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El Dorado International Airport

El Dorado International Airport (IATA: BOG, ICAO: SKBO) is an international airport serving Bogotá, Colombia and its surrounding areas. The airport is located mostly in the Fontibón district of Bogotá, although it partially extends into the Engativá district and the municipality of Funza in the Western Savanna Province of the Cundinamarca Department. In 2018, it served over 32.7 million passengers and 741,000 metric tons of cargo. This makes El Dorado the third busiest airport in Latin America in terms of passenger traffic, and the busiest in terms of cargo. El Dorado is also by far the busiest and most important airport in Colombia, accounting for just under half (49%) of the country's air traffic.

El Dorado International Airport

Aeropuerto Internacional El Dorado
ElDorado International Airport logo.svg
Aeropuerto Eldorado - Aviones.jpg
Summary
Airport typePublic / Military
OperatorOPAIN S.A.
LocationBogotá
Hub for
Elevation AMSL2,548 m / 8,361 ft
Coordinates04°42′05″N 74°08′49″W / 4.70139°N 74.14694°W / 4.70139; -74.14694Coordinates: 04°42′05″N 74°08′49″W / 4.70139°N 74.14694°W / 4.70139; -74.14694
WebsiteAeropuerto El Dorado
Map
BOG is located in Colombia
BOG
BOG
Location of airport in Colombia
Runways
Direction Length Surface
m ft
13L/31R 3,800 12,467 Asphalt
13R/31L 3,800 12,467 Asphalt
Statistics (2018)
Passengers32,716,468
Cargo tonnage741,502 TM

El Dorado is a hub for the Colombian flag-carrier Avianca, LATAM Colombia, Satena, Wingo, and a number of cargo companies. It is owned by the Government of Colombia and operated by Operadora Aeroportuaria Internacional (OPAIN), a consortium composed of Colombian construction and engineering firms and the Swiss company Flughafen Zürich AG, the company that operates Zurich International Airport. The airport has been named the best airport in South America by World Airport Awards.[1] El Dorado received four-star certification and its staff was rated the best in South America by Skytrax,[2] as well as achieving 42nd place in Skytrax's World's Top 100 Airports in 2017.[3]

HistoryEdit

Early yearsEdit

 
Main entrance for domestic departures at El Dorado International Airport
 
International departure terminal at El Dorado

The El Dorado Passenger Terminal was designed during the government of General Gustavo Rojas Pinilla. Its construction began in 1955 and entered in service by December 1959, replacing Techo International Airport, which had been the city's main airport since 1930. Before its inauguration, Soledad International Airport in Barranquilla was the nation's air hub, and was relegated to secondary importance in the country when El Dorado Airport opened. The new terminal consisted of several taxiways, maintenance platforms, parking areas, a cellar, passenger halls, Mezzanine areas and other amenities. Its second floor consisted of the departures area with executive waiting rooms and restaurants. The third floor consisted mainly of offices for the airlines and of other airport related services.

The fourth floor held the administrative offices and its dependencies which accounted through to the fifth floor. The sixth floor contained mainly the dependencies of meteorology and power station of air navigation aids of the ECA. The seventh floor held the route control facilities for the runways and taxiways and the eighth floor contained air traffic radar controllers. The ninth floor contained the airport's electrical maintenance and offices, and the tenth floor held the control tower and air traffic controllers.

In 1973, the airport accomplished a milestone by serving nearly three million passengers and processing nearly 5 million units of luggage. That year turned out to be one of the most prosperous for the industry of aviation, registering high passenger growth in both domestic and international traffic. Then it became necessary for a second runway at El Dorado with concerns that the explosive growth would lead to over congestion in the future. In 1981, Avianca undertook the construction of the Puente Aéreo Terminal inaugurated by President Julio César Turbay Ayala, to serve its high density flights from Bogotá to Cali, Medellín, Miami and New York City. In 1990, the Special Administrative Unit of Civil Aeronautics (Aerocivil) moved to the third floor in the main building. During this same year, the Centro de Estudios Aeronáuticos and at the east part of the airport the building for the National Center for Aeronavigation were constructed. In 1998, the second runway was officially opened.

