Brownsville/South Padre Island International Airport

Brownsville/South Padre Island International Airport is a city-owned public-use airport located four nautical miles (7 km) east of the central business district of Brownsville, a city in Cameron County, Texas, United States.

The airport is mostly used for general aviation, but is also served by one commercial airline. It is a convenient airport for flying into the Rio Grande Valley and Northern Mexico. Most cities in the Rio Grande Valley are accessible from BRO by automobile within 30-60 minutes. It is also the closest airport to South Padre Island.

Fares for flights leaving out of Brownsville are competitive with that of nearby airports, mainly McAllen-Miller International Airport in McAllen and Valley International Airport in Harlingen.

The National Weather Service forecast office for Deep South Texas is located on the airport grounds.


  • On March 9, 1929, Charles Lindbergh landed in BRO after a five hour, 38 minute historic flight from Mexico City to the United States. This established the first leg of Airmail Service to Mexico
    • In honor, an event in which Amelia Earhart attends is held, a crowd of over 20,000 greeting Lindbergh upon his arrival. This event has been described as an international event of great significance.
  • Pan-American Airways started service on the airport on June 4th, 1929, the beginning of a 30 year relationship between BRO and PanAm.
  • During World War II the airport was used by the United States Army Air Forces
    • The first American jet engine flight was tested at Brownsville Army Air Field.
    • B-29 bomber renovated here.
    • Airport had one of the largest overhaul facilities in the country. By the end of the war Pan American had overhauled nearly 6,000 engines.
    • Civilian Pilot Training program initiated to train military and commercial pilots.
    • Only Mexican military unit to engage in combat during World War II, the 201st Fighter Squadron, trained at the Brownsville Army Air Field.
  • In the 1960s, the 16th weather radar system in the nation was installed at BRO
  • In 1983, the airport was officially renamed the Brownsville-South Padre Island International Airport

Facilities and aircraft

Brownsville/South Padre Island International Airport covers an area of 1,700 acres (688 ha) at an elevation of 22 feet (7 m) above mean sea level. It has three asphalt paved runways: 13L/31R measuring 3,000 x 75 ft (914 x 23 m), 13R/31L measuring 7,400 x 150 ft (2,256 x 46 m) and 17/35 measuring 6,000 x 150 ft (1,829 x 46 m).

For the 12-month period ending December 31, 2007, the airport had 43,105 aircraft operations, an average of 118 per day: 52% general aviation, 35% military, 13% air taxi and <1% scheduled commercial. At that time there were 56 aircraft based at this airport: 91% single-engine and 9% multi-engine.

Various aircraft types, including Embraer ERJ 135, Embraer ERJ 145 and Bombardier CRJ-200 aircraft, are used by Continental in Brownsville. Previous aircraft used include ATR-42 aircraft (ExpressJet Airlines), as well as Boeing 737-300 and 737-500 aircraft (Continental Airlines).

Airlines and destinations


The Brownsville-South Padre Island International Airport features a full-service passenger terminal with four gates (1, 1A, 2 & 2A).

  • Prior to security check-point
    • Locally-owned restaurant
    • Coffee, smoothie and muffin stand adjacent to restaurant
    • Complimentary WiFi Internet Access (provided by the City of Brownsville)
    • Television monitors throughout the terminal broadcast the latest news
    • Information booth for tourists
  • After security check-point
    • Complimentary WiFi Internet Access
    • Television monitors broadcasting the latest news
    • Four gates - All gates are referred to as "Gate 1" during boarding and in boarding passes
      • Gates 1 & 2 (Jetway Gates)
      • Gates 1A & 2A (Hardstand Gates) (Used mainly for overflow)


Several transportation options are available for arriving passengers.


  • Complimentary Wi-Fi Internet Access throughout the passenger terminal
  • Free parking with no posted maximum stay limit, as well as free 2-hour parking
  • Television monitors displaying the latest news
  • Home/Hotel delivery of late/lost luggage (through Continental)
  • Very fast turnaround time for passenger aircraft (as low as 10-15 minutes)


  • The airport is the largest air cargo handling airport in the Rio Grande Valley.


The Brownsville/South Padre Island International Airport is the first airport in Texas to offer flight status notification via text-messaging through its website. When the system was launched, it was one of only three airports in the nation, between Michigan and Alabama, to offer such a service.

In addition to flight status text-messaging notification, the site also features current fares to popular routes, including Houston, Atlanta, Toronto, Minneapolis/St. Paul & Querétaro.

See also


Other sources

External links

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