Regional Study of Bay Area Airport Capacity | News

News Release

Regional Study of Bay Area Airport Capacity

Public meetings scheduled in South San Francisco, Fairfield and Oakland May 10-12
Thursday, May 6, 2010

OAKLAND, CA — With the number of air passengers traveling through the Bay Area expected to increase from 60 million to 100 million by 2035, planners are looking at ways of accommodating the demand without expanding runways. Options will be explored at three public hearings scheduled for next week. The meetings are sponsored by Bay Area regional agencies to gather public input on how to manage forecasted demand at the region’s three primary airports (San Francisco, Oakland and San Jose) in order to preserve a healthy economy, ensure safe and reliable travel, and protect the environment. The meetings will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. on Monday, May 10 in South San Francisco; Tuesday, May 11 in Fairfield; and Wednesday, May 12 in Oakland.

Airports are an integral part of the Bay Area transportation system and play a central role in meeting the travel and economic needs of the Bay Area’s residents and businesses. With this study the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC), the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG), and the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission (BCDC) are exploring possibilities for balancing the demand among the region’s three major airports, such as modifying times of heavy airline traffic, increasing average aircraft size, implementing new air traffic control technologies to improve operations during poor weather, serving some passengers by high-speed rail, and using smaller general aviation and federal/military airports in and outside the Bay Area region. Given the expense and environmental concerns with building new runways, these potential solutions focus on distributing airport demand.

Meetings will be held:

  • Monday, May 10, 2010, 7 pm – 9 pm
    Community Room
    Municipal Services Center 
    33 Arroyo Drive, South San Francisco
  • Tuesday, May 11, 2010, 7 pm – 9 pm
    First Floor, Multipurpose Room 
    675 Texas Street, Fairfield
  • Wednesday, May 12, 2010, 7 pm – 9 pm
    Port of Oakland Exhibit Room 
    530 Water Street, Oakland 


The Regional Airport Study is currently under way. With projected growth in business and recreational travel, as well as with growth in the shipment of air cargo, Bay Area airports may face capacity issues in the future, as early as 2020.

Current forecasts estimate that by 2035:

  • Bay Area air passengers will increase by 67% (from 60.6 million annual passengers in 2007 to 101.3 million annual passengers in 2035);
  • Air cargo will increase 92% in terms of weight (from 1.4 million tons in 2007 to 2.7 million tons in 2035); and
  • Business jet activity will increase by 56% (going from about 75,000 arrivals and departures currently to nearly 117,000 by 2035).

The Study will be completed in early 2011. For more information, visit Send questions or comments to

Doug Kimsey, MTC: (510) 817-5790 
John Goodwin, MTC: (415) 778-5262

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