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Why do we call Sacramento International Airport...an international airport? | Why Guy

Even thought SMF has international flights, Walt doesn't believe they're really an international airport.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Recently, during ABC10's Morning Blend, we were live from the Sacramento International Airport when I made the joke, “now that we have flights to Hawaii, we're now officially an International Airport."

That prompted a query from Robin, saying, "Walt commented that Sacramento International Airport [SMF] is now an international airport with flights to Hawaii. Last time I checked, Hawaii is still part of the same nation as California."

Robin, yes. I did say flights from Sac to Hawaii count as international because I often ask if Sacramento is really an international airport whilst serving only Canada and Mexico? I guess the word international can be used liberally, as in saying you're an “international house of pancakes” or in claiming to be an “international man of mystery."

As far as being an international airport, Sacramento indeed does have flights to other countries. 

Barely. SMF serves one city in Canada and it's just over the border in Vancouver. So, yes, "international." And to the south in Mexico, Sacramento International serves three destinations; Los Cabos, Guadalajara and Silao.

So yes, Mexico's international, too. But, that's it. And, if you want to be a full-on international airport, you probably should have at least one hotel on airport grounds? There was supposed to be one between Terminals A and B, but that deal fell through. The closest hotel to the airport is six miles away. Is there a plan for a hotel? Two airport officials didn't respond to that question.

Some good news though, passenger traffic has been up steadily at SMF over the past five years because of more domestic destinations and non-stops flights. 

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