When I first landed in Belize in the early 1980s, the airport, in the (then) capital of Belize City, was little more than a single small building and airstrip lined with a bunch of British Harrier jump jets. One of those jets remains as a reminder in front of the terminal building of . Thanks to Darren's Page - KG Imagery LLC for the great photo. Does anyone have any older photos of the airport terminal and the jump jets?
Daily flight arrivals and departures for BZE can be tracked here. Wikipedia article on BZE here. The (PGIA) was originally constructed in 1943, when a 5,000 feet asphalt runway, a taxiway and small apron were constructed. In 1944, a terminal building was constructed and inaugurated on January 15, 1945. Today, the PGIA boasts a 7,100 feet runway and 615,800 sq. ft. of parking apron... Expansion of the runway and apron to accommodate wide body, longer haul aircraft is in progress.
Barely two years after airport construction in 1945, this ad appeared in a major US newspaper (? NY Times)... still British Honduras and the capital is called Belize... not Belize City. Formerly known as British Honduras, until the name was changed in 1973. Belize gained its independence September 1st, 1981 and was then admitted to the United Nations. The capitol city of Belize is now Belmopan... fifty miles inland.
TACA Airways System’s Central America – "Now, Taca offers daily, scheduled flights to Central America" (1947)
Those of us who fly in and out of PGIA with any regularity, get to know "Jet" at his famous Jet's Bar and hot dog stand... for a humorous bit of "flavor" of the departure waiting area at PGIA, have a look at this. Thanks to nachounderpants.com for the great blog. There must be a ton of other stories out there... send them in! And then there's this blog from the "Travel Boomer."