Piarco International Airport

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Piarco International Airport
PiarcoPan.bmp.jpg
Summary
Airport typePublic
Owner Government of Trinidad and Tobago
Operator Airports Authority of Trinidad and Tobago
Serves Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago
Location Piarco, Tunapuna–Piarco, Trinidad and Tobago
Opened8 January 1931;90 years ago (1931-01-08)
Hub for
Elevation  AMSL 58 ft / 18 m
Coordinates 10°35′43″N061°20′14″W / 10.59528°N 61.33722°W / 10.59528; -61.33722 Coordinates: 10°35′43″N061°20′14″W / 10.59528°N 61.33722°W / 10.59528; -61.33722
Website www.tntairports.com/
Map
Trinidad and Tobago adm location map.svg
Airplane silhouette.svg
POS
Location in Trinidad and Tobago
Runways
Direction LengthSurface
ftm
10/2810,5003,200 Asphalt
Statistics (2010 [3] )
International Passengers1,621,584
Domestic Passengers629,560
In-transit Passengers253,325
Total passengers2,504,469
Sources: Aerodrome charts [4] DAFIF [5]

Piarco International Airport( IATA : POS, ICAO : TTPP) is an international airport serving the island of Trinidad and is one of two international airports in Trinidad and Tobago. The airport is located 30 km (19 mi) east of Downtown Port of Spain, located in the adjacent town of Piarco. It is the seventh busiest airport in the Caribbean in terms of passengers served [6] and third busiest in the English-speaking Caribbean, after Sangster International Airport and Lynden Pindling International Airport. The airport is also the primary hub and operating base for the country's national airline, as well as the Caribbean's largest airline, Caribbean Airlines.

Contents

The international airport acts as a major central hub for the state-owned regional airline, Caribbean Airlines, the largest in the Caribbean, which is owned by the Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.

Piarco International Airport has direct scheduled service to destinations in the United States, Canada, Central America, South America and Europe. It is also a significant transit hub for the Southern Caribbean and serves as the primary connection point for many passengers travelling from Guyana.

History

The Piarco Airport opened on 8 January 1931, to serve Venezuela's Compagnie Generale Aeropostale. Before this, the Queen's Park Savannah, the Mucarapo Field, and the Cocorite Docks (for flying boats) were used as airstrips to serve the island.

In World War II the original airfield was used to house the Royal Navy Observer School HMS Goshawk. From 1942 it was also used by both the United States Army Air Forces Sixth Air Force and United States Navy air squadrons. The airport was used both as a transport airfield and also for antisubmarine patrol flights over the south Caribbean. It was returned to civil control after the war.

In World War II the United States Army Air Forces Sixth Air Force stationed the following units at the airport performing antisubmarine patrols:

Modern day

A major expansion of the airport, which included the construction of a new terminal building, and high-speed taxiways, was completed in 2001. The old airport building is currently used for cargo handling. Piarco International Airport is also the primary hub and operating base of Caribbean Airlines and was also the primary hub and operating base of the now defunct BWIA West Indies Airways and Air Caribbean. Briko Air Services And Aerial World Services operate a flight school at the airport.

In 2006 the Airports Authority of Trinidad And Tobago commissioned a study for land use planning and urban development planning. All-Inclusive Project Development Services Limited was commissioned to conduct the study. The study was completed in October 2007 and approved by the Board. In 2011, work on the infrastructure of the North Aviation Business Park began. It is completed in 2013.

In December 2019, the European Union gave a loan of 4 million euros for construction of a solar park at the airport with an annual generation capacity of 1,443,830 kWh. The project is slated to begin construction in Q1 2020.

In 2019, Piarco International Airport was named best airport in the Caribbean and 3rd best in the Caribbean and Latin American Regions.

Facilities

Apron view StepUp.jpg
Apron view
Main atrium Piarco International Airport Atrium.jpg
Main atrium
Check-in area Piarco Airport checkinterminal2016.jpg
Check-in area

At Piarco International Airport there are two high-speed taxiways and three connector taxiways (ICAO Code F for new large aircraft). This technologically state of the art airport has 82 ticket counter positions that operate under SITA's fibre-optic C.U.T.E. system which exceeds the recommended standards of ICAO and IATA. It also has a Flight Information Display System, which serves all airport users and a Baggage Information Display System.

The terminal is a fully air-conditioned, smoke-free building, equipped to handle peak-hour passenger traffic of 1,500 processing passengers through a fully computerised immigration system. The Customs Hall has four baggage/cargo carousels.

An administrative/operations building for the Trinidad and Tobago Air Guard is being constructed at the Piarco Air Base. Also, a military airfield will be constructed near the air base.

The control tower at the old terminal building is currently used for air traffic control. The tower at the new terminal building is used for ramp control and runway movement control. A new nine-story control tower was opened in 2011.

Piarco International Airport apron POS - Port of Spain - 2012 (2).jpg
Piarco International Airport apron

The new North Terminal consists of 35,964 m2 (387,110 sq ft) of building with 14 second-level aircraft gates for international flights and 2 ground-level domestic gates. The overall layout of the building consists of three main elements: a landside core structure, a single-level duty-free shopping mall, and a 2-level 'Y' shaped concourse. 100-foot (30 m) cathedral ceilings and glass walls provide passengers and other visitors to the North Terminal with a sense of open space and magnificent views of the Piarco savannah and the nearby Northern Range mountains. The public atrium has the largest glass dome in the Caribbean.

