In short, the term ‘airline hub’ or ‘hub airport’ is given to the airport(s) that airlines use outside their headquarters. The hub is also used as a term that expresses the connectivity of an airport to other airports. The more places an airport provides access to, the higher the flight frequency is and the greater the hub. During a Cabinet meeting on July 19, 2022, chaired by Prime Minister Hon. John Briceño, the Minister of Blue Economy and Civil Aviation pitched the economic importance of making aviation in Belize a national priority, including the concept of a proposed Aviation Hub City for Belize. As a result, Cabinet formed a ministerial working group comprised of the Minister Blue Economy and Civil Aviation, the Minister of Tourism and Diaspora Relations, and the Minister of Finance to present a roadmap within four weeks’ time. The plan will include a feasibility study for the proposed Aviation Hub City.
Fun Fact #1
If you fly in and out of Belize’s Philip S. W. Goldson International Airport, you’ll see a zipping number of connecting flights every hour. Travel domestically with local puddle jumpers Maya Island Air and Tropic Air, with the latter also servicing the region to Guatemala City, Cancun, Roatan, and San Salvador.
Fun Fact #2
Built between 1943 and 1944 during World War II, Belize’s airport has been a vital military asset that a senior U.S. Air Force general called “the best-defended airfield in Central America.” The PGIA has hosted British Forces Belize, the Royal Air Force, the U.S. Army Air Corps, and other “guests” of the country when the defense of the Western Hemisphere required enhanced mobilization. In 2018, the Philip Goldson International Airport ranked 5th busiest airport in Central America.
Fun fact #3
When government officials decided to name Belize’s international airport in honor of Belizean newspaper editor, activist, and politician Philip Stanley Wilberforce Goldson, they decided on the name Philip S.W. Goldson Airport. Goldson went blind in 1978 and became a career advocate for the Caribbean Association of the Disabled until his death in 2001.
Fun fact #4
At last estimates pre-COVID extensions, the PGIA covered 457 acres of land and offers pilots 9,900 feet of runway and apron. Two terminals host 12 international airlines with seven departure gates within the 110,000-square-foot building and a surprising number of services within. Eight cargo companies are headquartered here, too.
Fun Fact #5
Belize’s airport might be a dot on the map compared to others in the region, but that doesn’t mean there’s not enough to keep you entertained! It’s unlikely to have a long layover within, but if you do have time to kill, head to Jet’s Bar for the larger-than-life character of 80-year-old Jet himself (with celebrity photo-ops to prove it). Within, travelers can also find a Harley Davidson store and even a Belikin Store.
Who knows what the Philip Goldson International Airport (PGIA) in Belize has in store with the promise of an Aviation Hub City?