Avianca's main hubEdit

On 10 December 1998, Avianca officially opened its hub in Bogotá, offering an estimated 6,000 possible connections per week, including greater numbers of frequencies, schedules and destinations served. Connections between domestic and international destinations are currently operated directly and through codesharing agreements with airlines such as Delta Air Lines, Iberia, Air Canada, Lufthansa and Air France.

Operations out of the Bogotá hub allow travelers to easily connect between domestic destinations (such as Pereira San Andrés), from a domestic destination to an international destination (Such as Cali to Los Angeles), from an international destination to a domestic city (Such as Ft. Lauderdale to Baranquilla), between two international destinations (Such as Paris to Guayaquil) and allows for simpler codeshare connections (such as Atlanta to Cartagena with Delta Air Lines and Avianca).

The hub also features facilities for easier transits, such as exclusive check-in counters for travelers in transit, buses for internal transportation between Puente Aéreo and El Dorado terminals, and a special lounge for international transit passengers to avoid having to go through Colombian customs and immigration between transits.

Puente AéreoEdit

In 1981, Avianca undertook the construction of a new exclusive terminal to be called the Puente Aéreo (Air Bridge), which was eventually inaugurated by President Julio Cesar Turbay Ayala. Avianca's original purpose for the terminal was for flights serving Cali, Medellín, Miami and New York. During the first years of operation and until 2005 Avianca gradually moved all of its domestic operations to the Puente Aéreo and shifted the Miami and New York operations to the main terminal.

This allowed them to streamline their operations by using space previously assigned to customs and immigration for passenger gates and lounges. The culmination of this process came in 2006 when the airline undertook extensive renovations on the building. However, the airline was mindful of the impending and current renovations of El Dorado. One possible plan will be demolishing the Puente Aéreo Terminal, Main terminal and old cargo buildings which will be replaced with a new mega terminal. Many of the renovations made to the terminal in 2006 were obviously temporary and designed to be cheap but effective. For example, the walkways for the new gates are simply floor tiles placed over the old tarmac and the structure is made of aluminum with plastic sheets instead of glass windows. Passengers must cross the lanes used by buses, baggage carts and other vehicles in order to reach the aircraft. Once at the gate travellers must climb stairs to access the plane, the norm in the 1950s and 1960s but has for many years been surpassed by jetways.

On February 2008 Avianca opened a pioneer store called Aviancastore which sells different products including: toy airplanes, hats, umbrellas, clothing, stuffed toys, pens, mugs and other such products, all embossed with the company logo. The store was an instant success and the airline expanded the concept to various other cities in Colombia.

On April 28, 2018 Avianca moved its entire domestic operation to Terminal 1 and local carriers Satena and EasyFly started operating from Puente Aéreo or Terminal 2

CATAM military airportEdit

On 3 September 1932 it was launched the first Military Transport Service in Colombia, when a Junkers F-13 carried Colonel Luis Acevedo and his party to Leticia. Colonel Acevedo also served as Colombia's General Director of aviation. Although the military air transport infrastructure was not formed yet, that mission was accomplished during the conflict with Peru in a rudimentary but effective way, with aircraft like the Junkers W-34, Ju-52 and BT-32 Condor.

In 1954 he created a "Liaison Squadron" operating under direct orders of the President of the Republic, at the time, Gen. Gustavo Rojas Pinilla. The Squadron was located in the Airport of Techo, the first airport of Bogotá. Its success led to the creation of a Military Airlift Group, which reached the category of Transportation Base in 1959. By then El Dorado International Airport was finished, so the Colombian Air Force ordered the transfer of the Unit to an area adjacent to the new Airport of El Dorado, using the civil airport facilities, while finishing the construction of a new base. The base was baptized as Comando Aéreo de Transporte Militar (Military Transportation Air Command) or CATAM. The base was inaugurated on 28 May 1963.

The base acquired the status of Operations and Logistics Support Center by FAC Directive No. 4429 of 8 July 1963, starting operations on 25 October. In 1968 the first two Hercules C-130B, with Colombian airplane military numbers FAC-1001 and FAC-1002, were delivered to this base. These aircraft, clearly designed for war missions and troop and materials transport, were able to use short and unpaved runways used in military operations through the country, fulfilling the needs of Colombian Air Force.

