California inland alternatives to LAX

With the main gateway airport for Asian cargo fast running out of capacity, inland Southern Californian airports are happily picking up the overflow.


Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) has long been revered as a major gateway for Asia-related air traffic. Although LAX boasts excellent cargo facilities, the airport is running out of cargo capacity and will not be able to handle forecasted growth. Southern California air cargo volumes are projected to reach 8 million tonnes by 2016. LAX is capable of handling 2.3 million annual tonnes.

Consequently, a number of alternative airports are springing up in neighboring Riverside and San Bernardino counties – a region known as the Inland Empire, to ease future demand constraints. Among them are San Bernardino International Airport (SBD) and LA/Ontario International Airport (ONT).

SBD advantages

The Southern California Association of Governments, which operates as the designated regional transportation planning agency, forecasts that SBD will service 1.17 million annual tonnes of air cargo by the year 2035.

Based on this forecast, and more conservative forecasts, SBD has dedicated sufficient ramp areas to provide peak hour parking for 27 narrow-body and wide-body cargo aircraft. Plans include the construction of approximately 500,000 square feet of cargo buildings and sufficient truck parking to accommodate projected demand.

“This is in addition to the capacity to handle cargo aircraft of any size, as evidenced by the charter all-cargo aircraft operators that have taken advantage of this congestion-free airport,” says Michael Burrows, SBD Assistant Director.