El Salvador International Airport

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Cuscatlán International Airport
Comalapa International Airport
Comalapa airport.jpg
External view of the Cuscatlán International Airport main terminal building.
IATA: SALICAO: MSLP
Summary
Airport typeMilitary/Public
OperatorCEPA
LocationSan Luis Talpa, La Paz
Hub forAvianca
Elevation AMSL31 m / 102 ft
Coordinates13°26′27″N 089°03′20″W / 13.44083°N 89.05556°W / 13.44083; -89.05556Coordinates: 13°26′27″N 089°03′20″W / 13.44083°N 89.05556°W / 13.44083; -89.05556
Websitehttp://www.cepa.gob.sv/aies/
Map
MSLP is located in El Salvador
MSLP
Location in El Salvador
Runways
DirectionLengthSurface
mft
07/253,20010,499Asphalt
18/368002,625Asphalt
Statistics (2012)
Total passengers2,113,740
Commercial aircraft11,586
Sources:
AIP at COCESNA[1] and DAFIF[2]
Passengers and aircraft from airport website[3][4]
 
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Cuscatlán International Airport
Comalapa International Airport
Comalapa airport.jpg
External view of the Cuscatlán International Airport main terminal building.
IATA: SALICAO: MSLP
Summary
Airport typeMilitary/Public
OperatorCEPA
LocationSan Luis Talpa, La Paz
Hub forAvianca
Elevation AMSL31 m / 102 ft
Coordinates13°26′27″N 089°03′20″W / 13.44083°N 89.05556°W / 13.44083; -89.05556Coordinates: 13°26′27″N 089°03′20″W / 13.44083°N 89.05556°W / 13.44083; -89.05556
Websitehttp://www.cepa.gob.sv/aies/
Map
MSLP is located in El Salvador
MSLP
Location in El Salvador
Runways
DirectionLengthSurface
mft
07/253,20010,499Asphalt
18/368002,625Asphalt
Statistics (2012)
Total passengers2,113,740
Commercial aircraft11,586
Sources:
AIP at COCESNA[1] and DAFIF[2]
Passengers and aircraft from airport website[3][4]

El Salvador International Airport (IATA: SALICAO: MSLP), commonly known as Comalapa International Airport or Cuscatlán International Airport, is an airport located about 50 km (31 mi) from San Salvador in El Salvador. It was built in the late 1970s to replace its predecessor, Ilopango International Airport, which is now used for military and charter aviation. It is currently the only commercial airport serving El Salvador.

Funding for this project was provided through the Government of Japan. Engineering and building came under the direction of Hazama Gumi Ltd. The electrical work for all lighting and communications was completed by Toshiba (then TOKYO SHIBAURA ELECTRIC). The Airport entered in operation on January 31, 1980 with its first flight being a TACA airliner bound for Guatemala City.

With 2,076,258 passengers in 2008, it is the busiest airport in El Salvador and third-busiest in Central America by passenger traffic.[3]

Airport infrastructure[edit]

RN-5 to the Airport and La Cima

Comalapa serves as the Main hub for TACA Airlines, now Avianca Airlines and future Salvadorean airline, VECA Airlines which will begin their operations in 2014. The cargo terminal, located a few meters west of the passenger terminal, handles millions of tons of cargo each year. El Salvador International Airport is located about 50 km (31 mi) from the city of San Salvador. Roads connect the airport with the city. It handles international flights to Central America, North America and South America including some daily flights to parts of Europe such as Spain.

When the airport was built, it originally had only 7 gates. It was designed to handle around 400,000 passengers a year, but the high increase of passengers in the last 15 years brought the airport to its capacity. The airport has had two main expansions in the last decade or so. In its first phase (named AIES I), the airport grew from 7 boarding gates to 12, and later the second phase AIES II, added 5 more gates bringing the total to 17. Along with new gates, new expanded passenger waiting areas were built. Even though all these expansions have been made, the airport once again has reached the peak of its capacity handling over 2 million passengers on 2006.

There are several drug enforcement agents conducting random security checks and interviews of travelers at the airport. These agents can be identified due to the items they wear such as a fanny pack, either around the waist or over the shoulder. They also carry an airport access identification card around the neck. One side of the badge carrier shows the airport identification and access card with their photo, the other side of the carrier has the Salvadorean drug enforcement agency official badge.

