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    Guatemala City Airfield (La Aurora International Airport)  Guatemala

Location
Lat 14°34′54″N Long 090°31′36″W  Located four miles south of Guatemala City center and sixteen miles from Antigua. Bordering the airfield to the east was a coffee plantation and the road northward to Guatemala City. To the northwest was a racetrack.

Construction
Built prewar. The terminal building was financed by Pan Am. Known as Guatemala City Airfield" or "La Aurora Airfield".

Wartime History
During the war, civilian and Guatemalan Air Force (GAF) aircraft also used the airfield.

Used by the USAAF 6th Air Force and known as "Guatemala City Air Base". American personnel began arriving in December 1941. During early 1942 the 805th Engineer Aviation Battalion began expanding and improving the airfield.

American units based at Guatemala City Airfield (La Aurora)
32nd FG, 51st FS (P-40 detachment) January 2, 1942 - March 9, 1943
40th BG, 74th BS (B-18, B-17) January 9, 1942 - April 7, 1944
40th BG, 44th BS (B-18) July 6, 1942 - June 4, 1943

B-17E Flying Fortress 41-2411
Pilot ? crashed January 21, 1943

B-17B Flying Fortress 38-264
Pilot Price crashed March 18, 1942

During the war, detachments of aircraft from the airfield operated intermittently from San Jose Airport in Costa Rica, Puerto San José, Guatemala during 1942 though 1944.

By 1944, the runway spanned 6,960' x 200' surfaced with asphalt. Facilities included a 250' control tower, beacon, lights, ravetments on both sides of the runway, approach lights and flood lights for night operations.

Postwar
A small number of Americans remained at the airport performing training duties with the Guatemalan Air Force and also operating the MATS 6th Weather Squadron). United States personnel were restricted to base during the Guatemalan revolution following the assassination of Colonel Francisco Xavier Arana on July 18, 1949. Some artillery shells landed on the base, which was officially closed on July 28, 1949 and turned over to Guatemalan authorities afterwards.

Today
Still in use today. Airport code GUA or MGGT, known as "La Aurora International Airport". It is the fourth busiest airport in Central America in terms of passenger traffic.

References
Alae Supra Canalem page 35 (map)

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Last Updated
February 4, 2018

 

Map
c1944
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