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Fresno Yosemite International Airport
Fresno airport CA - 17 Aug 1998.jpg
17 August 1998
Airport type Public
Owner City of Fresno
Serves Fresno Metropolitan Area
Location Fresno, California
Elevation AMSL 336 ft / 102.4 m
Coordinates 36°46′34″N 119°43′05″W / 36.77611°N 119.71806°W / 36.77611; -119.71806
Website Fresno Yosemite International Airport
Direction Length Surface
ft m
11L/29R 9,217 2,809 Asphalt
11R/29L 7,205 2,196 Asphalt
Number Length Surface
ft m
H1 70 21 Asphalt
Fresno Yosemite IAP is located in California
Fresno Yosemite IAP
Location of Fresno Yosemite International Airport, California
FAA diagram of FAT

Fresno Yosemite International Airport (IATA: FATICAO: KFATFAA LID: FAT), formerly known as Fresno Air Terminal, is a joint civil-military public airport located in eastern Fresno, in Fresno County, California. The airport is over 60 miles (97 km) away from Yosemite National Park, which lies directly north of the city, on California State Route 41. The airport covers 2,150 acres (8.7 km²) and has two runways and one helipad. It is the major air transportation center for the San Joaquin Valley, with major air carrier service to airline hubs throughout the Western United States, as well as direct international flights to Guadalajara, Mexico. It is also home to Fresno Air National Guard Base and the 144th Fighter Wing (144 FW) of the California Air National Guard.


Passenger totals

Fresno completed 2006 with 1.281 million passengers traveling through Fresno Yosemite International Airport, an increase of 7.54% over 2005.

Fresno completed 2007 with 1.382 million passengers traveling through Fresno Yosemite International Airport, an increase of 3.13% over 2006.

The most prominent airlines at Fresno are Skywest Airlines for United Express and Delta Connection (36.29%), Mesa Airlines for US Airways Express (16.97%), American Airlines (12.77%), and Horizon Air (9.92%).[1]S

Airlines and destinations

Airlines Destinations
Allegiant Air Las Vegas
American Airlines Dallas/Fort Worth
American Eagle Los Angeles
Delta Connection operated by
SkyWest Airlines
Salt Lake City
Horizon Air Portland (OR), Seattle/Tacoma
Mexicana Guadalajara
United Express operated by
SkyWest Airlines
Denver, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, San Francisco
US Airways Phoenix
US Airways Express operated by
Mesa Airlines
Las Vegas, Phoenix


Airlines Destinations
Ameriflight Oakland, Visalia, Santa Maria
FedEx Express Oakland
UPS Airlines Ontario

Quick facts

  • Airport covers 2,300 acres (9.3 km²)
  • WiFi access available throughout airport.
  • FAT was the first airport in the country to implement an anti-terrorist facial recognition system, shortly after the September 11, 2001 attacks.
  • The first airport in the Nation to install a web-based, wireless system (PASSUR Flight Information Display) to list active flight arrivals and departures.
  • The Category IIIB Landing System is one of the most sophisticated in the nation, necessary when navigating through the Valley's winter tule fog.
  • The vast majority of air traffic in and out of the airport is private aircraft. Only 7% of the air traffic is commercial, 6% is military, and the remainder is private.
  • The 144th Fighter Wing of the California Air National Guard is based out of the Fresno Yosemite International Airport.[2]
  • The California Army National Guard maintains an Aviation Classification Repair Activity Depot (AVCRAD) at the airport. The mission of this unit is to perform high level maintenance and repair on Army aircraft. Its jurisdiction covers a 15-state region in the Western United States.
  • Both the U.S. Forest Service and the California Department of Forestry operate an Air Attack Base at the airport for fighting forest fires with aerial tankers.

Solar power

Fresno Yosemite International is in the stages of building a two-megawatt solar system. The $16 million solar system was completed on March 2008 and will be owned and operated by WorldWater & Solar Technologies Corp. After 20 years, the airport will take ownership of the 25-acre (100,000 m2) system. When completed the airport would have the largest solar power system in the nation.

The power system is expected to save the airport about $13 million in electricity bills over the next 20 years.



World War II

The airfield was opened in June 1942. During World War II the airfield was known as Hammer Field and was used by the United States Army Air Forces' Fourth Air Force. Hammer Field was a training base and had three sub-bases and two gunnery ranges.

