Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport

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Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport
Aeropuerto Internacional Luis Muñoz Marín
Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport logo.png
SJU Diagram.JPG
Airport type Public
Owner Puerto Rico Ports Authority
Operator Aerostar Airport Holdings
Serves San Juan, Puerto Rico
Location Carolina, Puerto Rico
Hub for
Focus city for
Elevation AMSL 9 ft / 3 m
Coordinates 18°26′21″N 066°00′07″W / 18.43917°N 66.00194°W / 18.43917; -66.00194Coordinates: 18°26′21″N 066°00′07″W / 18.43917°N 66.00194°W / 18.43917; -66.00194
TJSJ is located in Puerto Rico
Location in Puerto Rico
Direction Length Surface
ft m
8/26 10,400 3,170 Asphalt
10/28 8,016 2,443 Concrete
Statistics (2012)
Aircraft operations 156,679
Passenger movement 8,448,172
Based aircraft 88
Source: Federal Aviation Administration[1]
Operations from the FAA[2]
passengers from the Puerto Rico Ports Authority

The Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport (IATA: SJUICAO: TJSJFAA LID: SJU) —Spanish: Aeropuerto Internacional Luis Muñoz Marín— (formerly known as Isla Verde International Airport/Aeropuerto Internacional Isla Verde) is a joint civil-military international airport located in Carolina, Puerto Rico, three miles (five kilometers) southeast of San Juan. It is the busiest airport in the Caribbean region by passenger traffic. Over 4 million passengers board a plane at the airport per year according to the Federal Aviation Administration.[3]

The airport is owned by the Puerto Rico Ports Authority but managed by Aerostar Airport Holdings, a public-private partnership which was awarded a lease by the government of Puerto Rico to operate and manage the airport for 40 years.[4] SJU is the second international airport to be privatized in the United States and its territories, and the only currently privatized airport in the nation.[5] Taxis and rental cars can transport travelers. Named for Puerto Rico's first democratically-elected governor, the airport serves as a gateway to the Caribbean islands and sees about 8.5 million passengers each year.


SJU's Control Tower

Until 1955, the Fernando Luis Ribas Dominicci Airport was the main international airport of Puerto Rico. This is until the early start of the jet age that many of the airlines that served Puerto Rico were changing from propelled to jet aircraft, and Isla Grande's 4,000-foot runway at the time did not have the distance for jet planes to take off and land. Isla Grande's runway is now 5,542 feet in length. In 1951, Governor Luis Muñoz Marin authorized the construction of a modern airport with a runway long enough to land jet aircraft. In addition, the airport would be a major meeting point for tourism in Latin America, not only for passenger traffic, but also for air cargo. It would not serve only as an international airport, but also as the home of the Puerto Rico Air National Guard.

The airport opened on May 22, 1955. Located in the area known as Isla Verde. By the time of its construction it had only one runway (Runway 8/26), the old tower which today is on the top of the Airport Hotel, three terminals and 200 car parking space. In the late 1960s, construction of Runway 10/28 began and was finished by 1972. In 1985, Governor Rafael Hernández Colón renamed the airport Luis Muñoz Marín, Puerto Rico's first democratically elected governor. The airport served as a Caribbean hub for Pan Am, Trans Caribbean Airways, Eastern Air Lines, and a short lived focus city for TWA. It was also the hub of Puerto Rico's international airline, Prinair from 1966 until 1984, when Prinair went bankrupt. In 1986, American Airlines, along with American Eagle, established a hub in the airport to compete with Eastern Air Lines. American then ended hub operations due to flight capacity cuts and continued to operate a focus city until April 4, 2011. American Eagle service, operated by San Juan-based Executive Airlines with ATR-72 turboprop aircraft, was completely shut down on April 1, 2013 although American continues to serve the airport. In the past, the airport has been served by defunct airlines like Caribair (which was based in San Juan), ATA Airlines, and Northwest Airlines.

Airport expansion[edit]

As of 2008-Today, the airport has been receiving major upgrades, including a new terminal (Terminal A), pavement and expansions, new light systems, press conference rooms, and new fast food franchises along its corridors. New airlines have begun operating from San Juan to other international routes and destinations.

Over $400 million was used to expand the airport facilities through 2011. Terminal A opened on June 6, 2012 and is occupied by JetBlue Airways.[6]

As of 2013, Agustín Arellano, CEO of Aerostar Airport Holdings, LLC, operator of the Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport, announced major upgrades that have begun taking place. JetBlue's new Terminal A will also receive improvements.


Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport is the Island's main international gateway and its main connection to the United States. Domestic flights fly between Carolina and other local destinations, including Culebra, Mayagüez and Vieques. The airport offers rapid access to the San Juan district of Hato Rey, the island's financial district via the Teodoro Moscoso Bridge. Easy access to Old San Juan is obtained via the Baldorioty de Castro Expressway (PR-26).

Teodoro Moscoso Bridge connecting the city of San Juan to the LMM International Airport in Carolina

The airport serves as the Caribbean hub for Cape Air, Air Sunshine, and Seaborne Airlines, as well as a focus city for JetBlue Airways.[7] JetBlue is the largest carrier in San Juan, with 51 daily flights on an average day.[8]

Traffic statistics[edit]

Passenger statistics for SJU[9][10][11][12][13][14]
Year Total passengers  % Change
2001 9,453,564
2002 9,389,232 Decrease0.7%
2003 9,716,687 Increase3.5%
2004 10,568,986 Increase8.8%
2005 10,768,698 Increase1.9%
2006 10,506,118 Decrease2.4%
2007 10,409,464 Decrease0.9%
2008 9,378,924 Decrease9.9%
2009 8,245,895 Decrease12.1%
2010 8,491,257 Increase3.0%
2011 7,993,381 Decrease5.9%
2012 8,448,172 Increase5.7%
2013 8,268,355 Decrease2.1%
2014 (until June) 4,418,833 Increase3.6%

Terminals, airlines and destinations[edit]

Destinations with direct service from SJU

The Luis Muñoz Marín Airport has one main terminal building with four concourses and a separate terminal with one concourse. Because of renovations of Terminals B & C, Aerostar has relocated airlines to Terminals A & D until 2016.

Airlines Destinations Concourse
Air Antilles Express Fort-de-France, Pointe-à-Pitre A
Air Canada Seasonal: Toronto-Pearson D
Air Europa Madrid D
Air Flamenco Culebra, Vieques A
Air Sunshine Saint Thomas, Tortola, Vieques, Virgin Gorda A
American Airlines Caracas (resumes August 1, 2014), Chicago-O'Hare, Dallas/Fort Worth, Miami, New York-JFK D, E
Avianca Bogotá D
Cape Air Anguilla, Culebra, Mayagüez, Nevis, St. Croix, Saint Thomas, Tortola, Vieques, Virgin Gorda A
Condor Frankfurt D
Copa Airlines Panama City D
Delta Air Lines Atlanta, New York-JFK
Seasonal: Detroit, Minneapolis/St. Paul
InterCaribbean Airways Providenciales, Puerto Plata, Samaná A
JetBlue Airways Boston, Chicago O'Hare, Fort Lauderdale, Hartford, New York-JFK, Newark, Orlando, Punta Cana, Santiago de los Caballeros, Santo Domingo-Las Américas, St. Croix, Sint Maarten, St. Thomas, Tampa, Washington-National
Seasonal: Jacksonville[15]
LIAT Antigua, Dominica-Melville Hall, Sint Maarten, Tortola A
Seaborne Airlines Dominica-Melville Hall, Fort-de-France, La Romana, Nevis, Pointe-à-Pitre, Punta Cana, Santiago de los Caballeros, Santo Domingo-Las Américas, St. Croix, Saint Kitts, Saint Thomas, Sint Maarten, Tortola, Vieques, Virgin Gorda D
Southwest Airlines Atlanta, Baltimore, Fort Lauderdale, Houston-Hobby, Orlando, Tampa D
Spirit Airlines Fort Lauderdale, Orlando D
Sun Country Airlines Seasonal: Minneapolis/Saint Paul D
Sunwing Airlines Seasonal: Toronto-Pearson D
Tradewind Aviation Anguilla, Nevis, Saint Barthélemy A
United Airlines Chicago-O'Hare, Houston-Intercontinental, Newark, Washington-Dulles
Seasonal: Cleveland
US Airways Charlotte, Philadelphia D
Vieques Air Link Vieques A
WestJet Toronto-Pearson D

Air charters[edit]

Airlines Destinations Concourse
AeroMéxico Seasonal: Mexico City A
Air France Seasonal: Pointe-à-Pitre A
Falcon Air Seasonal: Cancún, Cartagena, Puerto Plata, Punta Cana, San José (CR) A
Fly BVI Ltd - Caribbean Air Charter Anegada, Tortola, Virgin Gorda A
Insel Air Seasonal: Punta Cana, San José (CR) D
Interjet Mexico City A
Miami Air Seasonal: Punta Cana D
M&N Aviation Caribbean A
North American Airlines Varies, depending on the tour operator A
Omni Air International Varies, depending on the tour operator A
Rainbow International Airlines Anguilla A
World Atlantic Airlines Seasonal: Cancún, Punta Cana A
Xtra Airways Seasonal: Cancún, Punta Cana A

