Capable of handling planes of all sizes, Puerto Plata Airport has benefited from being in an area with many beaches, which are popular among charter airline passengers. The popularity of the city where it is located has also drawn a number of regularly scheduled passenger airlines over the years.
On February 6, 1996, BirgenairFlight 301 was bound for Frankfurt, Germany, but crashed shortly after take-off from Puerto Plata Airport into the Atlantic Ocean 26 kilometres off-shore. All 176 passengers and 13 crew members, among them 164 Germans, were killed. It was discovered later that one of the air speed indicators of the Boeing 757-200 was not working properly, confusing the pilots about whether the plane's speed was too fast or too slow. Birgenair went bankrupt later that same year.
On January 22, 2009, Air Turks and Caicos flight 5103 landed in Puerto Plata and punched one of the gears in the middle of the runways; as a result the airport had to be closed for 5 hours and all incoming flights had been diverted to Santiago, Punta Cana and Santo Domingo. No injures were reported.