Hammer Field also had an Army Air Forces regional hospital. The Army Air Force acquired this area for the Airways Detachment to set up a sub-base of Camp Pinedale for an extension of ordnance storage facilities and additional land for housing construction, a hospital, laundry, drainage facilities, cold storage, fire station, school building, rifle ranges, high tower shot gun range, motor pool areas, chemical warfare storage area, and a concrete underground igloo magazine arms storage

Known Army Air Force units at Hammer Field were:

  • 84th, 85th, 86th, 97th Bombardment Squadron (Light)
  • 402nd Army Air Forces Base Unit (Fighter) (318th Wing)
  • 450th Army Air Forces Base Unit (Combat Crew Training Station-Night Fighter)
  • 15th Air Force, 456th Bomb Group, 745th Squadron, 15th Crew (B-24 Bombers)

On 1 January 1944, the Air University Army Air Forces School of Applied Tactics (AAFSAT) began a Night Fighter school at Hammer Field, activating the 426th Night Fighter Squadron at the field under the 481st Night Fighter Operational Training Group. The unit operated P-70s and P-61 Black Widows and flew training missions in the Bakersfield area. With their training as a unit completed, the 426th NFS packed their bags and left California in mid-June 1944 for duty in India as part of Tenth Air Force. The 481st remained at Hammer Field as a training organization with P-70s and nigh-equipped P-38 Lightnings until being inactivated in April 1945.

With the end of the war in September 1945, Hammer Field was inactivated and was disposed of though the War Assets Administration (WAA). By 1949 the facility was completely in civil hands; the sources included the City of Fresno (804.59 acres by lease), 21 individual land owners (781.96 acres by fee and 27.24 acres by lease), easement right-of-ways (1.42 acres) and permit (1.64 acres). In 1943 the lease on 9.24 acres was terminated. In 1945 and 1946, the leases for 18 acres and 5 acres were terminated, respectively. Effective January 15, 1947, 23.06 acres were reassigned for the Hammer Field National Guard training area. In 1948, 319 acres were quitclaimed and the lease on 799.69 acres were transferred to the City of Fresno. In 1948 and 1949, 441.5 acres were quitclaimed to the State of California.

Air National Guard use

The airfield was renamed Fresno Air Terminal, and retained a military cantonement area for the an Army Air Forces unit of the National Guard that became a unit of the Air National Guard when the U.S. Air Force was established as a separate service in 1947.

Today the California Air National Guard's 144th Fighter Wing (144 FW) occupies two separate parcels of land at the airport. (the main base area and the Munitions Storage Area). These areas of the airport are known as the Fresno Air National Guard Base.[1] [2]

Operationally-gained by the Air Combat Command (ACC), the mission of the 144th FW is to provide air defense protection for California from the Mexican border to Oregon utilizing F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft. The 144th FW occupies 6 administrative, 16 industrial and 2 services buildings totaling approximately 341,251 square feet (31,703.3 m2) with 325 full-time personnel, primarily Active Guard and Reserve (AGR) and Air Reserve Technician (ART) personnel. A unit training drill is conducted once a month and results in a surge of up to a total of 990 personnel when "traditional" part-time air national guardsmen are included. The part-time personnel, particularly pilots, also perform additional drills, additional flying training periods and/or additional active duty every month throughout the year.

The Composite Support Facility completed in late 2001 added an additional 6,236 square feet (579.3 m2) of building area.

In addition to its Fresno ANGB facility, the 144 FW also maintaines a permanent F-16 alert detachment/operating location (OL) at March Air Reserve Base, near Riverside, California.

Civil use

In 1988 the FAA designated the airport as an "International Point of Entry", making it eligible for international flights.

In 1995 the name was changed to attract out-of-state and international visitors to Yosemite National Park. Since its opening, the airport has gone through multiple renovations and expansions. In 2002 a new two-level Concourse building was completed and in 2006 construction of a new Federal Inspection Facility (FIS) was completed. The airport applied for a new FAA identifier code when its name was changed in 1996; however, the FAA will only assign a new airport identifier code when an airport physically moves to another location, such as in 1995 when Denver Airport moved from Stapleton (DIA to DEN).[3]

Fresno has also served as headquarters for at least two airlines. Roughly 1996-1998, Air 21 flew Fokker F28 jets to various destinations; as far east as Colorado Springs, and as far west as San Francisco. Allegiant Air also called Fresno home, but has since moved its headquarters to Las Vegas.
In the 1980s, Fresno saw a variety of mainline aircraft, but throughout the 1990s, there was a shift to mainly regional aircraft. There has recently been more mainline aircraft returning to Fresno; including the long standing service to Dallas/Ft. Worth on American Airlines, Allegiant Air, Mexicana, and US Airways offer mainline service to Fresno. Delta AirLines announced service to Fresno from Atlanta, but this was later recanted. Frontier Airlines ended service as of June 2007, after 2 years of steady service.

See also


 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the Air Force Historical Research Agency.

  • Maurer, Maurer (1983). Air Force Combat Units Of World War II. Maxwell AFB, Alabama: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0892010924.
  • Mauer, Mauer (1969), Combat Squadrons of the Air Force, World War II, Air Force Historical Studies Office, Maxwell AFB, Alabama. ISBN 0892010975
  • Shaw, Frederick J. (2004), Locating Air Force Base Sites History’s Legacy, Air Force History and Museums Program, United States Air Force, Washington DC, 2004.
  • Manning, Thomas A. (2005), History of Air Education and Training Command, 1942–2002. Office of History and Research, Headquarters, AETC, Randolph AFB, Texas ASIN: B000NYX3PC

External links


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