La Aurora International Airport

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La Aurora International Airport

Aeropuerto Internacional La Aurora
Airplanes - La Aurora International Airport.jpg
Airport typeMilitary/Public
OwnerMinisterio de Comunicaciones, Infraestructura y Vivienda
OperatorDirección General de Aeronáutica Civil
ServesGuatemala City, Guatemala
Hub for
Elevation AMSL1,509 m / 4,951 ft
Coordinates14°34′54″N 090°31′36″W / 14.58167°N 90.52667°W / 14.58167; -90.52667Coordinates: 14°34′54″N 090°31′36″W / 14.58167°N 90.52667°W / 14.58167; -90.52667
MGGT is located in Guatemala Department
MGGT is located in Guatemala
Location in Guatemala
Direction Length Surface
m ft
02/20 2,987 9,800 Asphalt
Statistics (2021)
Total Passengers2,127,335
Source: Guatemalan AIP[1]

La Aurora International Airport (Spanish: Aeropuerto Internacional La Aurora, IATA: GUA, ICAO: MGGT) serves Guatemala City, Guatemala. It is located 6.4 km (4.0 mi)[1] south of Guatemala City's center and 25 km (16 mi) from Antigua Guatemala. It is administered by the Dirección General de Aeronáutica Civil.

La Aurora International Airport is the primary airport of Guatemala. The airport went through a massive modernization and expansion. The airport is now able to accept a greater number of flights and larger aircraft. It provides high standard installations to the traveler. The old terminal has been renovated in accordance with its original design. It was partly demolished and was expanded with a new glass-designed concourse and is now able to accommodate up to twenty-two aircraft.[citation needed] The greater project was completed by December 2008. The airport currently has two terminals: Central and North.

La Aurora International Airport is the fourth busiest airport in Central America in terms of passenger traffic, surpassed by Tocumen International Airport in Panamá, Juan Santamaría International Airport in Costa Rica, and Monseñor Óscar Arnulfo Romero International Airport in El Salvador. In June 2007 the airport was certified as Category I but lost it in August 2018.


La Aurora is being renovated, along with other airports in Guatemala, such as Mundo Maya International Airport, Quetzaltenango Airport, Puerto Barrios Airport, and San José Airport.

In July 2007, seven new gates were opened. These gates are equipped with jetway bridges and modern conveniences, also a new parking garage was also built and it can handle up to 500 vehicles.

There are brand new ticket counters. 2007 brought significant gate expansion (11 new gates were available starting December 2007). The airport now has two concourses. The northern concourse has 12 traditional gates and 3 remote gates. The central concourse, is used for larger aircraft as it provides 4–6 gates depending on the size of the aircraft.

The airport's runway currently measures 2,987 m × 60 m (9,800 ft × 197 ft).[1] There have been efforts in the past to expand the runway but this has not yet been possible since there's a commercial area to the north of the runway and a small ravine near the southern side of the runway. Still, the renovation of the runway is in progress. The first phase consists in repaving the runway as well modernizing the illumination system. Future plans to expand the taxiway repave and move all the cargo facilities to San José Airport in Escuintla and Puerto Barrios Airport in Izabal. This will make room for more passenger terminal area and improved taxiways. Finally, the airport administration building is being refurbished and a regional terminal is being built.

La Aurora International Airport has 2 Exclusive VIP Lounges. Los Añejos Business Lounge, and Copa Club, a VIP Lounge for passengers travelling on Copa Airlines and United Airlines[2]

Cargo operations are handled beside the passenger terminal building by COMBEX-IM or in the DHL hangars.

The head office of the Dirección General de Aeronáutica Civil is located in the airport Zone 13.[3][4]

History of La Aurora[edit]

Original airport building, circa. 1940.

During World War II, the airport was used by the United States Army Air Forces Sixth Air Force defending the Central American coastline against Axis powers submarines. The first American personnel began arriving in December 1941; the airfield was improved and expanded by the United States' 805th Engineer Aviation Battalion in early 1942. During its period of American use, the military facilities of the airport were known as Guatemala City Air Base. Flying units assigned to the airport were:

Detachments from the airfield operated intermittently from San Jose Airport, San José, Costa Rica, and Puerto San José, Guatemala from 1942 though 1944. After the war ended, a small number of Americans remained at the airport performing training duties with the Guatemalan Air Force and also operating a weather station (MATS 6th Weather Squadron). United States personnel were restricted to base during the Guatemalan revolution following the death of Colonel Francisco Xavier Arana on 18 July 1949. Some artillery shells landed on the base during the violence. The facility was closed on 28 July 1949 and turned over to Guatemalan authorities.

In October 2004, Spanish carrier Iberia introduced nonstop service to Madrid aboard Airbus A340s. The new route resulted from the airline's decision to shut down its Miami hub, through which flights to Guatemala City used to operate.[5][6]

The airport was closed for six months in 2020, from March to September, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.[7]

Airlines and destinations[edit]


