Rafael Hernández Airport

Infobox Airport
name = Rafael Hernández Airpo

caption =
type = Public
owner = Puerto Rico Ports Authority
operators = JetBlue Airways, Spirit Airlines, Continental Airlines, Tradewinds, Fedex Express
city-served =
location = Aguadilla, Puerto Rico
elevation-f =
elevation-m = 72
website = [http://www.flytoaguadillapr.com www.flytoaguadillapr.com]
r1-number = 8/26
r1-length-f = 11,702
r1-length-m = 3,567
r1-surface = Asphalt/Concrete
stat-year = 2006
stat1-header = Aircraft operations
stat1-data = 37,418
stat2-header = Based aircraft
stat2-data = 96
footnotes = Source: Federal Aviation AdministrationFAA-airport|ID=BQN|use=PU|own=PU|site=53004.*A, retrieved 2007-03-15]

:"This article is about an airport located in Aguadilla, Puerto Rico. For other uses of the name Rafael Hernández, see Rafael Hernández (disambiguation)."

Rafael Hernández Airport Airport codes|BQN|TJBQ|BQN(*coord|18.4949|-67.1294|region:PR_type:airport_Source:wikimapia) is a small airport located in Aguadilla, Puerto Rico and is named after the Puerto Rican composer Rafael Hernández Marín.


The airport has been long associated with the adjacent military base, Ramey Air Force Base. It used to receive domestic commercial flights by Prinair as well as service from JFK International Airport in New York City with Capitol Air [http://www.departedflights.com/CL120182.html] , and 707 passenger flights from Miami with Southeast Airlines [http://www.crazedfanboy.com/npcr/laflapcr219.html] . It is also noted for being the place that large clothing company Wrangler uses to land their planes filled with company-related cargo.

In 1988, Rafael Hernández Airport started to surface as an alternative to Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport, when Carnival Air Lines and ATA began jet services there. In the 1990s, American Airlines joined those two airlines. Later on, Pan Am (2) and TWA also came.

In the early 1990s Carnival Air Lines operated the first intra-Puerto Rican jet service from the airport to Ponce, with Boeing 727's and Airbus A300's.

Prinair suffered various accidents and ceased operations.

In 2000, North American Airlines re-open passenger service with a non-stop flight to New York-JFK 3 times a week. Later on Continental Airlines joined North American with a daily flight to their hub in Newark. The evident success of service from the Aguadilla, caught the attention of Boston-Maine Airways that opened a route to Orlando-Sanford and Santo Domingo.

In 2004, the Puerto Rico Ports Authority announced that it would be remodeling and expanding BQN to accommodate more flights and passengers. An expansion of the terminal building and a new parking lot were among the projects in mind. The expansion was inaugurated on July 12, 2005.

In 2005, continuous passenger traffic growth cought the attention of Jet Blue Airways, which open a daily flight to their hub in New York. Soon after the arrival of Jet Blue to the airport, North American ceased operations at the airport. Soon after, Jet Blue annonced that it will be adding a second daily flight to New York-JFK.

In December, 2006, thousands of people gather at the airport to welcome Carlos "El Indio" Quintana.

In 2006, Delta Connection began regional jet service to Atlanta, Georgia 5 times a week. The service ended on January 20, 2007 as part of Delta's restructuring plan. Later on 2007 JetBlue Airways began service to Orlando.

In the summer of 2007 Spirit Airlines announced plans to begin service from the airport to their hub in Ft. Lauderdale, FL with a flight 5 times a week during the summer. The success of the service resulted in Spirit offering 2 daily flights. Service frequency was lowered to a flight 5 times a week instead of the expected end of service at the end of the summer.

On July 5, 2007, the newly renovated control tower directed its first aircraft.

During the low season of 2007 there were 59 flights per week, 1 daily flight to New York, 1 to Newark and Orlando and a flight 5 times per week to Ft. Lauderdale.

Do to the success of service, Spirit Airlines has increased to daily their frequency to/from Ft. Lauderdale. In addition, Spirit added a daily non-stop service to Orlando on February. JetBlue will also continue to have 2 daily flights to New York-JFK after the Holiday Season. Also, starting May 1, JetBlue will be adding a second daily flight to/from Orlando.

On June 2, 2008, Pan Am World Airways Dominicana restore service between the Airport and Santo Domingo-Las Americas as well as to Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic. These are two of the routes that is evidently under-served do to high demand and proximity of Aguadilla to the neighboring island. Another popular routes that currently lack service from the city include Chicago, Illinois, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Boston, Massachusetts, Hartford, Connecticut, and Baltimore, Maryland.

On May 24, 2008, local leaders gather at the airport to meet democratic presidential candidate Hillary R. Clinton.

The airport is also used by some local flight schools for cross country flights. For example, Caribbean Flight Training Center.

