Puerto Barrios Airport
|Puerto Barrios Airport|
|IATA: PBR – ICAO: MGPB|
|Operator||Dirección General de Aeronáutica Civil|
|Elevation AMSL||33 ft / 10 m|
Puerto Barrios Airport (IATA: PBR, ICAO: MGPB) (Spanish: Aeropuerto de Puerto Barrios or formerly Base Aérea de Izabal) serves the city of Puerto Barrios, the port of Santo Tomás de Castilla and the Guatemalan Caribbean. It is operated and administrated by DGAC - Dirección General de Aeronáutica Civil de Guatemala.
The airport is currently undergoing refurbishment, as part of a nationwide airport rehabilitation program. In the 1920s and 30s Puerto Barrios was a flyboat destination only; a first concrete runway was built by the United States Government during World War II for strategical reasons. It was later used by the Guatemalan Air Force, known under the name "Base Aérea de Izabal". In 2002 the airport was equipped with VOR/DME with the help of COCESNA, the Central American Corporation for Air Navigation. Being located near the port of Santo Tomás de Castilla, today the airport is of special interest for cruise ship operators, who carry passengers to important attractions throughout the country on chartered flights. Puerto Barrios always was a logistics centre, what is underlined in the city seal, which depicts a ship, a train, an airplane and a truck.
Aviation in Puerto Barrios
- In 1925 SCADTA of Colombia made a historical journey with two Dornier Wal flyboats from Barranquilla to Palm Beach stopping in Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Puerto San José, Amatitlán, Puerto Barrios, Cozumel, Havana and Miami.
- In 1928 a Curtiss Falcon supported by the Colombian government, called "Ricaurte" flew from New York to Bogotá, stopping in Jacksonville, Havanna, Puerto Barrios, Puerto Cabezas, Colón, Cartagena and Barranquilla. The plane suffered a mechanical failure in PBR, which made the plane rest here for several days.
- In the 1930s, Pan American World Airways had scheduled flights from Miami to San Salvador stopping in Havanna, Cozumel, Mérida, Belize and Puerto Barrios, using Sikorsky 40 flyboats.
After World War II
- In the 1950s and 60s, Aviateca, the former national airline, connected PBR with other destinations in Guatemala.
- Inter Regional, a regional subsidiary of Grupo TACA in Guatemala, offered scheduled flights to Guatemala City from 1999, using Cessna Grand Caravan aircraft. There were up to two daily flights (TA 1911, TA 1920, 1923). Two times a week there was a scheduled stop at Rio Dulce airstrip on the incoming flight. Flying time to Guatemala City was scheduled with 1 hour, 05 minutes. There were also flights from Mundo Maya International Airport to San Pedro Sula stopping in PBR. All scheduled flights were suspended in 2002 due to lack of demand.
- 24 May 1956: A Douglas C-47 on a scheduled Aviateca flight crashed at Panzós after leaving PBR. 30 occupants were killed.
- 15 November 1960: A Beechcraft AT-11 of the Guatemalan Air Force made a belly landing after a mechanical failure on a night flight.
- 28 April 2007: A Cessna 210 (TG-MAP) crashes on a private flight between Puerto Barrios and San Pedro Sula, killing the pilot.
- Dirección General de Aeronáutica Civil
- cockpit video of a landing at PBR
- report of an air traffic contoller at PBR in the 1960s