Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport (previously Isla Verde International Airport) is situated in Carolina (Isla Verde) around 5km southwest of San Juan, the capital of Puerto Rico, and is the island’s main international airport and gateway to the US (there are 11 airports on the island).
The airport has two runways, 8/26 (10,000ft x 200ft, 3,049m x 61m); 10/28 (8,016ft x 150m, 2,443m x 46m), and is believed to be the busiest airport in the Caribbean with ten million passengers a year. The airport is operated and owned by the Puerto Rico Ports Authority (PRPA).
The airport handled 4.6 million passengers in 2008. The most popular domestic flights are to destinations such as Aguadilla, Culebra, Mayagüez, Ponce, Vieques and San Juan.
Luis Muñoz Marín airport facilities
There are two terminals at Luis Muñoz Marín airport, including the main terminal and the American Airlines terminal. Originally there were three terminals (B, C and D) but these have now been rearranged.
The main terminal is divided into three concourses A (under construction), B and C. The American Airlines (AA) terminal has two concourses, D and E. Concourse E handles AA and American Eagle.
The airport gates are divided as follows: concourse A (seven gates), concourse B (11 gates, 31-41), concourse C (nine gates 20 and 22-29), concourse D (eight gates 11-12 and 14-19) and concourse E (14 gates 1A-1F and 2-9). American Eagle is an executive airline operating from gates 1A-1F and 2 in concourse E.
The main terminal has limited facilities, including a hotel, barber, duty-free shop, souvenir shop, bank and beauty salon. The development of concourse A will increase the retail offerings at the airport.
Luis Muñoz Marín terminal features
The money and communication facilities at the airport include a bank, post office and telephones. Food and beverage facilities include several restaurants, bars and fast-food outlets at the terminal.
There are also medical services, shopping facilities and baggage-handling assistance is also provided. The airport features facilities for disabled travellers, including disabled parking spaces, people movers, ramp, lifts, etc.
Luis Muñoz Marín construction work
Concourse A is currently under construction / reconstruction and is scheduled to open in 2010. The new expansion will have seven gates, which will be occupied by two airlines, US Airways and Delta Air. The expansion / refurbishment project, which has been going on since 2006, is worth an estimated $400m (project going on up to 2011) and the new concourse A only forms part of the goal.
The new concourse A will include a number of new restaurants: Wendy’s, McDonald’s, Subway, Starbucks, Buffalo Wings and Taco Maker. There will also be a reconstruction of runway 10-28, apron expansions and new runway lighting systems.
Following the completion of the new concourse A the other concourses will undergo refurbishment and expansion. C and D will have more gates and E will have additional check-in facilities and passenger services. An American Airlines Admirals Club has been built inside concourse C.
Concourse B project
In February 2007 it was reported that the construction of the first shopping centre at the airport was underway in concourse B – requiring an investment of $14m – and due for completion in 2011.
The project has a floor space of 100,000ft² and of this 20,000ft² is for the new shopping centre (interested retailers include Borders, Brookstone and the Hard Rock Cafe store) and the remaining 80,000ft² is to replace the lobby space that was taken by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) for the installation of new security scanners in 2002.
ADF Group Inc was the company involved in the structural steel engineering and fabrication for the new concourse A at the airport. The project has involved 2,200t of structural steel.
The roof of the new structure is cantilevered over the main hall and has an elliptical shape with both the interior and exterior surfaces being convex. It has 25 trusses (the longest is 200ft and the highest is 15ft) and a surface with a radius of 125ft.
Trusses were manufactured offsite and preassembled before dismantling, shipping to the site and final erection.
Other companies involved in the project include Structural Steel Works Inc (involved in the construction of concourse A), Gartek Engineering Corp were involved in various projects around the airport including runway lighting and refurbishment and taxiways.