El Salvador Romero International Airport SAL
- recently renamed in honor of the murdered priest 'Monsignor Oscar Romero' (some still refer to it as 'Comalapa' Airport ) - is the primary airport of the Central American State of El Salvador, and is the third-busiest airport in Central America - operated by CEPA (Comision Ejecutiva Portuari Autonoma) located in the Metrocentro San Salvador (tel. 503-2249-1300).
The Airport is located near Comalapa, on the central Pacific coast of El Tamarindo, La Union, and less than 50 km from the capital city of San Salvador. From San Salvador, the Airport and can be reached via an excellent road system within 45 minutes by motorway 2, taking the exit to RN 5 south. The Costa del Sol beach is only 20 mins from the Airport.
With two runways and yearly about 2.1 million passengers, El Salvador Airport is a hub for TACA Airlines and is served by a number of international Airlines (including American, Delta & United) offering direct and connecting flights to Central, South and North American cities.
1. All passengers traveling to the U.S.
are being screened prior to entering the departure waiting area by officers with official badges of the Salvadorean drug enforcement agency.
2. The U.S. Embassy in San Salvador is located on Final Blvd. Santa Elena Sur (tel. 011-503-2501-2999 8:15am-11:30am weekdays or call 011-503-2501-2316 / 2253).
3. The departure fee of $37.13 must be paid in cash
; a tourist card (if you need one on arrival) costs $10 in cash.
Passenger feedback has been very positive,
with several of them pointing to the staff's excellent and cheerful service and on the terminal's efficient check-in, security, Immigration & Customs procedures. One passenger remarks on the wide choice of stores in the gate areas, and another is raving about the Tapacun Specialty Coffee House (which also sells its coffee beans).
The present passenger terminal at El Salvador Romero Airport
is divided into an Upper and a Lower Level. The Lower Level has gates 1-9 and is for all airlines, other than TACA; the Upper Level has gates 10-17 and is for TACA Airlines, TACA Peru & TACA Regional. The terminal has been, and still is undergoing renovation & extension work.
Amenities & services in the terminal
include duty-free shops carrying high-quality merchandise, such as clothing, perfumes, liquor, tobacco, etc., as well as a variety of local artisan shops, fast-food & a full-service restaurant with domestic & international fare, rental car and hotel desks (the Quality Hotel is only 5 minutes from the Airport); and banking/ATMs.
To get from El Salvador Airport to your destination you can rent a car, take a taxi, or take one of the many hotel shuttles.
Present & Future Airport Developments:
While CEPA has already completed much of its initial terminal transformation project, including all new restrooms, boarding bridges, air-concitioning system, air traffic controller equipment, radar equiment, runway 7/25 & taxiway repavement & Customs - its long-term projects will be done in 4 phases, ending in 2032:
- Phase 1 is ongoing & involves terminal expansion to accommodate 3.6M passengers annually - to be completed by 2017;
- Phase 2 will add 7 more departure gates & new aircraft parking positions.
- Phases 3 & 4 will follow thereafter, when the terminal by 2032 may have 43 gates and be able to handle 6.6M passengers a year.
- In May 2016, work started on the new and spacious Welcome Plaza
(next to the Arrivals area) - while terminal expansion work continues. The Plaza's first phase involves a wooded area square, gardens, trails, waterfall, comfortable seating, and a small area with covered pergola & flights screen. During the second phase a foot bridge will connect the square with parking facilities.
- October 2016: During the upcoming Phase II of the 'Program for Modernization and Management' the parking lot capacity will be expanded by better redistribution of spaces, internal roads and conditioning of added areas, roof structures for VIPparking, intermal & external lighting vertical & horizontal signage. Parking capacity is to increase by 74 percent.