Top destinations[edit]

Busiest U.S. Routes from SJU (outbound only)
(May 2013 – April 2014)
Rank City Passengers Carriers
1 New York City, NY (JFK) 632,130 American, Delta, JetBlue
2 Orlando, FL (MCO) 418,120 JetBlue, Southwest, Spirit
3 Miami, FL 379,860 American
4 Fort Lauderdale, FL 344,950 JetBlue, Southwest, Spirit
5 Atlanta, GA 319,570 Delta, Southwest
6 Philadelphia, PA 187,530 US Airways
7 Newark, NJ 152,510 JetBlue, United
8 Tampa, FL 151,750 JetBlue, Southwest
9 Charlotte, NC 136,590 US Airways
10 Boston, MA 134,090 JetBlue
Busiest international (non U.S.) routes from SJU (outbound only)
(January 2013 – December 2013)[17]
Rank Airport Passengers Carriers
1 Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic 115,538 American Eagle, JetBlue
2 Saint Thomas, US Virgin Islands 104,766 Air Sunshine, American Eagle, Cape Air, JetBlue, Seaborne
3 St. Croix, US Virgin Islands 73,971 American Eagle, Cape Air, JetBlue, Seaborne
4 Panama City, Panama 72,087 Copa Airlines
5 Tortola, British Virgin Islands 61,667 Air Sunshine, American Eagle, Cape Air, Seaborne
6 Punta Cana, Dominican Republic 59,034 American Eagle, JetBlue, charter airlines (26,073)
7 Caracas, Venezuela 37,622 American Airlines
8 Philipsburg, Sint Maarten 35,543 JetBlue
9 Santiago, Dominican Republic 18,789 American Eagle, JetBlue
10 Frankfurt, Germany 12,602 Condor

Military/cargo ramps[edit]

Military ramp[edit]

Cargo services[edit]

Airlines Destinations
ABX Air Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky, Greensboro
Air Cargo Carriers Antigua, St. Croix, St. Thomas, Tortola
Ameriflight Aguadilla, Aruba, Barbados, St. Croix, St. Kitts, St. Lucia, St. Maarten, St. Thomas
Amerijet International Miami, Port-au-Prince
Avianca Cargo Barbados, Bogotá, Miami
Contract Air Cargo Antigua
DHL operated by ABX Air Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky, Greensboro
DHL Aviation
operated by DHL Aero Expreso
Miami, Panama City
FedEx Express Memphis, Miami, Campinas
FedEx Feeder operated by Mountain Air Cargo Antigua, Pointe-a-Pitre, Ponce, St. Croix, St. Kitts, St. Maarten, St. Thomas, Tortola
M&N Aviation Depends on Operator
UPS Airlines Jacksonville, Louisville

Accidents and incidents[edit]

  • On December 31, 1972, baseball star Roberto Clemente and his companions died when their DC-7 crashed soon after takeoff from Isla Verde during a relief flight bound for Nicaragua. Neither the bodies of the victims nor the plane's wreckage were ever found.[citation needed]
  • On June 27, 1985, American Airlines Flight 633 SJU-DFW with 257 on board, aborted take-off from runway 8 after a loud rumbling sound was hear by the crew as the DC-10-10 (N129AA) approached V1. Unable to stop the aircraft on the remaining runway, the aircraft stopped nose-first in the lagoon at the end of the runway. Nose gear tire blowout suspected. No fatalities and aircraft returned to service six months later after repairs. ([18])
  • On July 29, 1986, Douglas C-53D N27PR of Borinquen Air crashed into a lagoon on approach. The aircraft was on an international cargo flight to Golden Rock Airport, Saint Kitts and Nevis when the starboard engine failed shortly after take-off and the decision was made to return to Carolina. One of the two crew was killed,[19] the other was seriously injured.[20]
  • On March 1, 1989, douglas C-49J N28PR of Borinquen Air ditched on approach following a failure of the port engine.[21] Although the landing gear was retracted, the crew did not feather the propellor. This resulted in increased drag which made flight impossible.[22] The aircraft was on an international cargo flight from Golden Rock Airport, Saint Kitts and Nevis.[21]
  • On September 17, 1989, Douglas C-47A N100DW of Tol Air Services was damaged beyond economic repair by Hurricane Hugo.[23]
  • On July 9, 1998, about 1007 Atlantic standard time, an Airbus Industrie A300B4-605R, N80057, registered to General Electric Aircraft Engines and operated by American Airlines, Inc. (AA), as flight 574, had a fire in the No. 1 engine shortly after takeoff from Luis Munoz Marin International Airport, San Juan, Puerto Rico. The airplane received minor damage. The captain, first officer, 7 flight attendants, and 215 passengers were not injured. Twenty-eight passengers reported receiving minor injuries during the post-landing emergency evacuation.[24]
  • On September 24, 1998, – Trans-Florida Airlines Convair 240-13 (N91237) had an engine problem on take-off. It attempted to return to the airport, but lost altitude and was force landed in a salt water lagoon some 2 miles short of the runway. Though the aircraft was written off, the two crew and one passenger were uninjured.[25]
  • On April 4, 2001, Douglas DC-3A N19BA of Roblex Aviation ditched in the sea after suffering a double engine failure while on a local training flight. Both crew escaped. Damage to the aircraft was described as minor.[26][27]
  • On May 9, 2004, American Eagle Flight 5401, an ATR-72, crashed in San Juan, Puerto Rico after the captain lost control of the aircraft while landing. Seventeen people were injured, but there were no fatalities.[28]
  • On Thursday, March 15, 2012, a cargo airplane operated by Jet One Express crashed near the airport, killing its two occupants. The plane, a Convair 440, went down at a lagoon after the pilot reported engine trouble, during a flight to St. Maarten.[29][30]

