Fresno Yosemite International Airport History (Guide)

Fresno Yosemite International Airport (IATA: FAT, ICAO: KFAT) located in Fresno, California, was opened in June 1942 as Hammer Field and was operating as the military airbase only. The airport was used as the training facility for the Fourth Air Force. After World War II was over, the municipality of the state saw the opportunity of constructing the commercial airbase, as the Fourth Air Force dismissed the airport for lack of need.
The construction of the new airport started in 1946 on the northeast side of the former airfield. Later, in 1948, the new passenger airport was officially opened for the public's attention.
In the 1950s, the California Air National Guard established the Fresno Air National Guard Base on the property of the airport. Moreover, the 194th Fighter Squadron and the 144th Fighter Wing moved there in 1954 and 1957 relatively.
After the relocation of the guard on the airport's territory, the need for the second runway arose. Therefore, in addition to the existing 11L/29R runway, the new 11R/29L was constructed in 1956.
The southern corner of the airport, as well as the rest of the airport, has started to come together by 1959. The central lobby, the baggage claim area, and the ticket-counter area were constructed during that time. The control tower was built in 1961, shortly after the passenger airport was constructed.
In 1978, the new concourse was built right in from of the central lobby, that replaced the former construction of the airport that was making passengers move across the terminal on the open air.
Fresno Airport has been the hub for approximately three American airlines. Far West Airlines was established at the airport in the mid-1980s. Meanwhile, Air21 was implemented at the airport in January 1997, as well as Allegiant Air.
In 1996, the name of the airport was changed to Fresno Yosemite International Airport to increase the number of international flights coming to the city. However, the situation was not improving for a decade, as the international flights were still not coming to the airport.

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Guide to Fresno Yosemite International Airport

Fresno Yosemite International Airport (IATA: FAT, ICAO: KFAT) is a civil-military airport located in Fresno, state California, USA. The airport mainly serves the San Joaquin Valley and Sequoia, Yosemite, and Kings Canyon parks. The airfield is operated by the city of Fresno and is acting as the central hub for several American airlines.
Moreover, Fresno Airport hosts some law enforcement, firefighting, military, and medical air units. The Fresno Air Attack Base, together with the California Highway Patrol, the Fresno County Sheriff's Office, the California Army National Guard, and the Fresno Police Department, has its office in the airport.
Fresno Yosemite International Airport covers a total area of 699 hectares and is located 102 meters above the sea level. The airfield has two operating runways: 11L/29R which is 2.907 meters long and 11R/29L which is 2.441 meters long.
In 2017, the airports served 99.559 aircraft operations, 61% of which were general aviation operations, 18% were scheduled commercial flights, 15% were air taxi services, and the rest 6% were military aircraft operations. Notably, Fresno Airport hosted approximately 179 aircraft, 56% of which were single-engine ones, 14% were multi-engine, 13% were military, 7% were jets, and about 7% were helicopters. The number of passengers carried in 2017 reached 1.298.000 people.
Fresno Airport is the base for a favorite American airline SkyWest Airlines, which is also regarded as the most significant national airline of the United States. That airline carries about 50%-60% of all aircraft operations of the airport. Another airline operating through the airport is Allegiant Air, which serves flights to Las Vegas. Moreover, American Airlines, United Airlines, and Frontier Airlines offer flights to Dallas, San Francisco, Denver, etc. The most extended operating carrier of the airport is United Airlines, however, which is not operating directly nowadays. It shifted service to SkyWest Airlines in the 1990s, which is not providing flights as United Express.