 
An Avianca jet parked at El Dorado

In 1977, the Military Transport Aviation Command was named after the Colombian aviation pioneer, Honorary Brigadier General Camilo Daza Alvarez. In order to expand its capacity for troop and cargo transportation in support of surface forces, in their fight against subversion and drug trafficking, the Air Force acquired new C-130 Hercules aircraft that been used for security purposes but also for humanitarian assistance. Between 1990 and 1991 the base received from the U.S. government six C-130B aircraft to support operations to combat drug trafficking and guerrillas.

In 1996 the base opened new ground accesses through an area devoted to the Military Transport Aviation Command. The narrow street that impeded the entrance and exit of vehicles was replaced by a dual carriageway and a tunnel that allows access to vehicular traffic passing below the airplane access ramp to runway number 2 of El Dorado International Airport. The parking lot was also enlarged to serve up to 260 vehicles. The base hosts the Colombian Air Force Museum, which has planes in display that represent the various types used in service during the 85 years history of the force.[4]

In 2003 NVG equipment for night vision air operations was installed in Hercules C-130 and CN-235 Nurtanio airplanes. This increased the operational and support capacity of the base given to ground Army force, by allowing transportation, parachuting and aeromedical evacuation on combat runways lacking illumination. In this way Colombian Air Force almost doubled its operating capacity at this base, since it works 24 hours a day.[5]

 
Baggage claim hall at Bogota El Dorado Airport

Terminals and facilitiesEdit

 
International Departures gate in the Terminal 1

New construction and renovations are presently underway in the terminal area. Once fully completed, the new main terminal will be known as Terminal 1 (T1). The T1 building is shaped like an "h" and is divided in two piers or concourses: the international one to the north side and the domestic pier/concourse on the south side. The new terminal has four airline lounges (operated by LATAM, Avianca, Copa and American Airlines) plus El Dorado Lounge by MasterCard in the international concourse and one airline lounge (operated by Avianca) in the domestic concourse. It also offers a variety of food options, both on the air and land side, and several retail stores and cafés in the duty-free area. There are also car rental facilities, ticket counters, ATM's, telephones, restrooms, luggage storage space and even a small casino. The terminal has complimentary Wi-Fi service.

T1 has several check-in counter areas, check-in kiosks and expanded immigration lanes compared to the previous terminal. "Express lanes" were added for holders of biometric passports and Global Entry Membership. The new terminal has moving walkways, escalators and elevators to guarantee universal access and faster connections. The new terminal contains 32 gates: 10 for international flights, 17 for domestic flights and 5 remote gates.

The "Puente Aéreo" is currently Terminal 2 (T2). It has been Avianca's exclusive terminal for domestic flights. On April 29, 2018 Avianca moved the remainder of its domestic operation from T2 to T1, which in turn meant the switch from T1 to T2 of EasyFly and Satena. This terminal contains a revamped food plaza, some retail stores and ATM's

 
Just outside of the airport in 2018

The Special Administrative Unit of Civil Aeronautics (Aerocivil) is located in the new Aerocivil Building, located on the airport property.[6][7] Previously it was located on the fourth floor of the main terminal building.[8][9]

