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La Aurora International Airport (Spanish: Aeropuerto Internacional La Aurora, IATA: GUA, ICAO: MGGT) serves Guatemala City, Guatemala. It is located 6.4 km (4.0 mi)[1] south of Guatemala City's center and 25 km (16 mi) from Antigua Guatemala. It is administered by the Dirección General de Aeronáutica Civil.

La Aurora International Airport

Aeropuerto Internacional La Aurora
MGGT6.jpg
Summary
Airport typeMilitary/Public
OwnerMinisterio de Comunicaciones, Infraestructura y Vivienda
OperatorDirección General de Aeronáutica Civil
ServesGuatemala City, Guatemala
Hub for
Elevation AMSL1,509 m / 4,951 ft
Coordinates14°34′54″N 090°31′36″W / 14.58167°N 90.52667°W / 14.58167; -90.52667Coordinates: 14°34′54″N 090°31′36″W / 14.58167°N 90.52667°W / 14.58167; -90.52667
Map
MGGT is located in Guatemala Department
MGGT
MGGT
MGGT is located in Guatemala
MGGT
MGGT
Location in Guatemala
Runways
Direction Length Surface
m ft
02/20 2,987 9,800 Asphalt
Statistics (2016)
Passengers2,759,347
Source: Guatemalan AIP[1]

La Aurora International Airport is the primary airport of Guatemala. The airport went through a massive modernization and expansion. The airport is now able to accept a greater number of flights and larger aircraft. It provides high standard installations to the traveler. The old terminal has been renovated in accordance with its original design. It was partly demolished and was expanded with a new glass-designed concourse and is now able to accommodate up to twenty-two aircraft.[citation needed] The greater project was completed by December 2008. The airport currently has two terminals: Central and North.

La Aurora International Airport is the fourth busiest airport in Central America in terms of passenger traffic, surpassed by Tocumen International Airport in Panamá, Juan Santamaría International Airport in Costa Rica, and Monseñor Óscar Arnulfo Romero International Airport in El Salvador. In June 2007 the airport was certified as Category I but lost it in August 2018.

OverviewEdit

La Aurora is being renovated, along with other airports in Guatemala, such as Mundo Maya International Airport, Quetzaltenango Airport, Puerto Barrios Airport, and San José Airport.

In July 2007, seven new gates were opened. These gates are equipped with jetway bridges and modern conveniences, also a new parking garage was also built and it can handle up to 500 vehicles.

There are brand new ticket counters. 2007 brought significant gate expansion (11 new gates were available starting December 2007). The airport now has two concourses. The northern concourse has 12 traditional gates and 3 remote gates. The central concourse, is used for larger aircraft as it provides 4–6 gates depending on the size of the aircraft.

The airport's runway currently measures 2,987 m × 60 m (9,800 ft × 197 ft).[1] There have been efforts in the past to expand the runway but this has not yet been possible since there's a commercial area to the north of the runway and a small ravine near the southern side of the runway. Still, the renovation of the runway is in progress. The first phase consists in repaving the runway as well modernizing the illumination system. Future plans to expand the taxiway repave and move all the cargo facilities to San José Airport in Escuintla and Puerto Barrios Airport in Izabal. This will make room for more passenger terminal area and improved taxiways. Finally, the airport administration building is being refurbished and a regional terminal is being built.

La Aurora International Airport has 2 Exclusive VIP Lounges. Los Añejos Business Lounge serving Iberia's first class passengers[2] and Copa Club, a VIP Lounge for passengers travelling on Copa Airlines and United Airlines[3]

Cargo operations are handled beside the passenger terminal building by COMBEX-IM or in the DHL hangars. [4]

The head office of the Dirección General de Aeronáutica Civil is located in the airport Zone 13.[5][6]

History of La AuroraEdit

World War IIEdit

 
Original airport building, circa. 1940.

During World War II, the airport was used by the United States Army Air Forces Sixth Air Force defending the Central American coastline against Axis powers submarines. The first American personnel began arriving in December 1941; the airfield was improved and expanded by the United States' 805th Engineer Aviation Battalion in early 1942. During its period of American use, the military facilities of the airport were known as Guatemala City Air Base. Flying units assigned to the airport were:

Detachments from the airfield operated intermittently from San Jose Airport, San José, Costa Rica, and Puerto San José, Guatemala from 1942 though 1944. After the war ended, a small number of Americans remained at the airport performing training duties with the Guatemalan Air Force and also operating a weather station (MATS 6th Weather Squadron). United States personnel were restricted to base during the Guatemalan revolution following the death of Colonel Francisco Xavier Arana on 18 July 1949. Some artillery shells landed on the base during the violence. The facility was closed on 28 July 1949 and turned over to Guatemalan authorities.

Airlines and destinationsEdit

PassengerEdit

 
Check-in counters at the airport.
 
