Located just to the south of downtown Oakland in Alameda County, the Oakland International Airport is the closest of the three Bay Area international airports to the Financial District of San Francisco. Southwest Airlines and Allegiant Air are its major carriers, with passenger flights across the United States, Mexico and Europe, as well as cargo services to Canada and Japan.
The Oakland International Airport now has four runways and two passenger terminals, which are connected to one another following security clearances. While Terminal 2 is exclusive to Southwest Airlines, Terminal 1 serves both US-based and international carriers. Both offer a range of cafes, restaurants and Starbucks coffee houses, as well as a few retail shops selling reading material and duty-free items. Terminal 1 is in the midst of a multi-million dollar upgrade, with the entire building being renovated with larger restrooms, new check-in facilities, and increased dining and retail facilities. The upgrade is being completed in line with Oakland International Airport’s admirable approach to sustainability and awarded the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design award by the US Green Building Council in 2010. The airport is now the largest Bay Area gateway city for flights to Hawaii with Hawaiian Airlines, was well as being connected to Scandinavia by Norwegian Airlines.
The airport is connected to downtown Oakland along the BART Coliseum–Oakland line, which whisks passengers into the city centre in around eight minutes and connects with the Amtrak Capitol Corridor train. There are also three different bus services which connect to the Oakland Airport, or taxis are available in the ranks outside its terminal buildings.
The land for the Oakland International Airport was bought in 1927 following the Dole fruit company’s prize announcement for a flight from California to Hawaii. At just over 2,000 metres, the runway was the longest in the world when it was built in a record time of 21 days to meet the Dole race deadline and dedicated to American aviator, Charles Lindbergh.