Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport
Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport in Carolina, Puerto Rico, is the island's main international gateway, and its main connection to the mainland United States. Intra-island flights fly between Carolina and various local points of interest, including Ponce and Vieques. Its IATA airport code is SJU, and its ICAO airport code is TJSJ. It is a common mistake to say that the location of the airport is in San Juan, the capital of the island, though it is nearby.
Located in the area known as Isla Verde, the airport was, for many decades, known as Isla Verde International Airport, until 1985, when then Governor Rafael Hernández Colón decided to name it after Luis Muñoz Marín, Puerto Rico's first democratically elected governor.
Luis Muñoz Marín International has four terminals, designated A, B, C and D.
The airport served as a Caribbean hub for Pan Am, Trans-Caribbean , Eastern Airlines, and a short lived "focus city" for TWA. It was also the hub of Puerto Rico's international airline, Prinair, from the airline's start in 1966 to 1984, when Prinair went bankrupt. In 1986, American Airlines (along with American Eagle) established a hub in the airport to compete with Eastern Airlines.
Terminal A was inaugurated on May 20, 2004, with the inaugural flight being one from London by Virgin Atlantic. Delta Airlines established a hub in the terminal, with flights to be added to San Diego, California, Santo Domingo and Punta Cana, Dominican Republic as well as an already existing flight to New York being moved there and additional cities expected to be added in the future. Aerolineas Argentinas announced that they plan to use the new terminal as a hub for flights to central america and other points of the Caribbean, and Lan Chile and Lan Peru are expected to begin flying to the terminal soon too. It is rumored that Aeromexico has plans to eventually use this terminal as well, and that Emirates wants to use the terminal too, which would make Emirates the first Arabian airline in Puerto Rican history to serve the island.
Various celebrities have been welcomed to Puerto Rico at this airport, including Menudo in 1981, after the group came back from touring Mexico; the boxer Félix Trinidad in 1999, after he defeated Oscar De La Hoya, and Pope John Paul II in 1984. Miss Universe 2003, Amelia Vega, held a press conference at the airport after her arrival on October of that year.
On February 15, 1970, a Dominicana de Aviacion DC-9 that was flying to Isla Verde crashed shortly after takeoff from Las Americas International Airport in Punta Caucedo , Dominican Republic, near Santo Domingo, killing everyone on board, including Puerto Rico's national women's volleyball team and Dominican Carlos Cruz, a former world boxing champion who was going to San Juan for a rematch with Carlos Ortiz. See: Dominicana DC-9 air disaster
On December 31 of that same year, baseball star Roberto Clemente and his companions died when their DC-3 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.
Airlines currently serving Luis Muñoz Marín International:
- Aerolíneas Argentinas
- Air ALM
- Air Atlanta Icelandic
- Air Culebra
- Air Santo Domingo
- Air St. Thomas
- Air Sunshine
- American Airlines
- Cape Air dba Continental Connection
- Caribbean Sun
- Condor Airlines
- Continental Airlines
- Delta Airlines
- Executive Air dba American Eagle
- Iberia Airlines
- Isla Nena
- jetBlue Airways
- Northwest Airlines
- Pan Am
- San Juan Aviation
- Spirit Airlines
- US Airways
- United Airlines
- Vieques Air Link
- Virgin Atlantic Airways
Photo copyrighted by, and courtesy of, Mr. Joe Pries and his website, auctiontransportation.com
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