Main corridor at the airport.
 
Waiting room at the airport.
AirlinesDestinations
Aeroméxico Mexico City
Aeroméxico Connect Mexico City
American Airlines Dallas/Fort Worth, Miami
Seasonal: Chicago-O'Hare
Aereo Ruta Maya Flores, Huehuetenango
Charter: Copán, Palenque, Roatan
Avianca Bogotá
Avianca Costa Rica Los Angeles, Managua, San José (CR)
Avianca El Salvador Miami, San Salvador
Avianca Guatemala Flores, San José (CR)
Avianca Honduras San Pedro Sula
Copa Airlines Managua, Panama City, San José (CR)
Copa Airlines Colombia Panama City
Delta Air Lines Atlanta, Los Angeles
Iberia Madrid1
Interjet Mexico City
Spirit Airlines Fort Lauderdale, Houston–Intercontinental, Orlando
Transportes Aereos Guatemaltecos Belize City, Cancún, Flores, Puerto Barrios, Roatán, San Pedro Sula, San Salvador, Tegucigalpa
United Airlines Houston–Intercontinental, Newark
Seasonal: Washington–Dulles
Volaris Cancún
Volaris Costa Rica Los Angeles, Mexico City, San José de Costa Rica, San Salvador

^1 Iberia flight from Guatemala City to Madrid makes a stop in San Salvador. The airline does not have traffic rights to transport passengers solely between Guatemala City and San Salvador.

CargoEdit

AirlinesDestinations
Air Cargo Global Miami
ABX Air Huatulco, San José (CR)
Atlas Air Miami
AeroUnion Miami, Los Angeles
Aerosucre Bogota
Avianca Cargo Bogota
Cargolux Luxembourg
DHL Aviation Guadalajara, Huatulco, Mexico City, Miami, Panama City, San José (CR), San Pedro Sula, San Salvador, Tegucigalpa
FedEx Express Memphis
KLM Cargo Amsterdam, Bogotá
LATAM Cargo Chile Miami
Martinair Miami
UPS Airlines Atlanta, Miami

StatisticsEdit

In 2016, the airport handled 2,759,347 passengers.[7]

Accidents and incidentsEdit

  • On 1 March 1980, a Douglas C-47 of the Fuerza Aérea Guatemalteca was damaged beyond repair near La Aurora.[8]
  • On 6 April 1993, TACA Airlines Boeing 767 ran off the end of runway 19 after landing. A passenger on board filmed the landing which showed the plane coming in too steep, too fast and on a runway with standing water from a tropical storm which had just passed over. A great amount of runway had passed under the plane before touchdown and the pilot forced the landing. In spite of thrust reversers used, the plane could not slow down in time, began to shudder from excessive wheel-braking, overshot the runway and crashed into some structures. Surprisingly, there were no fatalities and the only injured people were 3 non-passengers. The aircraft was written off[9]
  • On 4 June 2018, the airport had to close due to the 2018 Volcán de Fuego eruption.

ReferencesEdit

  This article incorporates public domain material from the Air Force Historical Research Agency website http://www.afhra.af.mil/.

  1. ^ a b c MGGT – LA AURORA Internacional
  2. ^ http://grupo.iberia.com/portal/site/grupoiberia/menuitem.abd8f742ddc74535bd52b210721061ca/;jsessionid=L2Jja1Mt2AUE3quLfFBRzpPZRXBl1hvOAxWDuZA9fWJB1xMAuaIr!-3744398 Archived 25 April 2012 at the Wayback Machine[failed verification]
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 28 September 2011. Retrieved 4 October 2011. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^ [1][permanent dead link]
  5. ^ "ADDRESSES OF ACCIDENT INVESTIGATION AUTHORITIES As of March 2010 Archived 3 September 2011 at the Wayback Machine." Air Accident Investigation Bureau. Retrieved on 22 January 2012. "GUATEMALA Dirección General de Aeronáutica Civil Aeropuerto Internacional "La Aurora" Zona 13 Guatemala, Centro América"
  6. ^ "A 01/11 31 ENE Archived 9 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine." Dirección General de Aeronáutica Civil. Retrieved on 22 January 2012. "Aeropuerto Internacional La Aurora 9 Av. 14–75 Zona 13 C.P. 1013"
  7. ^ "Dos aerolíneas ofrecerán vuelos desde Guatemala hacia Puerto Barrios por 110 dólares" [Two airlines will offer flights from Guatemala City to Puerto Barrios for $110]. El Diario de Hoy (in Spanish). 23 January 2017. Archived from the original on 6 February 2017. Retrieved 5 February 2017. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  8. ^ "Accident description". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 24 July 2010.
  9. ^ Aviation Safety Network, Boeing 767 Crash at MGGT.

External linksEdit