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About the city

Fresno is a city located within the state of California, USA, and is the county seat of Fresno Country. The city covers a total area of 290 square kilometers in the southern part of California's Central Valley, which is parallel to the Pacific Ocean coast. 99.69% of the entire city or 290 square kilometers are covered by land, the rest 0.4 square kilometers are covered by water.
The city was founded in 1872 as the railway station of the Central Pacific Railroad or CPRR, which operates between California and Utah. Later, in 1885, it was incorporated as the official governmental municipality.
Fresno is the economic hub of Fresno County and the San Joaquin Valley, and the agricultural sector acts as the primary source of the city revenue.
Fresno is located nearly at the central part of California, and it is 97 kilometers south of Yosemite National Park, 64 kilometers away from Sierra National Park, 97 kilometers away from Kings Canyon National Park, etc. Beautiful lakes are located in proximity to the city as well. Thus, Bass Lake, Shaver Lake, and Huntington Lake are found in just a couple of hours away.
The city also has three national parks on its territory: Woodward Park, that has several walking trails and picnic area; Roeding Park, that hosts the Fresno Chaffee Zoo as well; and Kearney Park, that is regarded as the largest national park of Fresno Country and is home for Kearney Mansion.
Fresno has several neighborhoods: Downtown area, Sunnyside, Tower District, Huntington Boulevard, Van Ness Extension, West Side, Woodward Park, Sierra Sky Park.
The downtown area of Fresno hosted the Fresno Water Tower, the Fresno Carnegie Public Library that was demolished, the Bank of Italy Building, the San Joaquin Light and Power Building which is currently known as the Grand 1401, the Pacific Southwest Building, and the Hughes Hotel that was burned down earlier.
Sunnyside was adequately renovated in the 1950s and the 1970s, it now hosts the Sunnyside Country Club, which hosts the golf course of the city. The main streets of the area are Kings Canyon Avenue and Clovis Avenue.
Tower District is famous for being constructed around the historical site of the city - Tower Theatre, which was included in the National List of Historic Places. Together with the commercial offices and houses, there are lots of restaurants, bars, theatres, nightclubs, cinemas, etc.
Huntington Boulevard was built on the place of the historic Alta Vista Tract. The area is considered the "anti-gated community," which is characterized by a closed perimeter of fences and walls that surround all pedestrian walkways, bicycle and automobile roads.
Van Ness Extension, located between Marks Avenue and West Avenue, is regarded as the most prestigious area of the city.
West Side contains the major part of Mexican-American and an Asian-American population of Fresno. Notably, the Fresno Chandler Executive Airport is located in that area.
Woodward Park has an amphitheater with the capacity of approximately 2.500 spectators. There are also three small ponds, picnic areas, Japanese Garden, fenced dog park, children's playground, etc.
Sierra Sky Park, established in 1946, it was used as the first aviation community.

General Information


There is no Duty-Free Store located at the airport; however, there is a Hudson Newsstore that is selling accessories, merchandise, and some clothing items. The stores are opened at the main lobby from 04:00 until 23:00, from 04:30 until 19:00 at the corridor of the terminal, and from 04:30 until 00:00 on the 2nd level of the concourse.

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Among the services available there are:
Baggage Claim area is located in the main lobby near the ground transportation center. The baggage might be taken from the two baggage carousels equipped with the LCD monitors.
Info Center helps in trip planning, provides hotel and other tourism-related information. The center is located in the main lobby in from of the entrance to the terminal. The staff of the Info Center is from the HandsOn Central California volunteer professionals.

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Duty Free

There is no Duty-Free Store located at the airport; however, there is a Hudson Newsstore that is selling accessories, merchandise, and some clothing items. The stores are opened at the main lobby from 04:00 until 23:00, from 04:30 until 19:00 at the corridor of the terminal, and from 04:30 until 00:00 on the 2nd level of the concourse.

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Aeromexico provides flights from Fresno to Guadalajara with the minimum price per 1 adult round-trip ticket of $489. The cost for tickets was taken from the official website and are indicated for October-December 2018. Phone: +1-800-237-6639

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Entering the United States, the one shall consider issuing a visa as one of the first legislative steps. However, it is important to mention that the citizens of certain countries may enter the United States without issuing a visa under a Visa Waiver Program.
A Visa Waiver Program, valid on the territory of the United States since 1988, allows the citizens from the certain list of countries to enter the United States without a visa for the business or tourism purposes for no longer than 90 days. The countries that are a part of the program are: Australia, Andorra, Austria, Brunei, Belgium, Chile, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia,

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City Map

Fresno, being the part of Fresno Metropolitan Area, is located in California, USA. The city was named after ash trees growing across the San Joaquin River. As the city is the economic hub of the whole Fresno Metropolitan area, there are lots of municipal buildings. Those are:

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