Benjamín Rivera Noriega Airport
|Benjamín Rivera Noriega Airport
Aeropuerto Benjamín Rivera Noriega
Airport entrance, September 2007
|IATA: CPX – ICAO: TJCP – FAA LID: CPX|
|Owner/Operator||Puerto Rico Ports Authority|
|Serves||Isla de Culebra, Puerto Rico|
|Elevation AMSL||49 ft / 15 m|
Benjamín Rivera Noriega Airport (IATA: CPX, ICAO: TJCP, FAA LID: CPX) is a public use airport located on the island of Culebra in Puerto Rico. The airport is owned by the Puerto Rico Ports Authority. It is included in the National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems for 2011–2015, which categorized it as a general aviation airport. However, the airport does offer scheduled passenger service via four commercial airlines.
The airport of Culebra was originally built as a military airport by the United States Marine Corps, opening in 1957. In 1965, the government of Puerto Rico started flying civilians from San Juan to the island with a Legislative compensation.
After the Navy-Culebra protests, the Puerto Rico Ports Authority started administering the civilian flight operations in Culebra, inaugurating the first passenger terminal in October 24, 1976. The airport and its 80 acres were officially transferred to the Ports Authority in 1980.
A new passenger terminal was inaugurated in 1994, and its name was changed to Benjamín Rivera Noriega, in honor of a pilot from Ciales. He became a community leader recognized by his service to the residents of Culebra.
Facilities and aircraft
Benjamín Rivera Noriega Airport covers an area of 15 acres (6 ha) at an elevation of 49 feet (15 m) above mean sea level. It has one runway designated 13/31 with an asphalt surface measuring 2,600 by 50 feet (792 x 15 m). For the 12-month period ending March 16, 1998, the airport had 36,322 aircraft operations, an average of 99 per day: 93% air taxi and 7% general aviation.
The airport is noted for the mountain at the approach end of the runway to the North. This obstacle, as well as the short length of the runway, keep jet aircraft and airlines from using this airport. Commercial operations are currently limited to air taxi service using propeller aircraft with 10 seats or less. The approach to this airport is considered good practice for pilots before flying to Saint Barthélemy Airport.
Airlines and destinations
|Air Culebra||San Juan |
|Air Flamenco||Ceiba, San Juan (Isla Grande), San Juan (Isla Verde)|
|Cape Air||San Juan|
|Isla Nena Air||Ceiba, Vieques, San Juan |
|Vieques Air Link||San Juan, Vieques|
On July 1, 2011, a Cessna 185 that took off from Benjamin Rivera Noriega airport with a family of five on board, registration number N8436Q, crashed while on its way to Mercedita Airport in Ponce. One body was found in Humacao. The other four passengers are presumed dead. 
- FAA Airport Master Record for CPX ( PDF). Federal Aviation Administration. Effective April 5, 2012.
- "Benjamín Rivera Noriega Airport - Passenger Traffic 2008" (PDF). Puerto Rico Ports Authority. December 2009.
- "2011–2015 NPIAS Report, Appendix A" (PDF, 2.03 MB). National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems. Federal Aviation Administration. October 4, 2010.
- Aeropuerto Benjamín Rivera Noriega at Autoridad de Puertos de Puerto Rico
- Air Culebra
- Isla Nena Air Services, Inc.
- Resources for this airport: