ⓘ Ministro Pistarini International Airport

Ministro Pistarini International Airport

ⓘ Ministro Pistarini International Airport

Ministro Pistarini International Airport, but better known as Ezeiza International Airport owing to its location in the Ezeiza Partido in Greater Buenos Aires, is an international airport 22 kilometres south-southwest of the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires, the capital city of Argentina. It is the countrys largest international airport by number of passengers handled - 85% of international traffic - and is a hub for international flights of Aerolineas Argentinas and LATAM Argentina. Aerolineas Argentinas and its subsidiary Austral Lineas Aereas do operate limited domestic or cabotaje air service from Pistarini Airport as well. Covering 3.475 hectares, the airport serves Buenos Aires and its metropolitan area. It has been operated by Aeropuertos Argentina 2000 S.A. since 1998. It is one of three airports serving Buenos Aires, along with Aeroparque Jorge Newbery and El Palomar Airport.


1. History

Juan Pistarini, Minister of Public Works during the presidency of Juan Peron, placed the cornerstone of the project on 22 December 1945. It was designed and erected by Argentine technicians, Its construction was one of the major projects in the five-year plan of the first presidency of Juan Peron. When it opened, it was the third-largest airport in the world.

A 1949 diagram shows three runways crossing at 60-degree angles: 9.353 ft runway 10/28, 7.220 ft 4/22 and 6.892 ft 16/34. In 1997, RWY 05/23 was closed and it is now used for parking large aircraft such as the Airbus A340 or Boeing 747.

The Ezeiza massacre took place near the airport in 1973.


2. Operations

Since December 2012, citizens from countries requiring an entry visa for Argentine nationals – including Australia and Canada – are charged a "reciprocity fee" to enter Argentina, equivalent to the price the countries charge Argentine citizens for a visa. Until December 2012 2012-12 the tax was collected, in Argentine pesos or US dollars, at the airport; since then, the tax must be paid in advance online from the country of origin. As of 23 August 2016, the Argentine Government Presidential Decree No. 959/2016 has resolved to suspend the collection of the reciprocity fee from US passport holders who visit the country for less than 90 days, for tourist or business purposes.

In October 2012 Ezeiza Airport recorded the highest annual traffic growth of all the airports operated by Aeropuertos Argentina 2000. For this month, the airport handled 767.824 passengers, a 10.9% increase compared to the previous October; the volume of international and domestic traffic for October 2012 increased 8.7% and 108.3%, respectively, year-on-year. Overall, 2012 traffic figures for the airport indicated a 7.3% increase over the previous year. Figures for July 2013 showed that the airport handled 688.397 passengers, an 8.9% decrease over the previous year.


3. Airlines and destinations

Terminal C was inaugurated in July 2011; as of December 2011, its facilities were in use by Aerolineas Argentinas, Air France, and Alitalia for their operations. More SkyTeam members were expected to move their operations to the terminal. In March 2013 terminal B, with an area of 28.795 square metres 309.950 sq ft, was inaugurated, for use by Aerolineas Argentinas and KLM.

Qantas withdrew its service to the airport in favour of Santiago de Chile in March 2012; flights to Ezeiza Airport had begun in November 2008. This followed Malaysia Airlines termination of its Boeing 747-served Kuala Lumpur–Cape Town–Buenos Aires route in early 2012 to cut costs. South African Airways discontinued its Johannesburg–Buenos Aires service in March 2014.

In June 2010 2010-06, Qatar Airways launched direct flights between the airport and Doha. After a ten-year gap, KLM resumed operations at the airport in October 2011. Emirates launched services to the airport in January 2012 2012-01, and Turkish Airlines extended its Istanbul–São Paulo service to end at Ezeiza in December the same year. Air New Zealand started non-stop flights between the airport and Auckland in December 2015.

In 2018, low-cost carriers LEVEL and Norwegian started long-haul flights to Ezeiza airport from Barcelona and London-Gatwick respectively. Ethiopian Airlines and Swiss carrier Edelweiss Air launched new flights to Buenos Aires.


4. Accidents and incidents

As of August 2011, Aviation Safety Network records 30 accidents/incidents for aircraft that departed from the airport or had it as a destination. The list below provides a summary of the fatal events that took place at or in the vicinity of the airport.

  • 23 October 1996: Fuerza Aerea Argentina Flight 5025, a Boeing 707-320C, registration LV-LGP, was operating a cargo service when it struck the ground short of the runway on final approach to Ezeiza inbound from Arturo Merino Benitez International Airport, broke up, and burst into flames. Two occupants of the aircraft lost their lives.
  • 26 October 2003: CATA Linea Aerea Flight 760, a Fairchild FH-227B, tail number LV-MGV, was operating a nonscheduled Ezeiza–Camba Punta Airport freighter service when it encountered technical difficulties shortly after takeoff from Ezeiza Airport. The aircraft attempted a belly landing on a nearby golf course. The aircraft skidded some 200 m before hitting a tree and bursting into flames. All five occupants of the aircraft died in the accident.