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Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 84,400
Marty Offline OP
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The tourism season has just entered its peak season and the number of flights arriving in San Pedro from the Philip Goldson International Airport with visitors at this time has flooded air traffic at the island's only airstrip. So now that tourism is expected to blossom in the coming months and years ahead, there is a plan to construct a second airstrip on the other side of the caye that will be able to accommodate bigger domestic planes and at the same time, offer an ease to the air traffic congestion at the current airstrip. Area Representative for Belize Rural South, Andre Perez shared the plan with us.

Andre Perez, Area Representative, Belize Rural South

"The San Pedro airstrip is already congested. The flights coming out of the P.G.I.A. to San Pedro are fast becoming crunch time. If you go this it's going to mark the beginning of the tourist season and lots of more flights from P.G.I.A. to San Pedro. Out of every one hundred passengers that arrive at P.G.I.A., eight of them come to either Caye Caulker or San Pedro via flights. So that says that we have to make some plans. We cannot extend the runway anymore here at the San Pedro airstrip so what we're looking at right now is the possibility of expanding or making a bigger airstrip up north, not the Basil Jones area, closer. We're looking at a place to maybe build an eight-thousand-foot runway that would be able to take over bigger planes that will take thirty passengers. The reality is this: the Cessna aircrafts take fourteen passengers. Whenever you have five airlines arriving there with almost eight hundred passengers, how do you mobilize all of these smaller Cessna airplanes with fourteen flights. It doesn't make any sense economically, so we are looking into - the only way to do that if they're coming to Ambergris Caye, is opening up a runway up north."

Channel 5


New airstrip proposed in northern Ambergris Caye to accommodate larger local flights

Many of the foreign visitors to the island arrive via short local flights from the Philip Goldson International Airport (PGIA). As the local connecting flights continue to increase, local authorities are now suggesting the construction of a longer airstrip north of the island to alleviate the air traffic congestion at the John Greif III municipal airport in downtown San Pedro. Area Representative Honourable Andre Perez revealed this after mentioning that the current local airport is already facing issues with congestion during the high tourism season. "The flights from PGIA to San Pedro are fast becoming crunch time," he said. "Out of every 100 that arrive at PGIA, eight of them come to either Caye Caulker or San Pedro via flights. We cannot extend the runway here, so we are looking at the possibility of expanding or making a bigger airstrip up north." Perez said it is not in the Basil Jones area, where some years ago, a plan to construct an international airport in that area was proposed.

According to him, the northern airstrip would be 8,000 feet long and would be able to accommodate bigger planes that could transport up to 30 passengers at one time. "The Cessna aircraft takes about 14 passengers, and whenever you have five airlines arriving there with almost 800 passengers, how do you mobilize all of these smaller Cessna planes with around 14 flights?" Perez questioned. He said this logistics might not seem viable; thus, they are looking to open a longer runway up north and decrease the need to have so many small planes back and forth. While no specific area was mentioned for this airstrip, it will be near the Basil Jones area, about 13 miles north of San Pedro Town. The plan is said to come with the necessary infrastructure, like a road in good conditions for comfortable commutes to and from downtown San Pedro and other areas (hotels) in southern Ambergris Caye. The plan is under discussion without a time frame at this time.

Click here to read the rest of the article in the San Pedro Sun

Joined: Mar 2016
Posts: 6
I have not seen anything on this for a couple months. Has anyone heard anything?? Thanks.

Joined: Mar 2001
Posts: 2,733
I would be interested in knowing what type of aircraft the Honorable Perez is building this airstrip for.
I am not aware of any aircraft that holds 30 passengers economically for a 20 minute flight and needs an 8000 foot airstrip.
Of course, who knows, by the time the Honorable Perez
gets this 8000 ft airstrip built, maybe such an aircraft will exist.

Joined: Mar 2016
Posts: 6
I don't know anything about aircraft or aircraft economics, but this idea seems to make some sense because of the limitations of the current airstrip and all of the development that has happened on the island. I just find it odd that there seems to be no buzz about it. Maybe it's because 99% of these things end up going nowhere.

Joined: Mar 2001
Posts: 2,733
Airlines decide on providing service based on the .
demand. And the demand plays a big factor in what aircraft would be used along with the economics of the plane needed, based on the operating cost for that particular plane.
The Honorable Minister did a little research in determining how many people fly into international airport, and then go onto ambergris key. The next question would be how many people would use an airport to the north. Now an airport up there would make sense if there were enough people, let's say north of the bridge to justify its use.
Another advantage would be the the lesser traffic going to and from the current airport from the north.
Another consideration would be how often flights would fly from the north. In other words, how long would people have to wait until there were enough passengers to justify a flight to the north?
A final consideration would be if the money used to construct that airport would be the proper use of funds. Since the government has limited funds.
My concern is the government now does not provide the adequate infrastructure, i.e., roads, water, electricity, sewage, garbage, etc. for the population that is currently on the island.
There's a lot more to consider other than the fact that eight people out of every hundred that land at international fly to ambergris key

Joined: Mar 2023
Posts: 6
Will never happen.


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