Cibao International Airport

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Cibao International Airport
Aeropuerto Internacional del Cibao
Airport type Public
Owner City of Santiago
Operator Cibao Airport Corporation
Serves Santiago de los Caballeros
Location Licey in Santiago Province, Dominican Republic
Hub for
Elevation AMSL 565 ft / 172 m
Coordinates Lua error in Module:Coordinates at line 668: callParserFunction: function "#coordinates" was not found.
Website Aeropuerto Cibao
MDST is located in the Dominican Republic
Location of airport in the Dominican Republic
Direction Length Surface
ft m
11/29 8,595 2,620 Asphalt/Concrete
Number Length Surface
ft m
H1 60 16 Asphalt
Statistics (2015)
Passengers 1,319,490
Aircraft Operations 9,436
Cargo 30,000,000 Lbs1
Based Aircraft 14

Cibao International Airport (Spanish: Aeropuerto Internacional del Cibao) (IATA: STIICAO: MDST) also known as Santiago Airport, is located in Santiago de los Caballeros, Dominican Republic's second largest city. It's the country's third busiest airport by passenger traffic and aircraft movements, after Punta Cana International Airport and Las Américas International Airport.
This modern terminal has some of the most advanced airport facilities in the country.
The air terminal mainly serves Dominicans residing in the United States, Cuba, the Turks and Caicos Islands, Puerto Rico and Panama, as well as Haitians residing in the Cibao Region.

The Airport is currently used by Aerolineas Mas as its Focus City, with regular domestic flights to Punta Cana International Airport, and International Operations to Port-au-Prince, Haiti, making it the most important national carrier. They also had services to Santo Domingo-La Isabela.

JetBlue Airways is the primary international operator, with up to seven daily flights to New York-JFK and daily flights to New York-EWR (Newark), Boston and San Juan.

InterCaribbean Airways, flag carrier of the Turks and Caicos Islands, designates Santiago as their major international focus city, operating more than ten flights a week, in high season, to Providenciales and Grand Turk.


Plans for the construction of the airport were first proposed in 1969. The Cibao International Airport Corporation was created on March 29, 1978 with the cooperation of José Armando Bermúdez (president), Víctor Espaillat, Manuel Arsenio Ureña, Dr. José Augusto Imbert, Mario Cáceres and Ing. Carlos S. Fondeur, who acquired the land necessary to build the new airport.

The construction of the airport began on February 15, 2000 and was finished in 2002. The airport was inaugurated on March 18, 2002 with two direct flights to San Juan operated by American Eagle.

In May 2002 Aeromar Líneas Aéreas Dominicanas made the first direct flight from Santiago to JFK Airport in New York City. Later that month American Airlines and North American Airlines began direct flights to New York, Miami, and San Juan. A few months later Continental Airlines began direct flights from Newark. This was followed by direct service by JetBlue Airways and Delta Air Lines, both from New York.[1] Aeromar became Santiago as it secondary hub, after Las Américas International Airport.

In 2003 Aeromar Líneas Aéreas Dominicanas stopped their flights into Santiago after the airline stopped operations.

By the end of 2005 the airport's operator began one of the biggest expansions for this airport. They expanded the custom hall and rebuilt the west and east side of the terminal. The terminal saw the addition of a second floor. This expansion was finalized in 2006. The runway 400 meters expansion is currently in folders, but there is no scheduled date to begin or conclude this expansion yet.

In April 2008, Cibao International became the first airport in the country to exonerate fees for private planes, making it possible to increase tourism in the region.

In June, 2008, Continental Airlines announced the discontinuation of their services to Santiago until September 3. Delta Air Lines announced the new service to Atlanta, starting on December 20, 2008 and the resuming of the New York route on December 13, 2008.

On January 9, 2009, Spirit Airlines announced operations to Santiago City from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, starting on June 21, 2009. They are operating this route using Airbus A319 aircraft.

In 2010 the airport recovered passengers movement from last year, handling more than 900 thousand. It also became the third busiest airport by passengers in the country, been already ranked number three in aircraft operations. In this year were established also regular domestics routes from Santiago operated by Aerolineas Mas, Air Century and VolAir. Aerolineas Mas became the strongest domestic airline in the airport and started operating Santiago's Airport as a Focus City-Destination.

On April 1, 2013 American Airlines stopped their direct flight to New York's JFK Airport. They used to fly this route with the Airbus A300 until 2008 when they started using the Boeing 767-300ER.


