Sunday, March 3, 2013

Toncontin International Airport

Tegucigalpa, Honduras



















Background:
Near the middle of Honduras' capital city, Tegucigalpa, is the infamous Toncontin International Airport, which has been the subject of scrutiny following several accidents, including a 2008 crash that killed. The airport opened in 1934, an period when planes were less powerful & didn't need such lengthy runways.


Why It is Unique:
Toncontin's runway is over 7000 feet long & situated in a valley surrounded by mountains. Despite the stubby runway, planes as huge as Boeing's 757 routinely land at the airport. Schreckengast tells PM that "Seven thousand feet is awfully short for 747s," not to mention anything larger, & says that planes are forced to land & take off in the same direction because they won't be able to clear the mountains otherwise. "There's way in & way out," they says. Honduran officials have launched an initiative to reroute commercial traffic to the safer Soto Cano Air Base.

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