Fernando Luis Ribas Dominicci Airport
name = Fernando Luis Ribas Dominicci Airport
nativename = Isla Grande Airport "Aeropuerto Isla Grande"
IATA = SIG
ICAO = TJIG
FAA = SIG
type = Public
owner = Puerto Rico Ports Authority
San Juan, Puerto Rico
elevation-f = 10
elevation-m = 3
r1-number = 9/27
r1-length-f = 5,317
r1-length-m = 1,621
stat-year = 1998
stat1-header = Aircraft operations
stat1-data = 72,700
stat2-header = Based aircraft
stat2-data = 299
footnotes = Source:
Federal Aviation AdministrationFAA-airport|ID=SIG|use=PU|own=PU|site=53180.*A, retrieved 2007-03-15]
Fernando Luis Ribas Dominicci Airport airport codes|SIG|TJIG|SIG, also commonly known as Isla Grande Airport, is a small
airportin San Juan, about 5 minutes by air and 15 minutes by car from Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport. It is adjacent to the new Puerto Rico Convention Center, the San Juan bay, and the Pan American Cruise Ship Terminal, and overlooks Cataño.
While Isla Grande's main operation is with
general aviation, it is still a commercial airport, dealing with some domestic commercial flights.
Isla Grande was
Puerto Rico's main international airport until 1954, when Luis Muñoz Marín International Airportwas built. Until that year, international airlines such as Lufthansa, Iberia Airlines, Pan Am and other majors flew to Isla Grande. However, since Isla Grande airport was not built to accept jets, all international airlines then moved their operations in Puerto Rico to Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport, then named "Isla Verde International Airport".
Isla Grande was renamed in honor of
United States Air ForceMajor Fernando Luis Ribas-Dominicci, an F-111pilot who was killed in action during Operation El Dorado Canyon; the 1986 airstrike of Libya.
A controversy regarding Isla Grande and
Dorado Airportsurfaced in 2003. Dorado Airport wanted to expand and attract the private aviation sector that has been Isla Grande's main business for so long. Dorado airport eventually became a victim of urban development in Dorado and no longer exists.
October 26, 2003, the airport made history by becoming the first Puerto Rican site of a SCCAGrand Prix race.
In 2006, after a detailed impact study and many rumors about the future of the airport, the
Puerto Rico Ports Authorityannounced that Isla Grande airport would remain open for the foreseeable future, mostly because of its key function as the primary reliever for the Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport.
December 21, 1994, a United Airlines Boeing 757flight enroute to San Juan's Luis Muñoz Marín International Airportmistakenly landed at Fernando Luis Ribas Dominicci Airport.
In December 2002, a helicopter that had been rented from a company that operates out of this airport was hijacked and taken to a jail in Ponce, where six inmates boarded the helicopter, forcing the pilot to drop them off at a farm. The pilot was able to fly back after he lied to the prisoners about their whereabouts, making them jump off the helicopter and zig-zagging the helicopter to prevent them from shooting at him. Soon after, all escapees were found by the police.
Fernando Luis Ribas Dominicci Airport covers an area of 102
acres (41 ha) which contains one runway:
* Runway 9/27: 5,317 x 100 ft (1,621 x 30 m), Surface:
Air Flamenco(Culebra, Vieques, Virgin Islands)
M&N Aviation(Vieques, La Romana, Punta Cana, Santiago, Santo Domingo)
Seaborne Airlines(St. Croix, St. Thomas)
Vieques Air Link
* [http://www.aero-news.net/index.cfm?contentBlockId=6dc889af-bb34-43bf-80dd-75f0408c4018 Article on Puerto Rican government's decision to keep Isla Grande Airport open]
* [http://www.islagrandeflying.com/ Isla Grande Flying School]
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