Aerostar Airport Holdings, LLC is marking its fourth year as operator of the Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport, with a list of achievements including breaking passenger traffic records, infrastructure improvements, and new commercial establishments.
The company was granted the operation of Puerto Rico’s main airport facility in 2013, through a public-private partnership with the government. Since then, it is the only private operator having a 139 certificate from the Federal Aviation Administration, company executives said.
Aerostar invested about $615 million initially and has since made an additional capital investment of $169 million for renovations and upgrades at the Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport. Facility improvements to the infrastructure have resulted in a safer airport, prepared to meet the needs of travelers and visitors to the island, said Agustín Arellano, CEO of Aerostar.
“The comfort and safety of all those who arrive, depart or visit the airport is a priority for Aerostar. With this in mind we work to ensure that travelers and visitors who use the airport have the best facilities,” he said.
Passenger traffic has been on the rise, which showed a growth for 2016 of more than 300,000 people compared to 2015. In 2016, 9.1 million passengers moved through the airport, while 2015 closed with 8.7 million.
Last year, Aerostar was able to incorporate new airlines and routes that continue to increase the opportunities for travelers. The airlines Iberia, Allegiant Air, Canada, Insel Air and Pawa began flights covering the following routes: Madrid, Orlando (Sanford), Cincinatti, Pittsburgh, Montreal, Aruba, Curacao and Santo Domingo.
In terms of remodeling of facilities, work was completed at Terminal C and the baggage claim area serving Terminals B and C. In addition, three quick-response and rescue vehicles were purchased for the ARFF (Aircraft Rescue and Fire Fighting), to attend incidents and accidents at the airport.
Visitors now have a new, 45-minute free parking space in the area of the former Aeroparque. The area was rehabilitated and expanded during 2016, providing a useful and safe space for visitors. This space is 70 percent larger than the space that was previously used and that was exceeded in its capacity.
In addition to improvements in infrastructure and operations, the LMM now has new concessions to expand the offer in the area of food, travel items and services.
In terms of food, Terminal A has Popeye’s while Terminal C has Air Margaritaville, V Bar, Vienna Snack and Gustos Coffee Co. There are also new stores to meet the needs of travelers such as Tech on the Go, located at Terminals A, B and C; El Colmadito, Terminal A; El Market Jewelry and El Market Puerto Rico, Terminal C; and, 11 locations of Convenience Store.
The car rental offer was also extended for the convenience of visitors. The new services offer the opportunity to rent cars through Popular Auto in the offices located off airport premises. Passengers now also have the Ready Credit Stations service at Terminals A, B and C.
“There is much that we have accomplished and much that we have in agenda to do. Our mission has always been to operate a first class airport by providing the highest safety and security standards, and delivering excellence in customer service,” Arellano added.
This year, the company will begin remodeling of multi-floor parking with the installation of a new floor and improvements to the elevators.
The agenda also includes the installation of a new perimeter fence at the airport, the remodeling of Terminal D, a new Federal Inspection Services facility in Terminal A and the reconstruction of the November and Sierra Taxiways, he said.