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Managua Intl Airport

Augusto C. Sandino International Airport
Aeropuerto Internacional Augusto C. Sandino

Augusto C. Sandino
International Airport
Augusto C. Sandino
International Airport (Nicaragua)
Airport type Public and Military
Owner Republica de Nicaragua
Operator EAAI
Serves Managua
Location Managua
Hub for
  • La Costeña
Elevation AMSL 194 ft / 59 m
Coordinates 12°08′29″N 086°10′05″W / 12.14139°N 86.16806°W / 12.14139; -86.16806
Direction Length Surface
ft m
09/27 8,015 2,442 Asphalt

Augusto C. Sandino International Airport (Spanish: Aeropuerto Internacional Augusto C. Sandino) (IATA: MGA, ICAO: MNMG) is the main airport in Managua, Nicaragua. Inaugurated as Las Mercedes Airport in 1968 it was later renamed Augusto C. Sandino International Airport during the Sandinista regime in 1980s and again in 2001 to Managua International Airport by Arnoldo Alemán. Its name was changed once more in February 2007 to its current name by President Daniel Ortega in honor of Nicaragua's national hero, Augusto César Sandino.

The runway at the airport is 8,015 feet long, and has an elevation of 194 feet. With 1.1 million passengers per year, Augusto C. Sandino International Airport is currently the fifth busiest airport by passenger traffic in Central America. The airport also serves as a focus city for the Panamanian airline Copa Airlines and the national flag carrier of Nicaragua, Nicaragüense de Aviación, which operates under the Grupo TACA brand name.


On January 22, 1942, the Government of Nicaragua and Pan American Airways signed a contract to construct an airport under the name of Las Mercedes Airport. After the construction was finished the airport was inaugurated on July 4, 1968 by Anastasio Somoza Debayle. Las Mercedes was designed to be able to be used by Boeing 707 aircraft.

In the early 1970s, Las Mercedes was expanded to more modern standards, with four health inspectors, eight immigration officers and ten customs inspectors. It was fully equipped with air conditioning, background music, loudspeakers and conveyor belts for baggage handling. It also had a restaurant on its upper floor where visitors and travelers could see airport movement.

This expanded airport could serve three aircraft at once, and by 1975, Pan Am and Iberia, Lanica Airlines, the Airline of Nicaragua as well as other, smaller local carriers, flew into Las Mercedes. When the Sandinistas took power, the airport was named after Augusto César Sandino, a Sandinista guerrilla leader. The Sandinistas however did not maintain the airport, and it began to deteriorate, until it was expanded and remodeled in 1996, when, among other things, two new boarding bridges were installed. The airport was renamed "Managua International Airport" in 2001 and renamed again in 2007 to its current name by President Daniel Ortega.

Sculptures in the center of the waiting lobby.
Sculptures in the center of the waiting lobby.

The airport has served for a very long time as a hub for Nicaragua's flag carrier, NICA. When NICA became a member of Grupo TACA during the 1990s, the number of important connections to the rest of Latin America from the Augusto C. Sandino International Airport grew considerably. The Augusto C. Sandino International Airport, managed by EAAI, is considered one of the best and most modern airports in Central America. This airport, located just 11 km (7 mi) from the city of Managua has a runway which measures 8,015 ft (2,443 m) in length and is at an elevation of 194 ft (59 m).

Embraer 190s, Airbus A300, Airbus A310, Airbus A330, Boeing 737s, Boeing 747s, Boeing 757s, Boeing 767s, Lockheed L-1011 Tristars and McDonnell Douglas DC-10s can land at the airport.

A large expansion programme was underway by 2003 and as of July 2006 the final phase was completed with 5 gates equipped with jetways. Currently the runway is also undergoing an addition of 800 m (2,625 ft).

Safety is taken very seriously at Managua airport and many security measures have been put in place. Plus-minus 360 individuals are employed at the airport, all contributing towards a clean, friendly, helpful and safe airport environment. Facilities within Augusto C. Sandino International Airport include a tourist information desk, bank, restaurants, bars, post office, souvenir shops, duty free shops, lounges and more. To make use of the VIP lounge there are five rate options: Normal, Corporate, Affiliated Credit Cards, Minors and Infants. Prices and services vary according to the option you select. The types of services you can enjoy in the VIP lounge include checking baggage and documents with customs and immigration plus the airline; a bar service; snacks etc. Departure tax from the International Airport is included in the cost of the ticket and amounts to US$ 35.00. Those passengers who are only stopping over at the airport for less than 8 hours or are under the age of 2 years are exempt from this charge. Passengers who arrive at Nicaragua's International Airport have to pay tax to the INTUR (Nicaraguan Tourism Institute) to the amount of US$ 5.00. Citizens from the CA-4 countries do not have to pay this. The CA-4 countries are Nicaragua, Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador). Tax costs are subject to changes.

Airlines and destinations

Airlines Destinations
Aerocaribbean La Havana
American Airlines Miami
CanJet Montréal-Trudeau
Continental Airlines Houston-Intercontinental
Copa Airlines Guatemala City, Panama City, San José de Costa Rica, San Salvador
Delta Air Lines Atlanta, Los Angeles [seasonal]
Spirit Airlines Fort Lauderdale
TACA Airlines Guatemala City [seasonal], Los Angeles [seasonal], Miami, San José de Costa Rica, San Salvador
TACA Regional La Costeña Bluefields, Bonanza, Corn Island, Puerto Cabezas, Rosita, San Carlos, Siuna, Waspán


Airlines Destinations
Arrow Air Miami
UPS Airlines Miami

Incidents and accidents

  • On March 5, 1959, Vickers Viscount YS-09C of TACA International Airlines crashed shortly after take-off from Managua Airport when both port engines failed. Fifteen of the 19 people on board were killed.
  • On 15 February 1974, a Douglas DC-3 of APSA was damaged beyond economic repair when it crash-landed at Managua Airport.
  • On June 5, 2006 a McDonnell Douglas DC10-10F (registered N68047) en route Miami - Managua touched down hard at Managua and was unable to stop before the end of the runway. The aircraft overran by about 300 meters, the nose gear collapsed causing substantial damage to the engines as well as a possible fuel rupture in the wing.
  • On July 24, 2007 a Boeing 737 700, Continental flight (C0876), with 160 passengers and a crew of 6 flying from Panama City to Houston had to land in the Augusto C. Sandino International Airport because one of the internal security windows suffered a rupture.

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General Info
Country Nicaragua
Time UTC-6
Latitude 12.141494
12° 08' 29.38" N
Longitude -86.168178
086° 10' 05.44" W
Elevation 194 feet
59 meters
Type Joint (Civil and Military)
Magnetic Variation 000° E (01/06)
Beacon Yes
Near City Managua
International Clearance Status Airport of Entry

TWR 118.1
RDO 126.9
GND 121.9
APP 119.4

ID Dimensions Surface PCN ILS
09/27 8012 x 148 feet
2442 x 45 meters

Type ID Name Channel Freq Distance From Field Bearing From Navaid
VOR-DME MGA MANAGUA 058X 112.1 At Field -
NDB YNP MANAGUA - 290 At Field -

FUEL A1 (Avbl 1200-0300Z, Texaco Caribbean, Inc. C505-233-1573. After hrs fee $20/hr, PN req dur nml bus hrs) (NC-100LL)

The content above was published at in 2010.
We don't guarantee the information is fresh and accurate. The data may be wrong or outdated.
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