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What are the details of the runways of Philip Goldson Airport and it’s history?

Philip S. W. Goldson International Airport

Philip S. W. Goldson International Airport, (PGIA) is the premier international airport of Belize. Located only 10 miles from Belize City, the airport serves as the main gateway to this beautiful, developing nation. The airport facilitates both international and domestic air services. It is served by several international airlines with originating services from the USA, Central America and the Caribbean. Locally, passengers can arrive at their final destination by way of local airlines, taxi cabs, buses and water taxis.The airport was originally constructed in 1943, when a 5,000 feet asphalt runway, a taxiway and small apron were constructed. In 1944, a terminal building was constructed and inaugurated on January 15, 1945. The airport derived its name from the name of Belize politician Philip Stanley Wilberforce Goldson.

Today, the PGIA boasts a 7,100 feet runway and 615,800 sq. ft. of parking apron. There is a full Crash Fire and Rescue Department and the airport is designated as a Category 8 in accordance with ICAO Annex 14. Expansion of the runway and apron to accomodate widebody, longer haul aircraft is in progress.

< The IATA Code of Philip SW Goldson International Airport is BZE and the ICAO Code is MZBZ. This airport has a plan to expand its runway length, terminals, etc. by 2015.

Philip SW Goldson International Airport is very attractive and has an excellent interior decoration. The airport features shops, restaurant, bar, etc.

Many airlines provide scheduled services to this airport. The following are the airlines serving Philip S. W. Goldson International Airport:
  • Tropic Air
  • Skyservice
  • Continental Airlines
  • Maya Airways
  • Delta Airlines
  • American Airlines
  • US Airways
  • Grupo Taca
Philip SW Goldson International Airport is the busiest airport of Belize.

Goldson International Airport Arrival and Flight Status Board
This is an afternoon schedule and flight status report, 12pm-12am. For morning flights hit the drop down to select 12am - 12pm

Philip S. W. Goldson International Airport (IATA: BZE, ICAO: MZBZ) is an airport that serves Belize’s largest city, Belize City. It was named for now-deceased politician Phillip Stanley Wilberforce Goldson. The airport will be going through major expansions such as the lengthening of the runway, expanding of the apron and expansion of the terminal. These expansions are made mainly to handle more planes and for the airport to bring in flights from Europe. The expansions are planned to be completed in time for 2015.

Philip S. W. Goldson is at an altitude of 5 metres and this means that both the airport and the entirety of Belize City are at risk of serious flooding due to its low elevation and coastal location.

For this reason, Belize’s capital has been moved to Belmopan, but Philip S. W. Goldson International Airport remains the largest and busiest in the country.

Philip S. W. Goldson is about 30 minutes drive from Belize City’s centre, in Ladyville. The best way to get to and from the city centre is via taxi. Although an airport bus service exists, it is very infrequent and unreliable.

Airlines and destinations

Many airlines provide scheduled services to this airport. The following are the airlines serving Philip S. W. Goldson International Airport:

Airlines Destinations
American Airlines Dallas/Fort Worth, Miami
Continental Airlines Houston-Intercontinental
Seasonal: Newark
Delta Air Lines Atlanta
Maya Island Air Cancún, Caye Caulker, Caye Chapel, Corozal, Dangriga, Guatemala City, San Pedro Sula, Placencia, Punta Gorda, San Pedro [Ambergris Caye], Savannah
TACA Airlines San Salvador
Tropic Air Belmopan, Caye Caulker, Corozal, Dangriga, Flores, Kanantik, Placencia, Punta Gorda, San Pedro [Ambergris Caye], Sarteneja
US Airways Charlotte

Other links

Airport Facilities

Length 7100 ft.
Width 150 ft.
Shoulders 25 ft. (non-load bearing)
Stopway (L)200’ x (W)150’
Designation 07/25
Declared Strength LCN 69


The PGIA is equipped with three (3) taxiways designated as Alpha, Bravo and Charlie. All three taxiways are 75 feet wide. Alpha is 2,740 feet in length with 25 feet wide non-load bearing shoulders, while Bravo and Charlie are 484 feet long with no shoulders.

The parking apron at the PGIA is 615,800 sq. ft. with a declared strength of 86 LCN. There are 7 parking slots available for nose-in parking.

Visual Markings:

  • Runway Markings
  • Threshold and Designation Markings
  • Center Line
  • Runway Edge Markings
  • Fixed Distance Markings


Taxiway Markings:

  • Center Line
  • Hold Line
  • Position



  • Runway Edge Lights
  • Threshold Lights
  • Taxiway Edge Lights
  • PAPI Lights (left hand side of the runway)
  • Stop Way Lights


Navigational Aids:

  • DVOR - Doppler VHF Omni-Directional Radar
  • DME - Distance Measuring Equipment
  • DRDF - Digital Readout Directional Finder
  • NDB - Non-directions beam


History of Civil Aviation in Belize

Time period

Progress Achieved


Sometime after 1931 the construction of three gravel runways became known as Aviation Field


A 5,000 feet runway was built and an Airport Terminal Building was completed in 1945. The airport was named after Sir Oliver Stanley, the Secretary of State for the Colonies. It was called Stanley Field.


Modification of the Terminal Building was done and included the renovation of the Air Traffic Control Tower on the top of the Building.


The Canadian Government through the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) constructed a Control Tower intended to serve the airport for three to five years. This was constructed at an area away from the Terminal Building.


A Control Tower on top of the Terminal Building was rebuilt by the Government of Belize.


With the opening of the New Terminal Building, Air Traffic Control was provided through a new Air Traffic Control Tower. The equipment in the Tower was a brand new French communications system. After some years of use the equipment became obsolete and COCESNA through its modernization program for its Member States (of which Belize is a Member), replaced the communications systems with more modern ones.


The Air Traffic Control Tower’s voice communication system was modernized.


The radio navigational aid - Doppler Very High Frequency Omni-directional Radio Range collocated with a Distance Measuring Equipment (DVOR/DME) was modernized.


A new Approach Control Centre was built together with the installation of a brand new state of the art Monopulse Secondary Surveillance RADAR for the enhancement and increased management of Belize’s airspace.


A new radio navigational aid - Instrument Landing System collocated with its Distance Measuring Equipment (ILS/DME) was installed.

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