Airlines and destinationsEdit

PassengerEdit

AirlinesDestinations
Aerolíneas Argentinas Buenos Aires–Ezeiza
Aeroméxico Mexico City
Air Canada Rouge Montréal–Trudeau (begins June 2, 2020),[10] Toronto–Pearson
Air Europa Madrid
Air France Paris–Charles de Gaulle
American Airlines Dallas/Fort Worth, Miami
Avianca Armenia, Aruba, Asunción (begins December 16, 2019),[11] Barcelona, Barrancabermeja, Barranquilla, Bucaramanga, Buenos Aires–Ezeiza, Cali, Cancún, Cartagena, Corozal, Cúcuta, Curaçao, Fort Lauderdale, Guatemala City, Havana (ends January 15, 2020),[12] La Paz, Leticia, Lima, London–Heathrow, Los Angeles, Madrid, Medellín–Córdova, Mexico City, Miami, Montería, Montevideo (resumes December 15, 2019), Munich, New York–JFK, Orlando, Pasto, Pereira, Punta Cana, Rio de Janeiro–Galeão, Riohacha, San Andrés Island, San Juan de Puerto Rico, San Salvador, Santa Marta, Santo Domingo–Las Américas, Santiago de Chile, São Paulo–Guarulhos, Valledupar, Washington–Dulles
Avianca Costa Rica San José de Costa Rica
Avianca Ecuador Aruba, Curaçao, Guayaquil, Panama City, Quito, Santa Cruz de la Sierra
Avianca El Salvador San Salvador
Avianca Peru Cusco, Lima
Avior Airlines Barcelona (VE), Caracas, Maracaibo, Valencia (VE)
Copa Airlines Panama City
Copa Airlines Colombia Panama City
Delta Air Lines Atlanta, New York–JFK (resumes December 22, 2019)[13]
EasyFly Barrancabermeja, Florencia, Manizales, Neiva, Pereira, Popayán, Puerto Asís, Quibdó, Yopal, Armenia
Iberia Madrid
Interjet Cancún, Mexico City
JetBlue Fort Lauderdale, Orlando
JetSmart Santiago de Chile (begins 9 January 2020)[14]
KLM Amsterdam1
LATAM Brasil São Paulo–Guarulhos
LATAM Chile Santiago de Chile
LATAM Colombia Barranquilla, Bucaramanga, Cali, Cartagena, Cúcuta, Leticia, Medellín–Córdova, Montería, Pereira, San Andrés Island, Santa Marta, Valledupar, Yopal
LATAM Perú Lima
Lufthansa Frankfurt
Regional Express Américas Florencia, Ibagué, Manizales, Neiva, Popayán, Tumaco, Villavicencio, Yopal
Satena Aguachica, Apartadó, Arauca, Buenaventura, Florencia, Ipiales, La Macarena, Medellín–Olaya Herrera, Mitú, Pitalito, Puerto Asís, Puerto Carreño, Puerto Inírida, Quibdó, San José del Guaviare, San Vicente del Caguan, Saravena, Villagarzon, Villavicencio
Spirit Airlines Fort Lauderdale, Orlando
Turkish Airlines Istanbul2
United Airlines Houston–Intercontinental, Newark
Viva Air Colombia Barranquilla, Bucaramanga, Cartagena, Cúcuta, Lima, Medellín–Córdova, Montería, Pereira, Riohacha, San Andrés Island, Santa Marta
Viva Air Perú Lima
Wingo Aruba, Cancún, Caracas, Cartagena, Curaçao, Guayaquil, Havana, Mexico City, Panama City–Balboa, Punta Cana, Quito, San Andrés Island, San José de Costa Rica,[15] Santo Domingo–Las Américas

Note:

  • ^1 KLM's flight from Bogotá to Amsterdam makes a stop in Cartagena. However, the airline does not have eighth freedom traffic rights to transport passengers solely between Bogotá and Cartagena.
  • ^2 Turkish Airlines' flight from Bogotá to Istanbul makes a stop in Panama City. However, the airline does not have traffic rights to transport passengers solely between Bogotá and Panama City.

CargoEdit

AirlinesDestinations
AeroSucre Quito
AeroUnion Miami
Avianca Cargo Asunción, Brussels,[16] Dallas/Fort Worth, Lima, Mexico City, Miami, Montevideo, Panama City, Quito, San Juan, Guatemala
Cargojet Hamilton
Cargolux Aguadilla, Latacunga, Luxembourg
Cielos del Perú Lima
DHL Aviation
operated by DHL Aero Expreso
Panama City
Emirates SkyCargo Dubai–Al Maktoum
Ethiopian Airlines Cargo Miami[17]
FedEx Express Memphis, Miami
KF Cargo Miami
Korean Air Cargo Seoul–Incheon, Tokyo–Narita
LATAM Cargo Brasil Fortaleza, Guayaquil, Manaus, Miami, Quito
LATAM Cargo Colombia Huntsville,[18] Miami, Rio de Janeiro–Galeão, Quito, Amsterdam
LATAM Cargo Mexico Guadalajara, Mexico City
Líneas Aéreas Suramericanas Aruba, Quito
Martinair Amsterdam, Santiago
TAB - Transportes Aéreos Bolivianos Miami, Santa Cruz de la Sierra–Viru Viru
Turkish Airlines Cargo Aguadilla, Istanbul-Atatürk, New York-JFK, Zaragoza
UPS Airlines Louisville, Miami
Vensecar Internacional Caracas
Western Global Airlines Miami

