Juan Gualberto Gomez Airport was built in 1989 and inaugurated by Fidel Castro, thus replacing the old Varadero airport located in Santa Marta, currently known as Kawama Airport. The airport was named after a journalist, fighter for the Cuban Independence and black rights activist in Cuba Juan Gualberto Gómez (1854–1933). The terminal building has shops for tourists (including rum, cigars, T-shirts, books, carvings, pharmaceuticals), a large departures lounge cafeterias and a VIP lounge. A VIP card is available by paying $30/person to the local tour company representative. This allows the departing passenger to bypass the queues for check-in, have an agent take your departure tax to the correct official for you, and bypass any lines for passport control. The passenger is then taken to the VIP lounge which provides free food and drink (including alcoholic beverages). The ground handling equipment is imported mainly from North America. There are four jet bridges, but air stairs are used for the remaining aircraft parking spaces on the apron by the terminal. Juan Gualberto Gómez Airport (IATA: VRA, ICAO: MUVR), formerly known as Varadero Airport (Spanish: Aeropuerto de Varadero), is an international airport serving Varadero, Cuba and the province of Matanzas. The airport is located closer to the city of Matanzas than to Varadero. The closest airport to Varadero is Kawama Airport. In 2009, the airport handled 1.28 million passengers, making it the second busiest airport in Cuba after José Martí International Airport in Havana.