El Salvador International Airport
|Cuscatlán International Airport
Comalapa International Airport
|External view of the Cuscatlán International Airport main terminal building.|
|IATA: SAL – ICAO: MSLP|
|Location||San Luis Talpa, La Paz|
|Elevation AMSL||31 m / 102 ft|
AIP at COCESNA and DAFIF
Passengers and aircraft from airport website
El Salvador International Airport (IATA: SAL, ICAO: 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.
- 1 Airport infrastructure
- 2 Airport Rehabilitation Project
- 3 Airport Master Plan 2013
- 4 Facts
- 5 North Terminal
- 6 Shops & Restaurants
- 7 Security
- 8 Airlines and destinations
- 9 Airport statistics
- 10 References
- 11 External links
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 × 45 m (10,499 × 148 ft), 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 × 23 m (2,625 × 75 ft), 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 (AEROMAR), 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).
Airport Rehabilitation Project
Saturation living areas of screening, immigration and baggage at the International Airport El Salvador (AIES) to serve 2 million passengers arrive each year on
average has given a sense of "urgency" to the expansion and modernization plan to the airport terminal so much that there were messages from the Salvadorean airline TACA to bring its headquarters to another country if the renovation was not made soon. For the past 15 years the Salvadoran government has resisted to invest on the only international airport since the last expansion during the 1990s.
As of April 2013, CEPA has been able to begin their rehabilitation and modernization process of 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, 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:
- New Restrooms - New Air-conditioning System - New Air Traffic Controller Equipment - New Radar Equipment - Flight Banks Program
Beginning November 2013, the airport will initiate the process of the replacement of the pavement of the main Runway 07/25 and all taxiways of the airport. The construction is scheduled to be completed in April 2014. The last time the runway received its maintenance was in 1993. Construction is set to be during the night between 10:00 P.M and 5:00 A.M when the airport is manages less flights.
Modification of the new and updated master plan for the airport is set to be revealed to the public on the first week of December 2013. The plan is to expand the existing airport terminal towards the eastern part of the airport. A new terminal is proposed to be built parallel to the old and short runway 18/36. This new terminal is set to increase the number of gates from the existing 17 to 25 new gate with additional remote parking spaces. In addition, the existing terminal building will be receiving its upgrade. The observation deck will be replaced by a new food court where the airport will be able to host new restaurants for passengers. The control tower will be receiving a new visual enhancement, new glass panels that are environmental friendly and sound proof will allow less jet sounds inside the terminal. Further details are to be revealed in the announcement of the Master Plan in December 2013.
Airport Master Plan 2013
CEPA and the government of El Salvador will be revealing the updated master plan which will project in short and long term the necessary enhancements of El Salvador International Airport. Over the past decade, the International airport has been struggling to expand its capacity to attend the over-growing amount of passengers after the merging of Avianca and TACA Airlines as well as the relocation of the Costa Rican Avianca Hub to San Salvador, El Salvador in early 2013.
The new Master Plan of 2013 will be revealed by CEPA in December 2013. According to CEPA, the new master plan will address the issues that the Salvadoran airport has been struggling over the past years. Some of the enhancements that the Master Plan will provide include:
- Number of Boarding Bridges
- Expansion of Waiting Areas
- Organized Planning of Duty Free Shops, Restaurants and Cafes
- Replacement of all 17 boarding bridges
- Overhaul Arrivals Waiting Area
- Expansion of Salvadoran Customs and Immigration Areas
- Terminal Parking Garage
- Airline Counters
CEPA will announce how these implementations will take place and the projections of the construction with approximate dates during the reveal of the Master Plan in December 2013.
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.
North Terminal is part of the new expansion which is planned for construction in mid 2014 and is set to be opened in between in late 2017. The new terminal is said to expand with approximately 12 new gates. The new terminal is set to be located east of the current terminal building. This new terminal will expand the number of gates and long term parking for aircraft. The new and updated Master Plan is set to be revealed publicly in the first week of December 2013 where further details of the new North Terminal will be revealed.
Shops & Restaurants
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:
- Pizza Hut Restaurant
- Pollo Campero Restaurant
- The Coffee Cup
- Radio Shack
- Sony Store
- Alamo Car Rental
- Budget Car Rental
- Subway (restaurant)
- Productos Diana
- Comalapa Airport Food Court (opening 2014)
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.
Airlines and destinations
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:
- Amerijet International
- Copa Airlines
- FedEx Express
- Florida West International Airways
- Avianca Cargo
- United Parcel Service (UPS)
Airport traffic by major destinations (departures and arrivals 2010 data)
|City||Arrival and Departure|
|Los Angeles International Los Angeles, California||223,311|
|George Bush Intercontinental Houston, Texas||194,912|
|Miami International Miami, Florida||163,720|
|Washington Dulles International Washington D.C.||97,726|
|Tocumen International Panama City, Panama||97,072|
|Juan Santamaria International San José, Costa Rica||94,452|
|Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Atlanta, Georgia||85,564|
|John F. Kennedy International New York City, New York||71,856|
|Benito Juarez International Mexico City, Mexico||58,313|
|La Aurora International Guatemala City, Guatemala||41,845|
|Augusto C. Sandino International Managua, Nicaragua||41,278|
|Jorge Chávez International Lima, Peru||26,647|
|Toronto Pearson International Toronto, Canada||22,497|
|Ramon Villeda Morales International San Pedro Sula, Honduras||22,404|
|Tocontin International Tegucigalpa, Honduras||17,264|
|Newark Liberty International Newark, New Jersey||16,982|
|El Dorado International Bogota, Colombia||15,123|
|Madrid-Barajas International Madrid, Spain||12,324|
|Montréal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Montreal, Canada||8,420|
|Cancun International Cancun, Mexico||8,390|
|Simón Bolívar International Caracas, Venezuela||1,746|
|José Joaquín de Olmedo International Guayaquil, Ecuador||1,165|
|Daniel Oduber Quirós International Liberia, Guanacaste, Costa Rica||327|
|Total Traffic Departures and Arrivals||1,964,616|
Airline Traffic Departures and Arrivals
|Airline||Percentage of Passengers Transported (2012)|
|Delta Air Lines||6%|
Yearly airport traffic
- Corporación Centroamericana de Servicios de Navegación Aérea
- Airport information for MSLP at World Aero Data. Data current as of October 2006.Source: DAFIF.
- Airport website - Passenger Statistics
- Airport website - Commercial Aircraft
- "Avianca to Start San Salvador-Newark Service from Dec 2013". Airline Route. September 10, 2013. Retrieved September 10, 2013.
|Year||Number of Passengers Transported|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Cuscatlán International Airport.|
- Official website (Spanish)