The airport is also large enough to accommodate most international widebody airliners including the Boeing 747, Airbus A330-300, Boeing 777, Boeing 767 and the Airbus A340. Piarco International is capable of medium-sized aircraft including the Boeing 737, Boeing 757, Airbus A320, Embraer 190 as well as small aircraft such as the DeHavilland Dash 8, ATR 72 and other such turboprop aircraft. The airport layout consists of one main terminal building which includes three concourses. These concourses are not strictly identified as their name depicts but are divided into the following areas; Gates 1–7, Gates 8–14, and gates 8-14 specifically serve Caribbean Airlines and the Tobago concourse which serves flights to Tobago.

The Air Guard of Trinidad and Tobago is based at Piarco International Airport. [7] During the existence of BWIA West Indies, its head office was on the airport property. [8]

The disused south terminal has been renovated into a VIP terminal for the Summit of The Americas. The North terminal has also received additional remote parking stands. In November 2009, upgrades on the south terminal were completed and the area now serves as a private/executive jet facility for high-end travellers. [9]

The Airport underwent expansion and renovation works in preparation for the Commonwealth Heads of Government summit in November 2009. These improvements included:

Terminals

Piarco International Airport has two terminals. The south terminal was once the passenger terminal for the airport but has been renovated to serve as an executive terminal. It serves cargo flights, general aviation and helicopter flights. It has fourteen parking positions as well as light aircraft parking. [10] In addition it has the Airports Administration Centre, the head office of the Airports Authority of Trinidad and Tobago. [11] The North terminal is the main passenger terminal. It handles all the commercial passenger airline traffic. The north terminal has twenty-nine parking positions.

Caribbean Airlines jet at POS Airport POS - Port of Spain - 2012 (4).jpg
Caribbean Airlines jet at POS Airport

In addition to passenger airlines, the airport also handles cargo traffic, general aviation, military and helicopter flights to the many oil rigs present offshore.

Inside POS boarding area POS - Port of Spain - 2012 (5).jpg
Inside POS boarding area

Airlines and destinations

Passenger

AirlinesDestinations
Air Canada Toronto–Pearson
American Airlines Miami
British Airways London–Gatwick, St. Lucia–Hewanorra
Caribbean Airlines Antigua, Barbados, Caracas, Curaçao, Fort Lauderdale, Georgetown–Cheddi Jagan, Grenada, Havana, Kingston–Norman Manley, Miami, Nassau, New York–JFK, Orlando, Paramaribo, St. Lucia–Vigie, St. Maarten, St. Vincent–Argyle, Tobago, Toronto–Pearson
Copa Airlines Panama City–Tocumen
JetBlue Fort Lauderdale, New York–JFK
KLM Seasonal: Amsterdam (resumes 1 November, 2021) [12]
Surinam Airways Curaçao, Paramaribo
United Airlines Houston–Intercontinental, Newark
WestJet Toronto–Pearson

Cargo

AirlinesDestinations
Amerijet International Barbados, Barcelona (VE), Georgetown–Cheddi Jagan, Maracaibo, Miami, Santiago de los Caballeros, Santo Domingo–Las Américas
Caribbean Airlines Cargo Barbados, Georgetown–Cheddi Jagan, Miami
DHL Aviation Barbados, Caracas

Accidents and incidents

Awards

See also

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References

  1. Weather at the Piarco Airport, WeatherCast UK
  2. Station Information Listing, NOAA
  3. "Airports Authority Of Trinidad And Tobago – Piarco". Archived from the original on 27 June 2015. Retrieved 6 June 2015.
  4. Trinidad and Tobago charts Archived 8 July 2012 at archive.today
  5. "World Aero Data: PIARCO – TTPP" . Retrieved 6 June 2015.
  6. List of the busiest airports in the Caribbean
  7. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 5 October 2013. Retrieved 3 October 2013.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  8. "World Airline Directory." Flight International. 23 March 1999. 66. Retrieved on 30 September 2009. "Administration Building, Golden Grove Road, Piarco International Airport, PO Box 604, Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago"
  9. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 23 January 2010. Retrieved 21 November 2009.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link), Trinidad Express.
  10. "Airports Authority Of Trinidad And Tobago – Piarco". Archived from the original on 27 June 2015. Retrieved 6 June 2015.
  11. "Contact Us Archived 20 August 2010 at the Wayback Machine ." Airports Authority of Trinidad and Tobago. Retrieved on 12 January 2011. "Airports Authority of Trinidad and Tobago Airports Administration Centre Piarco International Airport South Terminal Golden Grove Road, Piarco."
  12. "KLM expands intercontinental network this winter, adding six new destinations". klm.com. Retrieved 8 June 2021.
  13. Letter: Accident at Piarco Airport in 1963, Caribbean Net News
  14. Venezuelan jetliner hijackers demand military weapons, Associated Press (Archives).
  15. Ap (1 August 1984). "Commandos Kill Hijackers in Freeing Jet in Curacao". The New York Times. ISSN   0362-4331 . Retrieved 2 September 2019.
  16. American Killed When He Jumps Into Jet's Engine, Los Angeles Times.(subscription required)
  17. Tobago Express makes crash landing in Trinidad Archived 16 June 2008 at the Wayback Machine , Caribbean Net News.
  18. American Airline problem forces closure of Trinidad runway [ permanent dead link ], Jamaica Observer.
  19. Staff writer (2006). "The Caribbean's Leading Airport 2006". World Travel Awards. Retrieved 16 December 2011.

PD-icon.svg This article incorporates  public domain material from the Air Force Historical Research Agency website http://www.afhra.af.mil/ .