2.2 Guatemala Aviation


Key airport information may also be found at:

Guatemala has two (3) Airports with International category, the International Airport La Aurora –AILA–, the Mundo Maya International Airport –AIMM– and the International Airport Los Altos in Quetzaltenango. Most operations are carried out at the Airport International La Aurora -AILA-, serving around 300 daily operations between aviation commercial, military aviation and general aviation; commercial airline flights include direct routes with same-day arrival to more than ten countries, including the US, Mexico, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama. In Guatemala there are aviation and aerial work companies that offer flight services charter, regular passenger transport, aerial photography, aerial advertising, fumigation, mail, securities and cargo, as well as aircraft rental for personalized trips, among which are Guatemalan Air Transport –TAG–, Aero Ruta Maya, Tropic Air, Helicopters of Guatemala, among others. 

The National Airport Network –RAN– is made up of by three international category airports and national or domestic category aerodromes. 

The general aviation activity is private and is offered to through small private aircraft. Nevertheless general aviation is oriented to serve those areas of agro-industrial production, which by operating requirements or accessibility problems, uses small aircraft with a average load of ten quintals. At the national level, general aviation mainly provides services in the Pacific Coast in the Departments of Jutiapa, Santa Rosa, San Marcos, Retalhuleu, Quetzaltenango, Suchitepéquez and Escuintla. 

The Ministry of Communication, Infrastructures and Housing, through the Civil Aeronautic General Direction (DGAC) is the civil aviation authority of Guatemala.  DCAG is responsible for all traffic air control, airport administration, functioning and acquisition of all aircrafts in the country. Its headquarters is on the property of La Aurora International Airport in zone 13 of Guatemala City. 

The International Air Transport Association (IATA), according to figures from their economic area, as of May 2022, passenger traffic in the Americas showed a clear recovery. Both North America and Latin America and the Caribbean lead the recovery of the sector worldwide, with 90% and 84% of the volumes of 2019, respectively.  

The Dirección General de Aeronáutica Civil de Guatemala (DGAC) is aware that the country's aviation has been able to recover faster than previously believed, as the load and start-up of infrastructure in the interior increased, but acknowledges there are still some problems at i. e. La Aurora airport. This international airport serving Guatemala City, before the Covid pandemic, registered 44 flights a day; in September 2020 it restarted with 5 daily services and currently in 2022 between 35 and 55 services is operated per day. 

The International Air Transport Association (IATA), Central America, Cuba Ecuador and Venezuela representative stated on a recent analysis that the significant challenges for the growth of air transport in Guatemala are: the delay in infrastructure investments; the lack of a national civil aviation plan; the lack of clarity in the roles and responsibilities of airport authorities; and the updating of digital processes that facilitate the import and export of goods. IATA also recommends the separation of roles of regulator in matters of civil aviation and the airport operator. These two functions are currently performed by the General Directorate of Civil Aeronautics,  

On the other side, the current Guatemalan government is firmly focused in the construction of a Cargo Airport, in the operative Escuintla Air Base San José, Escuintla. The plans are to create an industrial and commercial area on the south coast, which includes the airport as part of cargo logistics.  In the short term, the Government will look for this to become the alternate airport of La Aurora, because when there is bad weather or some situation such as volcanic eruptions, operations have had to be closed and the planes have had to fly to other alternate airports such as El Salvador, Cancun, Mexico or San José, Costa Rica representing high expenses for airlines and all air operators. 

Runway conditions 

The DGAC stated that on 2022 the Guatemala Government has carried out the maintenance of all country's airports and airfields.  Maintenance and marking was completed on all the tracks in the country, including the last ones in Cobán, Alta Verapaz; already in optimal conditions. In some cases the runway has been re asphalted, such as the one in Esquipulas, Chiquimula, which is already being used by domestic flights. Similar work was also done with the San Marcos runway. 

The DGAC administrates two international airports and other national airports. 

International Airports 

  1. Aeropuerto Internacional La Aurora, Ciudad de Guatemala 
  1. Aeropuerto Internacional Mundo Maya, Santa Elena, Peten 


National Airports (*) 

  1. Aeropuerto de Quetzaltenango, Quetzaltenango 
  1. Aeropuerto de Puerto San Jose, Puerto San Jose 
  1. Aeropuerto de Puerto Barrios, Puerto Barrios 
  1. Aeropuerto de Sn Marcos, San Marcos 
  1. Aeropuerto de Retalhuleu, Retalhuleu 
  1. Aeropuerto de Coatepeque, Coatepeque 
  1. Aeropuerto de Huehuetenango, Huehuetenango 


(*) non limited list 

For more information on government agency and airport company contact information, please see the following links: 4.1 Government Contact List and 4.5 Airport Companies Contact List .

Procedures for Foreign Registered Aircraft

International flight from and to Guatemala are subject to the Annex 9 of the convention on International Civil Aviation. The commercial transport aircraft operating in Guatemala must comply with the RAC OPS 1 (K, B and L) 

 For non-regular flights, landing authorization must be previously obtained to the DGA. The request (Form AMDT 01-09 AIS-GUATEMALA) must be sent in advanced to, or Fax +502 2260 6637 or +502 2260 6546 along with the following supporting documentation: 

  • Copy of the Aircraft Certificate (ID) 
  • Copy of the certificate of airworthiness 
  • Insurance certificate covering Guatemala territory and/or Central America with as a minimum requirement the third party coverage 
  • Air Operator’s Name  
  • Reason for request 
  • Route and schedule 
  • Pilot license, certificate of validity (if applies), Medical certificate 

Once landed the documents must be presented at the AIS-ARO office (original documents and photocopies) and the Airport fees must be paid 

If a pre-landing authorization is requested by the air craft carrier, request must be send with the above mentioned documents. The request must be sent to Air transport Department of the DGA by email or fax to:  Fax: +502 2321 5313 

For Search and Rescue (SAR) aircraft and personnel landing authorization, the DGA should be contacted directly to facilitate the procedure. 

For more information please see 

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