StatisticsEdit

Movements 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008
Passengers 31,041,841 30,566,473 27,430,266 25,009,483 22,525,873 20,427,603 18,934,203 14,899,199 13,548,420
Cargo (TM) 773,475 769,823 636,657 622,145 637,153 618,062 594,946 512,844 578,812
Movements 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000
Passengers 12,763,979 11,771,284 10,711,108 10,003,434 7,281,664 7,533,000 7,380,052 7,212,583
Cargo (TM) 585,598 590,931 585,598 531,474 482,152 420,605 374,608 378,035
 
El Dorado is the main hub of Avianca, one of the largest airlines in Latin America
 
Iberia Airbus 340-600 aircraft taxiing at Bogotá El Dorado International Airport.
 
Air France Airbus A340 landing from Paris–Charles de Gaulle
 
Boeing 777-200ER of KLM in El Dorado
Busiest international routes (roundtrip) out of El Dorado International Airport (2018)
Rank City Passengers % Load Factor % Change Airlines
1   Lima, Peru 839.996 79,23%   0,1% Avianca, Avianca Perú, LATAM Perú, Viva Colombia
2   Panama City, Panama 823.920 86,16%   8,89% Avianca Ecuador, Copa Airlines, Copa Airlines Colombia
3   Miami, United States 774.721 89,00%   27,12% American Airlines, Avianca, LATAM, LATAM Colombia
4   Mexico City, Mexico 772.198 81,65%   24,45% Aeroméxico, Avianca, Copa Colombia, Interjet
5   Madrid, Spain 713.652 89,28%   27,53% Air Europa, Avianca, Iberia
6   São Paulo, Brazil 642.902 94,52%   26,02% Avianca, LATAM Brasil
7   Santiago de Chile 642.115 75,70%   18,63% Avianca, LATAM
8   Quito, Ecuador 423.743 75,32%   3,11% Avianca Ecuador, Tame, Wingo
9   Cancun, Mexico 355.711 78,11%   17,87% Avianca, LATAM Colombia, Wingo
10   Fort Lauderdale, USA 343.281 90,65%   10,11% Avianca, JetBlue, Spirit Airlines
11   New York City, United States 340.234 87,49%   21,11% Avianca
12   Guayaquil, Ecuador 339.547 86,21%   31,18% Avianca Ecuador
13   Orlando, United States 312.555 88,34%   7,85% Avianca, JetBlue
14   San Salvador, El Salvador 191.293 79,62%   3,78% Avianca, Avianca El Salvador
15   Houston, United States 190.470 87,79%   6,69% United Airlines
16   Paris, France 190.028 92,94%   8,64% Air France
17   Barcelona, Spain 188.184 95,54%   8,02% Avianca
18   Caracas, Venezuela 186.003 40,97%   55,47% Avior, Wingo
19   Buenos Aires, Argentina 183.596 61,02%   37,84% Aerolíneas Argentinas, Avianca
20   Punta Cana, Dominican Republic 165.741 79,14%   2,74% Avianca, Wingo
21   London–Heathrow, United Kingdom 160.548 89,94%   4,95% Avianca
22   Frankfurt, Germany 151.799 83,27%   7,68% Lufthansa
23   San Jose, Costa Rica 151.859 76,21%   5,32% Avianca Costa Rica
24   Atlanta, United States 150.377 91,47%   20,88% Delta Air Lines
25   Oranjestad, Aruba 129.192 78,92%   6,72% Avianca, Avianca Ecuador, LATAM Colombia, Wingo
26   Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 127.617 97,09%   32,70% Avianca
27   Havana, Cuba 109.282 69,59%   9,94% Avianca, Cubana de Aviación, Wingo
28   Los Angeles, United States 98.189 84,98%   12,83% Avianca
29   Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic 90.993 73,18%   3,18% Avianca
30   Toronto, Canada 85.907 85,84%   13,49% Air Canada
31   Newark, United States 85.452 91,42%   4,64% United Airlines
32   Amsterdam, The Netherlands 84.110 88,84%   14,99% KLM
33   Washington, United States 82.684 85,00%   0,98% Avianca
34   Dallas, United States 78.531 76,20%   1,26% American Airlines
35   Panama City-Balboa, Panama 60.906 50,74%   0,20% Viva Colombia, Wingo
36   Guatemala City, Guatemala 59.901 75,02%   1,55% Avianca
37   Willemstad, Curaçao 57.285 70,61%   12,98% Avianca
38   Fortaleza, Brazil 55.654 80,56%   132,32% Avianca Brazil
Busiest domestic routes (roundtrip) out of El Dorado International Airport (2015)[19]
Rank City Passengers Airlines
1   Medellin, Antioquia 3.406.849 Avianca, Copa Airlines Colombia, LATAM, Satena, Viva Colombia.
2   Cali, Valle del Cauca 3.025.401 Avianca, Copa Airlines Colombia, LATAM, Viva Colombia.
3   Cartagena, Bolívar 2.390.508 Avianca, LATAM, Viva Colombia.
4   Barranquilla, Atlántico 1.878.726 Avianca, LATAM, Viva Colombia.
5   Bucaramanga, Santander 1.407.557 Avianca, LATAM, Viva Colombia.
6   Santa Marta, Magdalena 1.226.004 Avianca, LATAM, Viva Colombia.
7   Pereira, Risaralda 1.218.550 Avianca, LATAM, Viva Colombia.
8   San Andrés 1.107.089 Avianca, Copa Airlines Colombia, LATAM, Viva Colombia.
9   Cucuta, Norte de Santander 949.083 Avianca, LATAM, Viva Colombia.
10   Monteria, Córdoba 607.278 Avianca, LATAM, Viva Colombia.
11   Armenia, Quindío 434.724 Avianca.
12   Yopal, Casanare 399.733 Avianca, EasyFly, LATAM.
13   Valledupar, Cesar 355.417 Avianca, LATAM.
14   Neiva, Huila 312.869 Avianca, EasyFly.
15   Pasto, Nariño 270.535 Avianca, Satena.
16   Leticia, Amazonas 218.804 Avianca, LATAM.
17   Manizales, Caldas 195.632 Avianca.
18   Barrancabermeja, Santander 176.468 Avianca, EasyFly.
19   Ibague, Tolima 148.294 Avianca.
20   Riohacha, La Guajira 134.353 Avianca.
21   Popayán, Cauca 115.931 Avianca, EasyFly.
22   Villavicencio, Meta 111.237 Avianca.
23   Arauca, Arauca 88.361 EasyFly, Satena.
24   Quibdó, Chocó 81.016 EasyFly, Satena.
25   Florencia, Caquetá 78.741 Avianca, Satena.
26   Corozal, Sucre 28.333 Satena.