The Cibao International Airport infrastructure consists of the main international terminal, domestic terminal and a cargo terminal. The international terminal is the most utilized and receives most of the flights operating in here and it has modern installations to make easier the check-in, boarding and baggage climb processes.

The airport's owners are planning to expand the runway and the construction of the new taxiway next to the runway by the next year.

Runway and taxiways

Runway 11/29

The runway length is 2,620 m, which can support all types of passenger airliners. The airport's operators are discussing the expansion of the runway to allow larger aircraft such as a Boeing 747 for long haul flights from Europe.

Runway 11/29 is one of the most modern runways in the country; it provides ILS (Instrument Landing System) for both runways. Cibao International Airport and Las Américas International Airport are the only two airports in Dominican Republic equipped with this system.


Cibao International Airport's taxiways are composed by two exits E-1 and E-2; E-1 is located on the west side of Runway 11/29, next to the direction 11 of that runway. E-2 is located in the east side of the runway, next to direction 29 of the runway.[2]

Runway lighting

Lighting STI
RWY Designador Tipe LEN INTST THR LGT (Colour) WBAR PAPI LGT LEN RWY Center Line LGT RWY Edge LGT (Colour) RWY End LGT (Colour) SWY LGT (Colour) ILS (Colour)
Runway 11 MALSR Green PAPI 4 None Yellow-Blue White-Blue Red None White
Runway 29 Green PAPI 4 None Yellow-Blue White-Blue Red Yellow-White White


File:B777 Continental Cibao.jpg
Continental Airlines Boeing 777-200ER at exit E-2 leaving the Main Terminal for a flight to Newark

In 2005 the airport received an Antonov AN-124 of Volga-Dnepr, for the first time, from Spain for military activity along the border with Haiti. It remained in Santiago for two days before returning to Spain.

JetBlue Airways, as the current largest operator, has seven or eight daily flights to New York-JFK and a daily flight to Boston with an 87% occupation in their flights,[citation needed] all of them operated with their Airbus A320 fleet. JetBlue has a daily flight to San Juan, Puerto Rico operated with the Embraer 190. Also JetBlue has a daily flight to Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey using the Airbus A320.

Delta Air Lines between three to five daily flights to New York-JFK using the Boeing 737-800.

United Airlines operates a daily flight to Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey using the Boeing 737-900ER.

American Airlines operates a daily flight to Miami using the Boeing 737-800. During the summer, American operates a second daily flight to Miami International Airport.

Spirit Airlines, took over the fourth place from Copa Airlines, is operating flights to Fort Lauderdale (daily flights only in the summer) with Airbus A320 family aircraft.

Copa Airlines, the Panama's flag carrier, operates five weekly flights to Panama City. Copa operates their flights with the Embraer 190.

InterCaribbean Airways operates four weekly flights to Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands using their Embraer E-120 fleet. Also, the Cibao International Airport is the airline's hub in the Dominican Republic.

Aerolineas Mas operated six weekly flights to Port-au-Prince and Santo Domingo-JBQ, running as the sixth airline in flights but the seventh in seating capacity. Seating occupation for Aerolineas Mas was 70% and they operated with the JS31 aircraft.[citation needed]

Air Century operated four weekly flights to Punta Cana and Santo Domingo-JBQ. They used Jetstream 31 aircraft.

Increased passenger status

Since its inauguration, Cibao International has been projected to become one of busiest airports in terms of passenger traffic in the country.[citation needed] Presently it has become the third-busiest airport in the Dominican Republic, only being surpassed by the airports of Punta Cana and Santo Domingo.

JetBlue Airways Departing runway 11.

The airport served more than 970 thousand passengers in 2006.[citation needed]

Airport expansion

Cibao Airport Corporation has expanded the international terminal, which now includes a new check-in area, an extension of the commercial area with a new food court, located in the second level, a new baggage claim carousel, making a total of three and the reconstruction of a new Duty Free Zone.[3]


International terminal

The airport's main terminal (international) has six gates (B1-B6).[4] Five of these gates provide boarding docks (B1-B2/B4-B6). It is located between the domestic terminal and the cargo terminal. It has all of the facilities of a modern airport.

Future expansion of this airport is being discussed which would include additional gates and baggage handling areas as well as expanding the taxiway. Recently gates B1 and B2 received boarding docks leaving gate B3 for smaller aircraft. JetBlue Airways is the current largest carrier at the airport.