The airport has a main runway (07/25) 3,200 m × 45 m (10,499 ft × 148 ft),[2] with an effective running surface of 45 m (148 ft) and 7.5 m (25 ft) shoulders. Parallel to the main track and the same length as this, is the taxiway Alpha, which is connected to the track through six starts. For the use of small aircraft, there is also a secondary runway built (18/36), 800 m × 23 m (2,625 ft × 75 ft),[2] which is currently used for parking of "long life" for aircraft that require it.

The platform of the Passenger Terminal Building (ETP) has seventeen aircraft parking positions, fourteen of which have their boarding bridges, which connect the aircraft directly to their waiting rooms. The three remaining positions are "remote", i.e., passengers disembark at any of them are transferred to the ETP through aerobuses. the remote gates are mostly used by turboprop aircraft. The ETP has a total constructed area of 34,380 m2 (370,100 sq ft), which houses the waiting rooms and corridors, areas of Immigration and Customs and diversity of stores.

The platform of the Cargo Terminal Building (ETC) has three positions for cargo aircraft parking, and also has a platform for the maintenance of five aircraft that require it, just in front of hangars Aeromantenimiento (AEROMAN), a modern workshop repairs that have achieved high levels of service in Latin America and represent an added value for the airport. The ETC has a built area, between warehouses and offices, of 10,286 m2 (110,720 sq ft).

Rehabilitation, Modernization and Optimization Project (2012-2014)[edit]

TACA Airlines Airbus A320 taxing for take off at Cuscatlan International Airport (SAL), Comalapa, El Salvador.

Since 1998 when the first expansion of the airport occurred (AIES II), the airport has been suffering form saturation in areas of check-in, screening, immigration and baggage at the International Airport El Salvador (AIES) as it continues to serve more than 2 million passengers arrive each year.

TACA headquarters in San Salvador.

In late 2012, CEPA has been able to begin their rehabilitation, modernization and optimization project in the airport. As of November 2013, three of the seventeen boarding bridges have been replaced with modern boarding bridges. In addition, more than fifty percent of the restrooms and air conditioning systems have been enhanced. New stairs and elevators have been replaced with more modern equipment. During this initial phase which is projected to be completed by May 2014, CEPA is planning to repair many of the issues that the airport has been living for over fifteen years. These include but not limited to:

Tourist information room at the International Airport of El Salvador..
The Aeroman hangar in El Salvador during night time.
TACA Airbus stationed at the jet bridge in El Salvador International Airport which serves as the Main hub for TACA Airlines.

Airport Master Plan (2014-2032)[edit]

Expanding the El Salvador International Airport (AIES) will cost $ 492.7 million in its four phases planned to run between 2014 and 2032, as provided by new master plan for development of the terminal plan, which was presented by the CEPA in December 2013. The autonomous values ​​first choice for funding expanded Public-Private Partnership (PPP). According to CEPA, the study will confirm whether this is feasible or not will be presented in February 2014. Unlike the Master Plan 2007 of Airports of Paris, this new proposal by Kimley Horn does not, at present, building a new passenger terminal plan. Instead, it will restore and rehabilitate and expand the terminal, but not planning a new terminal. The new renovated terminal will have a three story building where it will separate the traffic flows of passengers arriving and departing within the terminal.

Includes the expansion of the passenger terminal at 45,000 square meters, on the south side of the terminal, which will allow its current capacity of 1.6 through 3.6 million passengers. Creation of more businesses, at this stage in the parking lot improvements, check in-area, landscaping, surrounding streets, purchase signage and lighting systems are also contemplated. It also plans to equip the new cargo terminal. Additionally, it is planned to develop 80.9 acres of airport surrounding areas to interested companies may be installed in the vicinity of the airport. This phase will cost approximately $115.5 million USD.
Phase II includes the construction of seven additional waiting rooms for passengers as well as new aircraft parking position to exceed more than 20 new gates. This phase will cost approximately $100.9 million USD.
According to CEPA, Phase III and IV are of "medium and long term", which consider extensions depending on what happens in the market. In Phase III will invest $78.3 million USD and Phase IV will invest $198.5 million USD. During this stage, CEPA is planning and projecting to construct a new train station within the airport. This will allow passenger to transport to places like San Salvador, San Miguel and La Union. By 2032, the airport would have 43 gates. By 2032, the airport would be ready to receive 6.6 million passengers.

