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Jose Marti International Airport , previously called Rancho Boyeros International Airport, is located southwest of Havanamarker, Cubamarker, and is a hub for Cubana de Aviación, Aerogaviota and Aerocaribbean, and former Latin American hub for Aeroflot Soviet Airlines. The airport lies in the municipality of Boyerosmarker. It is named in memory of patriot and poet José Martí.

Havana airport is operated by ECASA (Empresa Cubana de Aeropuertos y Servicios Aeronauticos S.A.). It is Cubamarker's main international and domestic gateway, it serves several million passengers each year, 80% of Cuba's international passengers along with Varaderomarker's Juan Gualberto Gómez Airportmarker.

There are currently three terminals in use at the airport plus an additional terminal operated only by Aerocaribbean.

History



The construction of Jose Marti airport was authorized in March 1929. On 24 February 1930, the airport officially opened, replacing Havana Columbia Airport. In 30 October 1930, Cubana de Aviación's (at the time CNCAC, S.A.) first ever flight Havana-Santiago de Cubamarker carried the mail using a Ford trimotor with stops in Santa Claramarker, Morónmarker and Camagueymarker.In 1936 non-commercial flights to Madridmarker started with an Lockheed Sirius aircraft made out of wood lined with cloth, had a Pratt & Whitney Wasp engine, a cruising speed of 180 mph and no radio.The aircraft named "4th of September" was commanded by Capt. Antonio Menéndez Pélaez and was flown previously between Camagueymarker, Cuba and Sevillemarker, Spainmarker.By January 1943 the airport had its first control towerand was as well the first control tower in the country. The first commercial international flight out of the airport was flown by Cubana de Aviación's DC-3 Havana-Miamimarker.By 1950 the airport had a second route to Europe, the flight known as "The route of the stars" Havana-Romemarker operated by a Cubana DC-4.

On 15 April 1961 the airport was bombarded by B-26aircraft from the Brigade 2506, two days prior to the failed Bay of Pigs invasion, organized by the U.S. governmentand with the participation of the Cuban exiles.

In 1961 the relations with the United States deteriorated substantially and with the United States embargo against Cuba, airlines from the United States were not permitted to operate regularly scheduled flights to the airport. In the 1990s special charter flights were approved by the US government to operate from Miami to José Martí for Cuban citizens living in the United States that have close relatives in Cuba. Today, various airlines operate non-stop service between Havana and Miami, including American Eagle Airlines, Gulfstream International Airlines, and several others.

Because of Cuba's relationship with the Soviet Unionmarker, the airport during the 1970s and 1980s enjoyed the presence of many Eastern Bloc airline companies, Aeroflot, Czech Airlines, Interflug, LOT.The airport has seen its share of tragedies, as many of the older Soviet built jets that Cubana and some of the other communist airlines (such as the Soviet Union'smarker Aeroflot and the East Germanmarker Interflug) used have crashed either going from or to this airport.

Terminal 2 opened on 15 November 1988 primarily for direct flights to the United Statesmarker and charter flights.Ten years later on 27 April 1998, the new international terminal 3 was opened by Canadamarker's Prime Minister Jean Chrétien and Cuban President Fidel Castro.The new terminal with three VIP lounges provides many modern facilities and jetways that the former international terminal 1 did not provide.

In 2002, the Air Freight Logistics Enterprise (ELCA S.A.) opened Jose Marti's first freightterminal, the freight terminal is a joint venture equally shared between the Cargosur company, part of the Iberiagroup, and Aerovaradero S.A.of Cuba, with an investment of over $2.5 million USD. The goal of this enterprise, the most modern of its kind in this geographical region, is to facilitate and reduce the cost of freight transportation between Europe and the Americas, in aircraft belonging to various companies. The terminal has a 600-Ton capacity, 2,000 cubic meters of space in two refrigeration and freezing chambers alone, with humidity and gas controls.

