saving Time First Sunday in April to the last Saturday in October

ATIS 127.9

ID Dimensions Surface PCN ILS
09/27 9711 x 144 feet
2960 x 44 meters

Type ID Name Channel Freq Distance From Field Bearing From Navaid
VOR-DME TIJ TIJUANA 112X 116.5 At Field -

Fuel Jet A1, without icing nhibitor.

100/130 MIL Spec, low lead, aviation gasoline (BLUE)

CAUTION Bird haz.
FUEL (NC-100LL, A1)
LGT Rwy 27 apch lgt rstd to 4.5 NM.
OPR HOURS Opr 1500-0800Z++.
RSTD Over ngt prk in general avn platform for acft more than 11,000 lb proh. All US mil acft diverting to this afld must ctc the Defense Attache Office duty officer at the US Embassy Mexico City. Thru ctl agcy call 011-52-555-080-2000. This afld can accept US mil ldg after proper coord.

The content above was published at in 2010.
We don't guarantee the information is fresh and accurate. The data may be wrong or outdated.
For more up-to-date information please refer to other sources.

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