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Albuquerque, NM

Albuquerque Sunport International Airport (ABQ)

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Airport Information


The Albuquerque International Sunport (ABQ) is a world-renowned, full-service facility that welcomes more than six million travelers per year. As the state’s largest commercial airport, the Sunport serves as the gateway to the diverse cultures, rich history and breathtaking landscapes that make New Mexico.

The Albuquerque International Sunport is owned by the City of Albuquerque and operated by the Aviation Department.

The Albuquerque International Sunport handled 6,467,263 passengers in 2008. The passenger count at the Sunport has seen an average per year increase of over 2% over the last 15 years.

ABQ's freight center moved over 67,000 tons of cargo in 2008.

There were 180,439 takeoffs and landings, or an average of 494 per day, in 2008 at ABQ: 75,766 by major airlines; 42,106 by commuter airlines, 21,796 by military aircraft; and 40,771 by general aviation aircraft.

Approximately 3,400 people are employed at ABQ.

Commercial Carriers

ABQ is served by nine major commercial carriers: AeroMexico, American, Continental, Delta, Frontier, Northwest, Southwest, United and US Airways. It also receives regular in-state service from commuters, Great Lakes Airlines and New Mexico Airlines. Freight service is provided by Federal Express and UPS.

Southwest Airlines is ABQ's largest carrier; it handled 59.8% of ABQ's 2008 passengers.

ABQ offers nonstop service to 30 cities, including: Atlanta, Baltimore (BWI), Chicago (Midway/O'Hare), Chihuahua, Dallas (DFW/Love Field), Denver, El Paso, Houston (Bush/Hobby), Kansas City, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Lubbock, Midland/Odessa, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Oakland, Orlando, Phoenix, Portland, Salt Lake City, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle/Tacoma, St. Louis, Tampa (seasonal), Tucson, Washington (Dulles). Nonstop in-state service is offered to Alamogordo, Carlsbad, Clovis and Silver City.

Physical Characteristics

ABQ's terminal, which was expanded to its present size in the late 1980s and again in 1996, encompasses 574,000 sq. ft. of space and has 23 gates in two concourses.

There is parking for approximately 3,700 vehicles in ABQ's four-level parking structure and adjacent surface lot.

ABQ has four runways:
08/26 - an east-west air carrier runway, 13,793 ft. by 150 ft.
17/35 - a north-south air carrier runway, 10,000 ft. by 150 ft.
03/21 - a northeast-southwest air carrier runway, 10,000 ft. by 150 ft.
12/30 - a northwest-southeast general aviation runway, 6,000 ft. by 150 ft.

ABQ's elevation is 5,352 feet. Its latitude and longitude are 35 degrees, 02 minutes North and 106 degrees, 37 minutes West.

Passenger Services

Numerous cab companies, door to door shuttles, buses, limousines, tour shuttles/buses, rental car companies, out of town shuttles and hotel/motel courtesy vehicles provide ground transportation from the airport and around Albuquerque and New Mexico.

Car rental agencies at the airport are Alamo, Avis, Budget, Dollar, Enterprise, Hertz, National and Thrifty. All are located at the Sunport's Car Rental Center, approximately 1/2 mile from the passenger terminal building.

Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) for various banks are located throughout the terminal building in front of and beyond the security checkpoint.

Free wireless internet access available throughout the terminal.

Facilities for persons with disabilities include elevators in the parking structure and each of the terminal's three levels, wheelchairs, Braille signage, wheelchair-accessible restrooms and drinking fountains, and telecommunications devices for the hearing impaired (TDD).

Airport and tourist information may be obtained from the Information Booth at the baggage claim level. The booth is staffed by Albuquerque Convention and Visitors' Bureau volunteers.

