Rodríguez Ballón Intl is the airport of Arequipa, the second largest city in Peru. As such, it is one of two main gateways (the other one being Cuzco) for tourists to southern Peru, with the beautiful city of Arequipa, and many canyons and ruins in the area. The airport also has a military compound, where the headquarters of Ala (wing) No.3 of the Peruvian Air Force is housed, with subordinate units based in the Arequipa area (notably at La Joya and Vitor).
Beware, plane spotting is neither understood nor appreciated in Peru.
Rodríguez Ballón has a single east-west runway with a parallel taxiway. The terminal is situated south of the main runway. The military area can be found to the left of the long airport entrance road and its apron is connected with the runway by a long taxiway.
The airport is located north west of town and is conveniently signposted. To make things even easier, from the city centre, Avenida Aviación leads you all the way to the airport.
Around the Airport
1Terminal area & military apron
We start our tour at the terminal area, which is clearly signposted from Av. Aviación. The long road to the terminal area leads past the military compound. From the parking lot, views on the civil aprons to the north can be had, as well as views on the military apron to the south. As the airport is surrounded by a wall, it is not easy to make pictures.
If you like aircraft from the past, do not forget to take a peek across the wall here. A Su-22 and a Stinson can be seen preserved in the military compound.
3Approach 09 - north side
Since we are on the southern hemisphere, we have to find a suitable spot on the North side of the runway, in order to have the sun turn behind our backs. Coming from spot 1 and 2, turn right on Av. Aviación to Yura. When the airfield perimeter wall ends, take a right turn, and you will pass the centreline of runway 09. Just past the centreline, there are a few small hills, which provide great views of aircraft on approach. You are clearly visible here, so it is not a place to linger around for too long.
|"003"||Su-22 (F), preserved, visible from spot 2|
|141||Stinson F-19, preserved, visible from spot 2|
|Approach 27 - north side||El Misti is a giant volcano, and besides being an important landmark, it also obstructs approach 27, which is therefore not often used. In case it is, spot 4 comes in handy. From the airport terminal, make two sharp left turns, on Av. Huallaga and follow it all the way to the eastern threshold. When Av. Huallaga bends right, keep straight and park your car at the left side of the road. From here, decent views of approach 27 can be had. Again, you are clearly visible here, so it is not a place to linger around for too long.|
|Arequipa airport||Official site of Arequipa airport|
|Arequipa - Rodríguez Ballón Intl|
|Cuzco - Ten. Alejandro Velasco Astete Intl|
|La Joya - Mariano Melgar   subscribers only|
|Lima - Callao/Jorge Chavez Intl   subscribers only|
|Lima - Las Palmas   subscribers only|
|Moquegua - Cesar Torke Podesta   subscribers only|
|Pisco Intl   subscribers only|
|Puerto Maldonado - Padre Aldamiz   subscribers only|
|Vitor   subscribers only|