Accidents and incidentsEdit

  • On 7 June 1973, Vickers Viscount HK-1061 of Aerolíneas TAO was damaged beyond economic repair in an accident on landing.[20]
  • On 24 January 1980, Douglas C-53D HK-2214 of Aerotal Colombia crashed after an in-flight engine failure following which the propeller on the engine was feathered. The aircraft was on a test flight. All four on board were killed.[21]
  • On 8 February 1986, Douglas DC-3 HK-3031 of SAEP Colombia crashed on approach. The port engine had lost power shortly after take-off on a cargo flight to Rondon Airport and the decision was made to return to Bogotá. Although the aircraft was destroyed in the post-impact fire, all five people on board survived.[22]
  • On 27 November 1989, Avianca Flight 203, flying from Bogota to Alfonso Bonilla Aragon International Airport in Cali, was destroyed by a bomb while flying over Soacha. All 107 passengers and crew and three people on the ground died. Pablo Escobar bombed the plane in an attempt to assassinate presidential candidate César Gaviria Trujillo, who was not on the plane and was elected President of Colombia in 1990.
  • On 25 January 1990, Avianca Flight 52, flying on a Bogotá-Medellín-New York JFK route, crashed on Long Island after running out of fuel.
  • On 20 April 1998, Air France Flight 422 from Eldorado Airport to Quito, Ecuador, using an aircraft leased from TAME and flown with Ecuadorian crew, crashed less than two minutes after taking off into a mountain in eastern Bogotá. All 43 passengers and 10 crew died.[23][24]
  • On 7 July 2008, a Kalitta Air Boeing 747-209B crashed shortly after departing from El Dorado International Airport in Bogotá at 3:55 am. The plane was en route to Miami, Florida, with a shipment of flowers. After reporting a fire in one of the engines, the plane attempted returning to the airport but crashed near the village of Madrid, Colombia. One of the plane's engines hit a farm house, killing an adult and two children who lived there. The crew of eight survived.[25][26]

Future developmentsEdit

 
Windows on the main platform
 
Vehicles on the platform

Due to the high demand for passengers, it has now become apparent to build a new, more modern airport with much more capacity for both commercial and cargo flights. Although the original master plan called for a massive overhaul and expansion of the existing terminal, the Colombian government has now realized the need to build a new airport.