See also[edit]

In popular culture[edit]

  • The airport is featured in Hunter S. Thompson's novel The Rum Diary
  • In the 1982 movie Conexión Caribe, music group Los Chicos arrived at the Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport from the Dominican Republic on board an Oceanair airplane.
  • Music group Menudo recorded a music video for their song "Claridad", in 1981 at the nearby Isla Verde Beach in Piñones. A Lockheed L-1011 aircraft is seen landing at Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport in the video.
  • The airport is seen in several scenes of action film Illegal Tender, where a Puerto Rican youngster flies to the Island from the continental United States several times.


  1. ^ FAA Airport Master Record for SJU (Form 5010 PDF), effective March 15, 2007
  2. ^ Air Traffic Activity System
  3. ^ CY 2010 Passenger Boarding[dead link]
  4. ^ "Puerto Ricans protest deal with Mexican firm to run airport". EFE. February 13, 2013. Retrieved February 25, 2013. 
  5. ^ Sechler, Bob (February 26, 2013). "Puerto Rico Airport to Go Private". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved February 27, 2013. 
  6. ^ "JetBlue | Help". Retrieved April 29, 2013. 
  7. ^ "JetBlue | Investor relations | Press Releases". Retrieved April 29, 2013. 
  8. ^
  9. ^ Passenger Movement LMM International Airport 2001–2006 Puerto Rico Ports Authority
  10. ^ Passenger Movement LMM International Airport 2002–2007 Puerto Rico Ports Authority
  11. ^ Passenger Movement LMM International Airport 2008–2009 Puerto Rico Ports Authority
  12. ^ Passenger Movement LMM International Airport Jul 2009 – Jun 2011 Puerto Rico Ports Authority
  13. ^ Carga y pasajeros aéreos y marítimos Instituto de Estadísticas de Puerto Rico
  14. ^ Información Financiera ASUR
  15. ^ JetBlue ending fall, winter service to San Juan Jacksonville Business Journal
  16. ^ "San Juan, PR: Luis Munoz Marin International (SJU)". Bureau of Transportation Statistics. Retrieved May 12, 2014. 
  17. ^ "Air Carriers : T-100 Segment (All Carriers)". 2013. Retrieved July 14, 2014. 
  18. ^ NTSB/AAR-86/01/SUM
  19. ^ "N27PR Accident description". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved July 27, 2010. 
  20. ^ "NTSB Identification: MIA86MA217". National Transportation Safety Board. Retrieved July 27, 2010. 
  21. ^ a b "N28PR Accident description". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved July 27, 2010. 
  22. ^ "NTSB Identification: MIA89FA096". National Transportation Safety Board. Retrieved July 27, 2010. 
  23. ^ "N100DW Hull-loss description". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved July 27, 2010. 
  24. ^
  25. ^ Aviation Safety Network Retrieved November 27, 2006
  26. ^ "N19BA Accident description". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved June 21, 2010. 
  27. ^ "MIA01IA110". National Transportation Safety Board. Retrieved June 21, 2010. 
  28. ^ "Crash During Landing, Executive Airlines Flight 5401, Avions de Transport Regional 72–212, N438AT, San Juan, Puerto Rico, May 9, 2004" (PDF). Retrieved April 23, 2013. 
  29. ^ Crash: Jet One Express CVLP at San Juan on Mar 15, 2012, engine trouble
  30. ^  Missing or empty |title= (help)[dead link]

External links[edit]