I think SouthAmerica heard the TGU stuff from me. I fly to TGU 4-6 times per year - and love it. Actually, in the photo database if you search under photographers "Scott Stache" and "Thomas D Mayes", they are both regular co-pilots on AA
, respectively, to TGU, and have posted some great pics from TGU. I've actually flown to/from TGU with Mr. Stache on a few occasions.
My trip report to TGU from X-mas is here:
's pilots require special certification to fly to Tegucigalpa, Honduras; Quito, Ecuador; La Paz, Bolivia (they actually wear oxygen masks on approach and while on the ground due to altitude); and Medellin, Colombia. To be certified, pilots due some simulator work, have to fly a minimum amount of rotations with a Chief Pilot and fly the route at least once every 60 days.
The landings can be pretty rough and turbulent, while the take-offs are a straight shot out of there to clear the surrounding mountains. There is a street right in front of the runway. When an airplane lands, they have a red light that comes on to stop the traffic... only in Honduras!
Of the four that require pilot certification, I have been to three: Tegucigalpa, Quito and La Paz. I would say the Quito one is the toughest, and I've spoken with pilots that have concurred. It's an evening landing with even more mountain terrain than TGU and you have one shot at landing... otherwise it's a diversion to Guayaquil or Lima, Peru.
As far as AA
not flying out of TGU after 4PM, that too is correct. That has to do with aircraft performance. But you'll notice, AA
is adding a second MIA
-TGU flight back in. In contract to other Central American nations that have multiple flights spaced out, the two TGU flights are within two hours of each other, and the second spends the evening, because of this.
TGU, both the airport and city, are fascinating. Let me know if you have any more questions.