The process began with the creation of the new terminal. On 7 February 2007, the airport gave a concession to the consortium Opain. The national government accepted the proposal with Opain (airport operating company), to demolish the airport on 14 March 2008, after having given its concession. Initially the grant provided for the modernization of existing buildings and the construction of some additional buildings connected to the main terminal, but during the upgrading works (see below, Milestone 1), structural defects were discovered, which do not compromise the integrity of the building today. Opain from the beginning had proposed to demolish the aging terminal and had even submitted a new design to replace it, but the government had strongly opposed it due to pressing budget and legal issues (because it would be a big change to the terms of the concession, which could make Opain as well as other competitors who participated in the tender submitted claims), although many sectors of public opinion agreed with Opain. After the structural problems were discovered, the government agreed to the demolition of the airport and compensation for the renovations that Opain had already been hired to perform (Milestone 1). For the airport to handle 16 million passengers annually and 1.5 million tons of cargo, Opain plans to move the cargo terminal to allow the expansion of the passenger terminal and ensure access for at least an additional avenue to 26th Street.

On 19 September 2007, the implementation of Milestone 1 of the plan for modernization and expansion of the airport began. This consists of expanding the current Central Arrivals Hall of the terminal and installation of the CUTE system at the terminal. This was completed in March 2008. Additionally, the construction of the new cargo terminal, a new building for the office of civil aviation, a new fire station, an administrative center and quarantine were completed in September 2009.

The third milestone of the project began in late November 2009. Terminal 2, located on the north side of the current terminal, will handle all international passengers and its construction was set for 2012. The old building or Terminal 1 will handle only national passengers, except for Avianca's which will continue being served on Terminal Puente Aereo. Soon after Terminal 2 begins its operation, the old Terminal 1 building will be demolished in order to build a new terminal for national passengers. On 17 October, the new Terminal 2 was inaugurated and on the 19th, every international operation was moved from Terminal 1 to Terminal 2. The new El Dorado International Airport was the largest infrastructure project in the city, when it was completed in July of 2014.[27] It is now the largest and most modern airport in Latin America.

In January 2015, the Santos administration announced a two-stage plan to improve Bogota's aerial access. The plans consist of a major expansion to the current main terminal with the effect of increasing the number of gates from 37 to 56 and thus raising the capacity of the airport from 27 million passengers to 40 million. Phase 1 also involves improvements to the runway to increase efficiency. The time scale for phase one is approximately 24 months. Phase two involves the construction of a brand new secondary airport in the suburb of Facatativa west of Bogota. This new project is currently conceived as El Dorado II and is aimed to be in operation by 2020. These two major developments are part of a greater endeavor to modernize the nation's airports. It is expected that El Dorado and El Dorado II will be connected via a commuter/light rail project.[28]

AccoladesEdit

In 2016 and 2017 the airport was named the best in South America by World Airport Awards.[1] It received four-star certification by Skytrax[clarification needed] and was listed in the top 50 of the "World's Top 100 Airports" list in both years.[3]its staff was rated the best in South America,[2][29]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b worldairportawards.com. "Best Airports in South America". Archived from the original on 15 March 2015. Retrieved 21 March 2016.
  2. ^ a b worldairportawards.com. "Best Airport Staff in South America". Archived from the original on 26 June 2017. Retrieved 21 March 2016.
  3. ^ a b worldairportawards.com. "Rating of the World's Top 100 Airports from the customer nominated 2016 World Airport Awards". Archived from the original on 20 March 2016. Retrieved 21 March 2016.
  4. ^ "Fuerza Aérea Colombiana |". www.fac.mil.co. Archived from the original on 6 January 2016. Retrieved 6 May 2019.
  5. ^ "Fuerza Aérea Colombiana |". www.fac.mil.co. Archived from the original on 5 February 2017. Retrieved 6 May 2019.
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