Which Bay Area Airport is Best for My Flight?

California’s Bay Area has a plethora of attractions for private jet travelers; from the bustling Silicon Valley to the iconic Golden Gate Bridge, it’s a natural focal point in Northern California.

But when chartering a private jet to the Bay Area, which airport is best?

We take a look at the pros and cons of the 2 main airports for the Bay Area, Oakland International Airport and San Francisco International Airport, for private jet charter flights, as well as a few other options, depending on your end destination.

San Francisco International Airport (SFO)

San Francisco International Airport is located about 14 miles south of the city center.


  • Closest option to the main financial district of San Francisco


  • More expensive handling and landing fees for private jets
  • If the city center is not your final destination, there can be a lot of traffic getting around
  • Weather concerns are common, including fog and rain delays


Private Plane Charter From San Francisco

San Francisco International Airport has one main FBO, Signature Flight Support, which has two large conference rooms, a VIP lounge, and an on-site sauna.

Example Flight

Charter a Phenom 300 from Los Angeles Van Nuys to San Francisco International Airport from $8,500 (one way)

Also discover our exclusive fixed-price flights on the Challenger 300 from New York to San Francisco.

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Oakland International Airport (OAK)

Oakland International Airport is located about 20 miles from the San Francisco core.


  • Cheaper in terms of landing and handling costs
  • Can be closer to suburbs and neighborhoods
  • More aircraft tend to be based here, which can lower positioning costs


  • Further from core of San Francisco


OAK Runway Landing_600x400

Oakland International Airport features Signature Flight Support and KaiserAir as the main two FBOs on site.

Example Flight

For comparison, to fly in a Phenom 300 from Los Angeles Van Nuys Airport to Oakland International Airport, cost would decrease to about $7,800 (one way)

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Other Airports – A Broad Look

If San Francisco International Airport and Oakland International Airport still don’t work for your trip, there are 10 other airports in the Bay Area that can serve your travel needs.

There are 12 airports in the greater Northern California area

There are 12 airports in the greater Northern California area

San Jose International

San Jose International Airport (SJC) is a great option for those who wish to reach the San Jose/Palo Alto area. As it less busy than Oakland and San Francisco, and for many travelers that live further outside the immediate Bay Area, it can get you closer to home in a shorter amount of time.

Signature Flight Support and Atlantic Aviation are the two FBO’s in San Jose International Airport.

Smaller Airports – Small Hops

The following smaller airports in the Bay Area can be useful for short flights, often on turboprop aircraft. For those reaching specific neighborhoods, these airports can help reduce overall transit time.

HAF – Half Moon Bay Airport: Just south of San Francisco, HAF is a good option for those wishing to reach the Pacific Coastline. It has a runway of 5,000 ft, making it suitable for turboprop aircraft, small jets, and some medium sized jets.

SQL – San Carlos Airport: Classified as a reliever airport for San Francisco International Airport, SQL is a great option for those traveling in the San Carlos or San Mateo areas of California. It has a runway of 2,600 ft, making it suitable for turboprop aircraft only.

PAO – Palo Alto Airport: Located in the Palo Alto/Santa Clara area of the Bay, PAO features a small runway only suitable for turboprop aircraft.

NUQ – Moffett Federal Airfield: a joint civil-military airport in Santa Clara, NUQ is mainly used by NASA.

RHV – Reid–Hillview Airport: nestled in the eastern part of San Jose, RHV is classified as a reliever airport for San Jose International Airport. It has two runways of length 3,100 ft and 3,099 ft, making it suitable for turboprop aircraft and small jets.

For private jet charter pricing and advice, please contact us online or call us at (866) 726-1222.