Ilopango International Airport
|Ilopango International Airport|
|Satellite view of Ilopango Int'l Airport|
|IATA: none – ICAO: MSSS|
|Airport type||Military and Charter|
|Elevation AMSL||615 m / 2,018 ft|
AIP at COCESNA and DAFIF
Ilopango International Airport (ICAO: MSSS) is an airport located on the eastern part of the city of San Salvador, El Salvador, once serving the city as its international airport until it was replaced by the larger and more modern Comalapa International Airport, located about 50 km south of the city. Currently, Ilopango is used for military and charter aviation only. It also holds the annual Ilopango Air Show. The airport is also home to the National Aviation Museum (Museo Nacional de Aviación) of San Salvador, which is housed in the old terminal building.
During the civil war it was a perfect target for bombs from the guerrillas, the rebel group that also destroyed El Puente de Oro (The Golden Bridge), a hanging bridge over the Lempa River.
Ilopango has the problem that many airports in Central America have: it borders on the city and has houses near it so its runway can't be expanded. Its hangars will be relocated and modernized to serve as a modern commercial airport. CEPA has announced that they will begin rehabilitating the airport in late 2013 to allow short domestic flights within Central America. The domestic flights between Central America is planned to begin in February 2014 with Central American airlines including the new Salvadoran airline, VECA Airlines.
Ilopango was once the largest and busiest airport in Central America until the civil war disrupted its operations. It ended its international flight service in the late 1970s, with the building of the bigger and more modern Comalapa International. Currently, there is a plan that involves the modernization and enlargement of the airport to accommodate modern aircraft. In 2001, the administration of the airport passed from the military to the Comisión Ejecutiva Portuaria Autónoma (CEPA), which is in charge of planning the modernization project. 
During the 1980s, hangars four and five of the Ilopango air base were used as a stopover in the transfer of military supplies heading South to the Contras and drugs moving North into the U.S. Declassified interviews taken during Independent Counsel Lawrence Walsh's investigation into Iran-Contra date the Contra's use of the airport to 1983 when CIA pilot Marcos Aguado approached Salvadoran Air Force commander Juan Rafael Bustillo to secure hangar space for the operation.
Some airlines that served Ilopango in the past
- Aviateca (Guatemala)
- Lacsa (San José (CR))
- TACA [Now part of Grupo TACA] (San Pedro Sula, Tegucigalpa, Guatemala, Los Angeles, New York, Miami)
- Copa Airlines (Panama City, San Andres Island)
- Iberia (Madrid, Miami, San José (CR), San Juan)
- Pan Am (New York, Houston-Intercontinental, Los Angeles, Guatemala)
- Sahsa (Tegucigalpa)
- Corporación Centroamericana de Servicios de Navegación Aérea
- Airport information for MSLP at World Aero Data. Data current as of October 2006.Source: DAFIF.
- Home. Civil Aviation Authority. Retrieved on January 5, 2013. "Km 9 1/2 Boulevard del Ejercito Nacional, Aeropuerto Ilopango, El Salvador"
- Museo Nacional de Aviación (Spanish)