Domestic terminal

The airport's domestic terminal, called too as General Aviation hall, has Three stands, (A1 to A3) and it's located next to the international terminal. It is used for domestic flights and charter private flights. Aerolineas Mas is currently the major domestic airline in this Airport. Operating flights to Santo Domingo-JBQ and Port-au-Prince, and with plans to operate regularly to Punta Cana, Aerolineas Mas had made of this airport it Focus City. Air Century recently launched regular domestics flights from/to Santo Domingo-JBQ, Punta Cana and Puerto Plata, operating all their flights through the Domestic Terminal.

Airlines and destinations

Airlines Destinations Terminal
D & I
American Airlines Miami I
Copa Airlines Colombia Panama City I
Delta Air Lines New York-JFK, Atlanta (resumes March 5, 2016) I
InterCaribbean Airways Providenciales
Seasonal: Grand Turk
JetBlue Airways Boston, New York-JFK, Newark,[5] San Juan I
Spirit Airlines Fort Lauderdale I
United Airlines Newark I

Cargo terminal

The airport has a cargo terminal with four stands ( C1 to C4) for cargo carriers such as Amerijet, IBC and SkyWay. These cargo carriers have regular flights from Santiago to the United States and other Caribbean islands including Saint Martin and The Bahamas and also to many domestic cargo destinations like Santo Domingo, Constanza and others. Santiago Airport is the second busiest airport by Cargo Movements in the Country behind Santo Domingo-SDQ.

Amerijet is the major cargo carrier at the airport with many flights to Miami, Port-au-Prince, St. Kitts, Santo Domingo and other neighboring islands. They have regular weekly direct flights to Miami and Santo Domingo and to others destinations only on Sunday.
Currently, there are only two international regular carriers operating Cargo flights, but many other airlines operate their flights through this terminal with seasonal and/or charter services, making this airport the second busiest one, in terms of cargo, in the country.

Cargo carriers

Amerijet departing to MIA
Airlines Destinations
Amerijet International Barbados, Miami, Port-au-Prince, Santo Domingo-Las Americas, Port of Spain, San Juan, Antigua, St. Maarten, St. Kitts, Curaçao, Maracaibo
IBC Airways Miami, Providenciales
Seasonal: Cap-Haitien, Port-Au-Prince
Skyway Aguadilla
Seasonal: Nassau, San Juan
Roblex Aviation Seasonal: Nassau, San Juan



In this year, the airport operated up to eight flights a day to the main destinations for people in Santiago, New York City's John F. Kennedy International Airport, which was a record for flights from the Dominican Republic to New York. In this route, American Airlines carried more than 450,000 passengers, making it the major airline operating in Santiago's airport that year. The airport handled up to 600,000 passengers this year.[6]

The Control Tower seen from the Domestic Terminal


In this year the airport recorded the highest number of passengers handled, with more than 970,000 users.


In this year the airport reported a decrease in passenger movements of 0.02%.


In 2008 the airport suffered a reduction in regular operations due to the economic crisis in middle 2008. Passengers movements decreasd by 17.2%. The airport spent almost two years to recover of this crisis. The Airport received 820,159 passengers from New York, Miami, San Juan, Atlanta, Boston, Panamá, Haiti and Turks and Caicos Islands.


This year three airlines announced intentions to operate in the airport, one of them, Spirit Airlines, whose started operations from Fort Lauderdale in June. By this year the airport was still planning the runway expansion, which has since been postponed. Their expectations to handle one million passengers did not become a fact, with a decrease of 0.3% in passengers movements, in relation to the last year, handling 817 thousand passengers.


In this year the airport handled more than 900 thousand passengers, becoming the third-busiest airport in the country by passengers. Numbers increased 10.2%, making visible the recovery to the 2008 economic crisis. The airport received new carriers such as PAWA Dominicana, Aerolineas Mas and VolAir which established regular scheduled domestic flights operating from this airport and Punta Cana, Puerto Plata and Santo Domingo.


The airport reported increasing passenger movements through this terminal. This year the airport handled more than 925 thousand, with a change of 3.1% from the year before. Airlines added new frequencies to the current routes and started many new destinations. Such airlines are JetBlue, which started three weekly flights to Boston, Aerolineas MAS, adding domestics flights to Punta Cana three times per week. The airport kept the title of the third-busiest airport of the country by passengers and traffic.