The Albuquerque International Sunport Art Collection is displayed throughout the terminal. The collection includes Native American, Hispanic and Contemporary works by New Mexico artists





City Information


Albuquerque allows you to experience the authentic Southwest. One of the oldest cities in the U.S., Albuquerque boasts a unique multicultural heritage and history where Hispanic & Latino, Native American and other cultural influences are a part of everyday life. There are many traditional New Mexican restaurants and over 3,000 shops and galleries to enjoy as well as world-class visual and performing arts.  Soak up the sun in the great outdoors playing on the best golf courses in the Southwest.  Nowhere is the confluence of past and present more dramatic than in Albuquerque, where the modern city skyline is set against a backdrop of the ancient Sandia Mountains and an endless, timeless blue sky.

When visiting Albuquerque, you’ll find its spectacular weather — 310 days of sunshine - perfect for outdoor activities including biking, skiing, and golf. The unique weather features also make Albuquerque the hot air ballooning capital of the world. Balloons dot the clear blue skies almost every morning, revealing a myriad of colors year-round. While visiting Albuquerque at night, you’ll notice the city is bathed in the glow of neon signs, relics of Albuquerque's place on historic Route 66. Locals and visitors kick up their heels in the bustling downtown entertainment district, go out for a night of entertainment by one of our international theater and dance companies, or visit one of the many casinos surrounding the metropolitan area.

Discover some of the best golf courses in America. Experience total relaxation. Float over the beautiful Southwest scenery in a hot air balloon. No matter what your adventure, the spectacular culture, abundance of activities and breathtaking landscape that are uniquely Albuquerque await!


The character of Albuquerque is the result of many different forces, perhaps none as important as the centuries of history that have shaped the city of Albuquerque, New Mexico. Starting with the Native Americans who have lived here for thousands of years and continuing through Albuquerque's official founding in 1706, the city has grown into a multi-cultural metropolis of nearly 800,000 people. While the modern city of Albuquerque is a center of high-tech industry and research, it retains vital connections to the past, such as the ancient rock carvings at Petroglyph National Monument, the historic Old Town Plaza and the trail of vintage neon signs along Route 66 spanning the city.

Albuquerque proudly celebrated its Tricentennial in 2006--but our roots go back much farther. It is important to understand all of the people who have influenced the area to fully appreciate the complexity of the history of Albuquerque. The Rio Grande Valley has been populated and cultivated since as far back as 2,000 B.C. The Pueblo people who lived in the area when Europeans arrived had a sophisticated culture and advanced skills in stone masonry, ceramics and a wide range of arts and crafts. Many of these traditional techniques are practiced to this day, handed down through the generations.

The first Spanish explorers arrived in Albuquerque in approximately 1540 under General Francisco de Coronado, and later expeditions brought settlers deep into New Mexico’s river valleys. In 1706, a group of colonists were granted permission by King Philip of Spain to establish a new villa (city) on the banks of the Rio Grande (which means big or great river). The colonists chose a spot at the foot of the mountains where the river made a wide curve, providing good irrigation for crops and a source of wood from the bosque (cottonwoods, willows and olive trees). The site also provided protection from, and trade with, the Indians in the area. The colony’s Governor, Francisco Cuervo y Valdez, penned a letter to the Duke of Alburquerque back in Spain to report their newly founded villa, named La Villa de Alburquerque in honor of the Duke. Over the centuries the first “r” was dropped, leaving Albuquerque spelled as it is today.

The early Spanish settlers were religious people, and the first building erected was a small adobe chapel where today’s San Felipe de Neri Church still stands in Albuquerque’s Old Town. Its plaza was surrounded by adobe homes, clustered close together for mutual protection. The chapel collapsed after the particularly rainy summer of 1792, but was rebuilt a year later. While the San Felipe de Neri Church has been enlarged and remodeled several times since the 1700s, its original thick adobe walls remain intact. The church is the anchor of Old Town, the historic and sentimental heart of Albuquerque, and the Plaza is host to many cultural events and local celebrations.

Today, Albuquerque is a major Southwestern city with a diverse population and some of the nation's leading high-tech research facilities including  Sandia National Laboratory, Intel and University of New Mexico. At the same time, its cultural traditions continue to be an essential part of everyday life in the city. With one foot in the past, one foot in the present and both eyes on the future, Albuquerque is a fascinating place to visit and an even better place to call home.