The airport is home to IBECA. As part of Cubana's renovation strategy, the airline has sought to upgrade its technical support capabilities, and in 2005 IBECA was created. IBECA is a joint venture company 50% owned by Cubana de Aviaciónand 50% by Iberia Airlines, it deals with the technical maintenance of Western-built aircraft, including all Airbusand Boeingmodels. It has contracted with various airlines flying to Cuba to provide maintenance and technical support. Annually, it gives technical coverage to more than 5,000 air operations, for more than 30 different airlines, primarity from Europe and the Americas.

Presently Jose Marti Airport is constructing a new automated center of air traffic controlwhich will give its service to the whole region of the FIRassigned to Cuba. The total radarization of FIR was a prior necessary step, this will completely increase the reliability of the air traffic service that Cuba has in the whole region under its control, which is one the major air traffic volume of Latin America as most flights to/from the east coast United Statesmarker to Central and South America fly over Cuba's air space, with an estimated over 450 controlled flights daily.

Accidents and incidents

  • "1977 Aeroflot Ilyushin 62 crash" on 27 May killed 68 of the 70 on-board and one person on the ground. At the time the accident was the deadliest aviation accident in Cuba's history. It remains the second deadliest in Cuba's history. One of the victims was José Carlos Schwarz, a poet and musician from Guinea-Bissaumarker.


  • On 3 September 1989, a Cubana de Aviación Ilyushin 62M (CU-T1281) on a non-scheduled international passenger flight to Cologne (Cologne Bonn Airportmarker), Germanymarker crashed shortly after take-off. All of the 115 passengers and 11 crew members as well as 45 persons on the ground were killed and the aircraft was written off. One of the persons onboard was Roberto Volponi, son of the writer Paolo Volponi.




  • On 3 May 2007, two army recruits hijacked a plane destined for Miamimarker at José Martí International Airport in Havana. The men killed a hostage before being arrested prior to takeoff. It was the first Cuban hijacking attempt reported since the spring of 2003.


Facilities

Terminals

Terminal 1 used to be the main international and domestic terminal building in the airport prior of the opening of terminal 2, and 3-which was constructed in 1998. The terminal is located on the west side of runway 6. It is now used primarily for domestic flights.

Terminal 2 handles mainly schedule charter flights to and from Miami and New York for US residents with special permission from the United States government and Cuban citizens with US visas, the scheduled charters are operated by Gulfstream Air Charters, ABC Charters, Marazul Charters and C & T Charters. The terminal is located on the north side, just in front of runway 24 threshold. It was constructed in the 1988 when the first charter flights after the revolution were opened from Miami. There are bars, bookshops, newsagents, and also a restaurant-on the second floor and as well car rentals on the arrivals area.

Terminal 3 is the main international terminal, it was open in 1998 by Canada's Prime Minister Jean Chrétien and Fidel Castro, it is the largest and most modern. Ticketing and departures are located on the upper level, arrivals and baggage carousels are located on the lower level. There are several car rentals located in the Arrivals Area, the companies represented include Cubanacar, Fenix, Rent a Car, Rex (limousines and luxury cars), Transtur, and Via Rent-a-Car. In terminal 3 all the bars and restaurants are open 24 hours. There are information desks in the Arrivals and Departure areas, a bank, post office and internet are also available in this terminal.

Terminal 5 is mainly used by Aerocaribbean, but Aerotaxiwhich is a Cuban based charter airline is also present.

Transfer Between Terminals

There is a bus service between the terminals.

Parking

The airport has short-term car parks. Terminal 3 has 750 parking spaces and Terminal 1 & 2 has 500 parking spaces each. All car parks are situated less than 150 meters from the terminals.

Airlines and destinations

Terminal 1

Domestic terminal 1


Terminal 2

Note: All flights to the United States are operated as scheduled Special Authority Charters

Terminal 3

T3 departure gates


Terminal 5

Cargo airlines

Notes



External links



International Terminal 3
Control tower
Cargo apron
Runway 06/24

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