There are rumors that a new terminal may be built. This new terminal is likely to have jetways and moderns facilities.

The capacity of the airport and its role as the main gateway to Porta del Sol, the airport is considered extremely underserve something that has caused indignation in the region, which accounts for one third of the Puerto Rico's total population, and the mayor of the city to ask for the airport to be transfer to the city in a number of occasions.


This table shows the continuous growth of passenger traffic at the airport since 2002:

For Fiscal Year 2006 the airport transported 402,142 passengers, nearly a 300% increase in four years. With only 84 flights per week during the high seasons (Summer & Winter) and 59 flights per week the rest of the year, Hernandez Airport has an Average Load Factor of 80%.

Recent News

*Pan Am World Airways Dominicana: Non-Stop service from Santiago, DR begins on 2008

Act 67

Act 67 of May 22, 2008 establishes incentives for charter airlines offering service to the airport. It guarantees profit of up to 10%, 50% discount on landing fees, and matching dollar per dollar base on volume proyections/available seats.

To benefit from the act Charter Airlines must carry 75% of the passengers on board with a 3+ nights reservation in a hotel in the region of 130 or less rooms.

Ahrens Airborne

Ahrens Aircraft, due to set up operations at Punta Borinquen in Aguadilla to manufacture an aircraft known as the AR 404, has finally gotten financing and is ready to get under way.

NASA Aviation Safety Program

Hernandez Airport will host the initial flights of the recently modified S-3 Viking. The Viking was modified to become state-of-the-art icing research aircraft. This flights will seek to characterize the icing conditions that exist in the tropical convective layer of the atmosphere.


Rafael Hernández Airport covers an area of convert|1600|acre|ha|0|lk=on which host the longest runway in the Caribbean.

* Runway 08/26: 11,702 x 200 ft. (3,567 x 61 m), Surface: Asphalt
** With Blast Pads and Shoulders: 13,440 X 300 ft. (4,097 X 91 m)

The airport constitutes a passenger terminal with an international side capable of handling flights of over 200 passengers. It also hosts a Cargo terminal, a FedEx Terminal, a Western Jet Center Executive Terminal,a general aviation terminal, a Coast Guard terminal (Air Station Borinquen), along with five aircraft service hangars.

Passenger Airlines and Destinations

*Continental Airlines (Newark)
*JetBlue Airways (New York-JFK, Orlando)
*Pan Am World Airways Dominicana (Punta Cana, Santiago [begins 2008] , Santo Domingo-Las Americas)
*Spirit Airlines (Fort Lauderdale)

Former Airlines and Destinations

*American (Miami, New York-JFK)
*ATA (Chicago)
*Capitol Air (New York-JFK)
*Carnival Airlines (Miami, Ponce)
**Delta Connection operated by Atlantic Southeast Airlines (Atlanta)
*Kiwi (Newark, Orlando)
*North American Airlines (New York-JFK)
*Pan Am (2) (Orlando-Sanford, Santiago (DR), Santo Domingo-Las Americas)
*Southeast Airlines (New York-JFK)
*TWA (Boston, Miami, Newark)


*Air Tahoma (Port of Spain)
*Ameriflight (Grenada, Providenciales, San Juan, Santiago (DR), St. Croix, St. Thomas, St. Lucia)
*CaribEx Worldwide/CaribEx International Airlines (Daily Flights to Santo Domingo, and on demand flights to the Caribbean and the US)
**operated by Skyway Enterprises (Antigua, Miami, Providenciales, San Juan, Santiago (DR), Santo Domingo, St. Kitts, St. Lucia, St. Maarten)
*Contract Air Cargo (Santiago (DR), Santo Domingo)
*Corporate Air (Aruba, Barbados, Curaçao, Port of Spain, Santiago(DR), St. Lucia)
*FedEx Express (Memphis)
**operated by Mountain Air Cargo (Santiago (DR), Santo Domingo)
*Merlin Ventures Ltd (Barbados, Miami)
*Merlin Express (Providenciales, Santiago (DR))
*Mountain Air Cargo (Providenciales, Santiago (DR), Santo Domingo)
*Roblex Aviation [Pending Government Approval]
*Tradewinds Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth, Greensboro, Hartford, Indianapolis)

Ground Transportation

Car Rentals

"In Terminal"
* [http://www.lmcarrental.com/locations.php L & M]
*Thrifty"Shuttle Service"
*U-Save"Other Nearby"
*Popular Leasing

Road Access

The airport can be accessed via two highways from SR-2.
*Arecibo and Points East including Isabela and Camuy are connected to the airport via SR-110.

*Mayagüez and Points south including downtown Aguadilla, Rincon, and Cabo Rojo are connected to the airport via SR-107.


External links

* [http://www.flytoaguadillapr.com Official page]


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