It is the main air gateway for tourists visiting the city of Arequipa, nearby ruins, and the Colca Canyon, the world's second deepest canyon (only behind Cotahuasi Canyon, also in Arequipa). The terminal was used by 593,038 passengers in 2009, during 2010 the airport served 929,698 passengers, during 2011 the airport served 1,025,457 passengers and during 2013 served a record of 1,286,632 passengers as reported by CORPAC, Peru's national airport corporation.
The runway is paved its entire length, which includes a 440 metres (1,440 ft) displaced threshold on Runway 28. There is high terrain (volcanoes) north and east of the airport. The Arequipa VOR-DME (Ident: EQU) is located 0.72 nautical miles (1.33 km) west of the Runway 10 threshold.
The airport is currently operated by the consortium "Aeropuertos Andinos", who reshuffled and modernized the existing facilities. The installation of two boarding jetbridges and the expansion of the main hall, are among the work carried out by the consortium. The hall and the first jetbridge entered in operation on 20 September 2013.