Isla Grande Airport
The Isla Grande Airport in San Juan hosts two C-12 airplanes and two UH-60 "Blackhawk" helicopters belonging to U.S. Army South (USARSO) at the Army Aviation Support Facility.
Isla Grande Airport, a mile south of the port, handles general aviation within the island and to other Caribbean islands. Many shorter flights leave from San Juan's Isla Grande Airport, which is more centrally located than the international airport, and helicopter service is also available for charters. Over the years, the airport operation at Isla Grande has grown from an exclusively small aircraft facility to an airport that accommodates business jets and multi-engine aircraft. As a result, large aircraft are operating under small aircraft safety requirements, not complying with Federal Aviation Administration standards. The existing operation currently lacks the facilities necessary to accommodate the desired fleet mix as well as the future forecasted demand aircraft.
The Golden Triangle project is a very ambitious program initiated by the Tourism Company, directed to promote an orderly development of deteriorated and under utilized urban areas in the Condado, Isla Grande and Old San Juan sections of the capital city. The 110 acres surrounding the current Isla Grande airport will be devoted to hotels, museums, commercial and residential buildings, and a World Trade Center in addition to the new Convention Center. Available land from the former naval base in Isla Grande has been entirely allocated to the development of the new Convention Center, which means the residential and commercial portion of the Golden Triangle project has turned the balance against the airport. In mid-2001 studies were under way for the government's possible actions to relocate existing operations of Isla Grande's Fernando Luis Rivas Dominicci Airport. Although it is estimated that the government would have to invest some $85 million in direct and indirect revenue to remove the existing airport operation, and that this would affect close to 2,500 people, the sale of the 50 acres of land could generate $2.5 million per acre.
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