Toncontín International Airport

Infobox Airport
name = Toncontín International Airport
nativename =
nativename-a =
nativename-r =


image-width =
caption =
IATA = TGU
ICAO = MHTG
type = Military/Public
owner =
operator = Military of Honduras
city-served =
location = Tegucigalpa
elevation-f = 3,294
elevation-m = 1,004
coordinates = Coord|14|03|39|N|087|13|02|W|type:airport
website =
metric-rwy = Yes
r1-number = 02/20
r1-length-f = 6,112
r1-length-m = 1,863
r1-surface = Asphalt
stat-year =
stat1-header =
stat1-data =
stat2-header =
stat2-data =
footnotes =

Toncontín International Airport airport codes|TGU|MHTG is a civil and military airport that serves Tegucigalpa, Honduras. It is 6 km away from Tegucigalpa's center currently known as meltontin.

Toncontín

The airport's single runway is 1,863 m (6,112 feet) in length and is at an altitude of 1,004 m (3,294 feet). Boeing 757s are the largest aircraft that can land at Toncontín, as it is one of the shortest international runways in the world.

During the Football War of 1969, Toncontín was a major target for the Salvadoran Air Force, and it was bombed on several occasions.

Toncontín International Airport has 4 gates (2 in the new terminal), 2 baggage claim belts, 150 short term parking spaces, a post office, a bank, a "bureau de change", many restaurants, several airline lounges, a duty free shop, car rental services and a first aid room. The old terminal is undergoing renovation, and will be used for domestic flights in the future. The new terminal is now used for international flights.

Toncontín is also the home of the "Aeroclub de Honduras".

The origin of the name "Toncontín" is unknown. This airport has received much criticism for being one of the most dangerous in the world due to its proximity to the mountains and for years efforts have been made to replace it with Soto Cano airport in Comayagua, currently an airbase. Toncontín has been improved significantly by the work of ACT (the Airport Corporation of Tegucigalpa) and by InterAirports, a company hired by the government of Honduras to administer the four airports of the country.

Temporary Removal of International flights

After a TACA flight crashed on May 30, 2008 it was announced by Honduran President Manuel Zelaya that all large airplanes would, within 60 days, use the Soto Cano Air Base instead of Toncontín, removing all the International traffic from Toncontin limiting it to only domestic flights and small planes. [ [http://www.laprensahn.com/ediciones/2008/06/01/en_sesenta_dias_se_habilitara_palmerola En sesenta días se habilitará Palmerola] ]

The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) completed a review of Toncontin and made safety recommendations regarding the airport. [ [http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=es&u=http://www.tiempo.hn/&sa=X&oi=translate&resnum=1&ct=result&prev=/search%3Fq%3Dhttp://www.tiempo.hn/%26hl%3Den%26rlz%3D1G1GGLQ_ENUS274%26sa%3DG] June 25, 2008.] On June 25, 2008, President Zelaya reiterated his position of restricting international traffic from Toncontin and announced his intention to form a commission that will oversee implementing the safety recommendations of the ICAO report. [ [http://babelfish.yahoo.com/translate_url?doit=done&tt=url&intl=1&fr=bf-home&trurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.latribuna.hn%2Fnews%2F45%2FARTICLE%2F36884%2F2008-06-26.html&lp=es_en&btnTrUrl=Translate] June 26, 2008.]

On July 7, 2008, Honduran President Manuel Zelaya announced the reopening of the airport at a news conference following a three-hour meeting with businessmen, who had demanded commercial flights resume at Toncontin. Zelaya re-iterated that commercial flights will eventually be diverted permanently to a new airport being built on a U.S. military airfield (Soto Cano Air Base) and expected to be finished next year.

Airlines and destinations

*American Airlines (Miami)
*Atlantic Airlines de Honduras (Roatán, La Ceiba, Puerto Lempira, San Pedro Sula, Útila, Guanaja, Belize City, Ahuas, Bluefields, Corn Island, Grand Cayman, Managua, Puerto Cabezas)
*Continental Airlines (Houston-Intercontinental)
*Copa Airlines (Panama City, San José (CR))
*Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) [begins December 18]
*TACA (Miami, San Salvador, Guatemala City, San Pedro Sula)
*Islena Airlines (La Ceiba, San Pedro Sula)
*Aerolineas Sosa (San Pedro Sula, La Ceiba, Roatán, Puerto Lempira)

Accidents and incidents

The worst crash not associated with the airport came in October 21, 1989, when a Honduran airliner hit a nearby hill, killing 133 people.. The accident was 42 kilometers (25 miles) away from the airport [http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=950DE2D71E3DF931A15753C1A96F948260] . Because of this accident the airline SAHSA went into bankruptcy.

On April 1, 1997, a U.S. Air Force C-130 cargo plane overshot the runway at Toncontin and rolled 200 yards before bursting into flames on a major boulevard, killing three people aboard.

On May 30, 2008 an Airbus A320, Grupo TACA Flight 390 from San Salvador, overran the runway in approach to Tegucigalpa Airport.cite news |title=7 dead after airliner overshoots Honduras runway |url=http://www.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/americas/05/30/honduras.crash.ap/index.html |publisher=CNN |date=30 May 2008 |accessdate=2008-05-31] cite news |first=Freddy |last=Cuevas |title=Passenger jet overshoots runway in Honduras |url=http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080530/ap_on_re_la_am_ca/honduras_plane_crash |publisher=Yahoo |date=30 May |accessdate=2008-05-30] The accident was partly blamed on bad weather conditions. At least 5 fatalities have been confirmed.. According to the recordings of the black box and a report from NTSB, the fault of the accident was a human error (the deceased pilot), who landed 900 mts (0.5 miles) beyond the marks of landing and in the wrong direction (the tower ordered the other way).

The Honduran government has announced plans to relocate commercial airline traffic to Soto Cano Air Base.

References

External links

*


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