Facts[edit]

The airport's modern facilities include duty-free shops, fast food and full-service restaurants, bars, air conditioned areas, tourist facilities, car rental, and spacious waiting rooms. With space for 17 airplanes on the main terminal, 3 on the cargo terminal, 5 in Aeroman, and around 20 in the "Long Term Parking" which is runway 18/36. 94.5% of the airport's flights are on time (2005 data). The airport and runway have been closed at least 10 times in the almost quarter century since opening. They were closed for several hours following the devastating earthquake of 2001, followed up with minor repairs to the east end of the runway. They were closed again for several hours in 2005 due to Hurricane Stan. Although the airport is located near the Pacific Ocean, storms and hurricanes are not frequent.

There is Wifi availability throughout much of the airport. Near Gate 17, a cafe called "The Coffee Cup" has free WiFi for all customers.

Shops & Restaurants[edit]

Airport users can make purchases in a wide range of free shopping at great prices, there you will find clothing, perfume, spirits and snuff of the highest quality as well as a variety of craft shops and typical restaurants and international .Also at the airport they serve car rental twelve companies operating in the country. You can contact the representatives of the most prestigious hotel chains such as Marriott International, Radisson, Intercontinental, Hilton, Terrace, Comfort and just five minutes from the airport, the Hotel Quality.

Some of these restaurants and shops includes:

Security[edit]

The international airport of El Salvador, based in the town of San Luis Talpa, La Paz, received an international certification from the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), after an investment of $8 million and a process of four years and two extensions.

The document credits the Salvadoran airport terminal compliance with all safety regulations issued under the Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), on fire control and health care, removal of rubber from the runways, lights and safety signs.

The certification will enable El Salvador to keep the category 1ante Federal Aviation Administration United States. "From the start of operations of the airport in January 1980, the terminal has been characterized by its safety," said Ricardo Sauerbrey, head of the Salvadoran terminal.

Panoramic view of terminal and jetbridges of the Cuscatlan International Airport (SAL), aka Comalapa Airport, El Salvador.

Airlines and destinations[edit]

Passenger Airlines[edit]

AirlinesDestinations
Aeroméxico ConnectMexico City
Air TransatSeasonal: Montreal-Trudeau, Toronto-Pearson
American AirlinesDallas/Fort Worth, Miami
AviancaBelize City, Bogotá, Cali, Cancún, Chicago-O'Hare, Dallas/Fort Worth, Guatemala City, Guayaquil, Havana, Houston-Intercontinental, Liberia, Lima, Los Angeles, Managua, Medellín-Córdoba, Mexico City, Miami, New York-JFK, Newark,[5] Orlando, Panama City, Quito, Roatán, San Francisco, San José (CR), San Pedro Sula, Tegucigalpa, Toronto-Pearson, Washington-Dulles
Avianca Costa RicaSan José (CR)
Avianca PeruLima
CanJetSeasonal: Montreal-Trudeau, Toronto-Pearson
Copa AirlinesPanama City
Delta Air LinesAtlanta
IberiaMadrid
Spirit AirlinesFort Lauderdale
United AirlinesHouston-Intercontinental, Newark, Washington-Dulles

Cargo Airlines[edit]

The platform of the Cargo Terminal Building (ETC) has three positions for cargo aircraft parking. It also has a platform for maintaining five aircraft requiring maintenance services, right in front of the hangars of Aeromantenimiento (AEROMAN), a modern repair shop that has achieved high levels of service in Latin America that represents an added value to the AIES. The ETC has a built area, between warehouses and offices, of 10.286 meters square.

Some of the freight companies that operate in this airport include:

Airport statistics[edit]

Airport traffic by major destinations (departures and arrivals 2010 data)[edit]

Airline Traffic Departures and Arrivals[edit]

Accidents and Incidents[edit]

El Salvador International Airport (SAL) hasn't have any fatalities or Accidents. though there are emergency landings from flights passing nearby the airport.

Closing, and suspension of flights[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]