Check-in counters at the airport.
Main corridor at the airport.
Waiting room at the airport.
Main corridor at the airport.
Aeromar Flores
Aeroméxico Mexico City
American Airlines Chicago–O'Hare, Dallas/Fort Worth, Miami
ARM Aviación Flores, Huehuetenango
Charter: Copán, Palenque, Roatan
Avianca Bogotá, Los Angeles, Miami, New York–JFK, San José (CR), San Salvador, Tegucigalpa/Comayagua, Washington–Dulles
CM Airlines San Pedro Sula
Copa Airlines Managua, Panama City, San José (CR)
Delta Air Lines Atlanta, Los Angeles
Frontier Airlines Miami
Iberia Madrid
JetBlue New York–JFK
Spirit Airlines Fort Lauderdale, Houston–Intercontinental, Miami, Orlando
Sunwing Airlines Seasonal Charter: Montréal–Trudeau
Transportes Aereos Guatemaltecos Belize City, Cancún, Flores, Mérida,[8] Oaxaca,[9] Puerto Barrios, San Pedro Sula, San Salvador, Tapachula, Tuxtla Gutiérrez[10]
United Airlines Chicago–O'Hare, Houston–Intercontinental, Los Angeles, Newark, Washington–Dulles
Volaris Cancún
Volaris Costa Rica Los Angeles, Mexico City, San José (CR), San Salvador
Volaris El Salvador San Pedro Sula


21 Air San José (CR)
Atlas Air Miami
AeroUnion Miami, Los Angeles
Aerosucre Bogotá
Avianca Cargo Bogotá
Cargolux Luxembourg
DHL Aviation Guadalajara, Huatulco, Mexico City, Miami, Panama City, San José (CR), San Pedro Sula, San Salvador, Tegucigalpa
FedEx Express Memphis
KLM Cargo Amsterdam, Bogotá
LATAM Cargo Chile Miami
LATAM Cargo Colombia Miami
Martinair Miami
Mas Air Mexico City
UPS Airlines Atlanta, Miami



La Aurora Airport Passengers. See source Wikidata query.

Accidents and incidents[edit]

  • On 1 March 1980, a Douglas C-47 of the Fuerza Aérea Guatemalteca was damaged beyond repair near La Aurora.[11]
  • On 6 April 1993, TACA Airlines Flight 510, a Boeing 767, ran off the end of Runway 19 (now Runway 20) after landing. A passenger on board filmed the landing, which showed a runway with standing water from a tropical storm which had just passed over. A great amount of runway had passed under the plane before touchdown and the pilot forced the landing. In spite of thrust reversers used, the plane could not slow down in time, began to shudder from excessive wheel-braking, the captain made a last second decision to steer the airplane to the left of the runway (avoiding a big ditch at the end of the runway), went down an embankment and stopped into some structures. Surprisingly, there were no fatalities and the only injured people were 3 non-passengers. The aircraft was written off.[12]
  • On 28 April 1995, Faucett Flight 705, a Douglas DC-8 leased by Millon Air, overshot the runway and crashed into several houses. All three crew members onboard survived, but 6 people on the ground were killed.[13]
  • On 21 December 1999, Cubana de Aviación Flight 1216, a McDonnell Douglas DC-10-30 (leased to Cubana by AOM French Airlines) overshot runway 19 during landing and crashed into a residential area. 16 of the 314 people on board were killed, along with two people on the ground.[14]
  • On 4 June 2018, the airport had to close due to the 2018 Volcán de Fuego eruption.


Public Domain This article incorporates public domain material from the Air Force Historical Research Agency website

  1. ^ a b c MGGT – LA AURORA Internacional
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 28 September 2011. Retrieved 4 October 2011.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ "ADDRESSES OF ACCIDENT INVESTIGATION AUTHORITIES As of March 2010 Archived 3 September 2011 at the Wayback Machine." Air Accident Investigation Bureau. Retrieved on 22 January 2012. "GUATEMALA Dirección General de Aeronáutica Civil Aeropuerto Internacional "La Aurora" Zona 13 Guatemala, Centro América"
  4. ^ "A 01/11 31 ENE Archived 9 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine." Dirección General de Aeronáutica Civil. Retrieved on 22 January 2012. "Aeropuerto Internacional La Aurora 9 Av. 14–75 Zona 13 C.P. 1013"
  5. ^ "Española Iberia reanuda sus vuelos directos a Guatemala". La Nación (in Spanish). ACAN-EFE. 3 October 2004. Archived from the original on 22 November 2021. Retrieved 25 November 2021.
  6. ^ Kiesnoski, Kenneth (12 January 2004). "Iberia changes include boost in U.S. service". Travel Weekly. Retrieved 25 November 2021.
  7. ^ "Guatemala cumple seis meses de pandemia con la cifra más alta de muertes del istmo". EFE. Retrieved 13 September 2020.
  8. ^ "TAG Airlines will start flights between Mérida and Guatemala in April". Milenio (in Spanish). March 2022. Retrieved 10 March 2022.
  9. ^ "Murat announces 2 new direct flights from Chicago to Huatulco and from Oaxaca to Guatemala". El Universal (in Spanish). November 2021. Retrieved 8 December 2021.
  10. ^ "TAG Airlines announces a new route, Tuxtla - Guatemala" (Web) (in Spanish). El Periódico. 22 March 2022. Retrieved 22 March 2022.
  11. ^ "Accident description". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 24 July 2010.
  12. ^ Ranter, Harro. "ASN Aircraft accident Boeing 767-2S1ER N767TA Guatemala City-La Aurora Airport (GUA)". Retrieved 12 February 2020.
  13. ^ Ranter, Harro. "ASN Aircraft accident Douglas DC-8-54F N43UA Guatemala City-La Aurora Airport (GUA)". Retrieved 12 February 2020.
  14. ^ Ranter, Harro. "ASN Aircraft accident McDonnell Douglas DC-10-30 F-GTDI Guatemala City-La Aurora Airport (GUA)". Retrieved 12 February 2020.

External links[edit]