The airport handled almost 1.1 million passengers, breaking the record of passengers moved in the airport's life. JetBlue increased frequency to both their Boston and New York routes. Delta doubled its flights to New York and Copa increased the seating capacity to Panama. The airport kept the title of the third-busiest airport in the country for the third year running.


In 2013 American Eagle stopped their flight operations in the Dominican Republic and JetBlue started the operation of the flight to San Juan.


United Airlines and JetBlue Airways started the operation of daily flights to Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey.


Delta Air Lines added flights to Atlanta and increased operations to New York. JetBlue Airways also added more flights to their current destinations. This year the airport received many charters from different points in the United States, Brazil and South America.

Source: Banco Central.Source: Banco Central.
Year (Jan-Dec) Passengers % Change
In 2002 271,707
In 2003 591,402 Increase 117.7
In 2004 680,121 Increase 15.0
In 2005 900,252 Increase 32.4
In 2006 973,541 Increase 8.1
In 2007 950,136 Decrease -0.02
In 2008 820,159 Decrease -17.2
In 2009 817,518 Decrease -0.3
In 2010 901,080 Increase 10.2
In 2011 928,944 Increase 3.1
In 2012 1,092,663
Increase 17.6
In 2013 1,092,229 Decrease -0.03
In 2014 1,226,646 Increase 12.3
In 2015 1,319,490 Increase 7.53

Top destinations

Busiest International Routes from STI
Rank City Passengers Carriers
1 New York City (JFK) 818,909 American, Delta, JetBlue
2 Miami (MIA) 122,355 American
3 Boston (BOS) 42,531 JetBlue
4 Panama City (PTY) 33,733 Copa
5 Fort Lauderdale (FLL) 26,386 Spirit
6 San Juan (SJU) 26,022 American Eagle
7 Providenciales (PLS) 6,749 Air Turks & Caicos
8 Port-au-Prince (PAP) 1,994 Aerolíneas MAS
Continental's Boeing 777-200ER departing to EWR on Runway 11

Incidents and accidents

Although no fatal accidents have occurred at the airport, a few incidents have taken place:

  • May 12, 2010, An American Airlines Boeing 767-300 operating flight 814 to New York, got attach in the taxiway after the pilot derailed the landing gear out of the taxiway. The aircraft had to be towed and the flight got canceled. No Injures.
  • June 12, 2012, A flight instruction Cessna 150, registered as HI-561, departed around 11:25am. The engine shutted down around 11:30am, crashed landing on a sweet potato field about 5 miles north-west from the airport. There were no fatalities, but the pilot and his student had some injuries.
  • May 24, 2013, An Aerolíneas Mas Cessna 206 (Reg. HI-411) operating flight 501 from Punta Cana to Santiago, with 5 on board, crashed in a beach near Samaná after the pilot declared an emergency and tried to land in Arroyo Barril Airport. There were no fatalities but passengers were injured and taken to Samaná Hospital.

See also


This airport also serves as the northern air base for the Dominican Air Force, however, mainly as a support facility. Presently there are no military aircraft stationed at this airport.


  1. JetBlue and (March 8, 2004). "JetBlue operations in STI". Retrieved 2008-04-26.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. AIP/AIS Dominicana (March 1, 2008). "Diagrama Aeroportuario - Dirección de Navegación Aérea". IDAC Instituto Dominicano de Aviación Civil. Retrieved 2008-03-23.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. Migssant/ACD (March 15, 2008). "Parte Oeste Aeropuerto Cibao - Expancion de la Terminal 1". Aviación Civil Dominicana ACD. Retrieved 2008-03-24.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. IDAC (March 1, 2008). "Ramps Map STI" (PDF). AIP Dominicana (IDAC). Retrieved 2008-04-26.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. "JetBlue connects Newark and the Dominican Republic" (Press release). JetBlue Airways. January 27, 2014. Retrieved January 27, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. Departamento Aeroportuario (June 12, 2007). "Departamento Aeroportuario - Estadisticas" (PDF). Departamento Aeroportuario Dominicano. Retrieved 2008-03-23.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. IDAC traffic Statistics
  8. Franklin Cordero (February 17, 2008). "Caribair Britten N Islander Crash in La Romana". El Caribe. Retrieved 2008-03-18.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links