Since its inception on 8th January 1931, the Piarco International Airport has become a major air transportation facility in the Caribbean. Its growth in predominance as an aviation centre in the Caribbean is inextricably linked to the rich and colourful history of Trinidad and Tobago. This evolution begun in 1913, when two Americans, Frank Boland and George Schmidt, thrilled crowds at the Queen’s Park Savannah with their daring aerial displays. Interest in aviation in Trinidad and Tobago came to the blossomed during the First World War, when many locals joined the British Royal Flying Corps and distinguished themselves in services.
Aviation activity continued at the Queen’s Park Savannah until 1931, when a development contract was given to local engineer Maurice Lange. He fortuitously chose the Piarco Savannah as the site. His choice displayed remarkable foresight and bravado for the finest airfield in the entire Caribbean. Lange completed construction on the 3000ft Piarco Runway and Terminal in about three (3) months’ time. Hence on 8th January 1931, Piarco was able to receive its first aircraft.
Under the management of Airports Authority of Trinidad and Tobago, the airport has seen many changes since its birth in 1931. There are currently two terminals. The North Terminal, which had its inauguration on the 25th November 2011, is dedicated to the commercial passenger movements. It houses 29 gates which include 14 mechanical bridges. The second terminal, which is now called the South Terminal, was once the original Piarco terminal. It has been converted to a 24 hour Cargo Facility. It houses an Executive Jet Centre and helicopter operations.
The aerodrome has a Longitude - 61° 20’
Latitude - 10° 35’ North
Elevation - 17.4 Meters above Sea Level
Runway Direction - 10/28
Runway Length - 3,200 Meters (10,500 feet)
Runway Width - 45.7 Meters (150 feet)
Load Classification - 2,961-3,600 KN. / (652,604 – 793,400 lbs)
Airport Size - 680 Hectares (1,760 acres)