Alfredo Vásquez Cobo International Airport (Spanish: Aeropuerto Internacional Alfredo Vásquez Cobo) (IATA: LET, ICAO: SKLT) is an airport serving Leticia, the capital of the Amazonas department of Colombia.
It is the largest airport of the south of the country, located in the Colombian department of Amazonas and in the southern most part of this country. Vásquez Cobo is the gateway for the Colombian jungle region.
Air links between Bogota and Leticia and other cities that lacked airports, but they were on the banks of large rivers, amphibious aircraft were made in 1948. At that time came the PBY Catalina, which were quite slow and had little capacity. The Ministry of War through the Civil Aviation Department for the year of 1950 operatives initiated for an attempt to build an airfield at that location to receive aircraft wheels.
The possibility of joining by air to the port of Leticia, was an obsession of General Rojas, from his tenure in the direction of the Civil Aeronautics years before, discussing the situation of helplessness that this population suffered in 1932 when it was overrun by civilians Peru. Priority was also the presence of the State to exercise sovereignty in the south. The trip up the Amazon River, Brazil is entering even now, too long. The Colombian Air Force in Panama acquired an asphalt plant, for a good price for being leftover material of war Air Force United States. The plant was fly to Leticia and should be moved along the Atlantic coast, along the coast of Brazil to enter the mouth of the Amazon. In the ship "The Cabimas" of the Navy, and also had 200 thousand gallons of liquid asphalt RC2 type made the long trip. The Navy ordered the asphalt was transferred to the ARC Cúcuta ship of 10,000 tons displacement, which was in the port of Leticia.
Before the boat reached the mouth of the Amazon River on the coast of Brazil, had to face a storm that brought serious damage and could not continue. As a result, it was necessary to get rid of the asphalt plant, which ended in the bottom of the sea, and far from its destination. The asphalt if he reached his destination and was then transferred to a deposit made on land in the vicinity of the land that would be the airport. So, it started building a rudimentary track 900 meters long which consisted of a level, compacted for the operation of small aircraft that arrived at Leticia from Brazil and the country's interior. In 1952 the original track was extended to 1,300 meters, which allowed the operation-constrained DC-3 aircraft and the like.
In the year 1955 the Aerodrome Empresa Colombiana assumed the construction of new airport on the banks of the Amazon River, for which advanced surveying, designing and building the track and began construction with the desiccation of the existing dam site , and tearing down the forest using tools imported directly from New York. Since there was no dock, wooden rafts were used on them to download the machinery of the crane ship carrying them to be transferred to land.
During the construction of new airport facilities is a true air bridge established to mobilize the technical staff and workers, machinery, spare parts, fuel and others. Under contract with the FAC, in the spacious Hercules could carry many of the elements required for the work, while the Navy tug took the fuel and asphalt from Puerto Asis.
Among the works up to the new airport was built a new platform and taxiway streets. The platform was designed for a capacity of five aircraft type 727. Likewise, the Civil Aeronautics undertook the construction of the access road to the airport, which is a wonderful avenue that ends in the streets of the city.
The terminal building of architectural style underwent reform to make it more functional and streamline the process of arriving and departing passengers. It extended the waiting room, the airline office, restaurant and bathrooms. Also replaced the old window frames to give a new appearance to the building.
Aeronautical Leticia International Airport was equipped with a VOR station, a non-directional radio beacon LW and aeronautical communications equipment, and distance measuring DME, VASI equipment indicating the angle of approach to the runway, a power plant and a runway lighting system for night operations.
The international airport construction Leticia mean a contribution of Central Government $ 87 million pesos for the whole of the works and was inaugurated by President Misael Pastrana in 1974 and was christened with the name "Alfredo Vasquez Cobo" in honor General of the Republic, who fought back and managed to maintain national sovereignty in the Amazon rain forest during the conflict with Peru.
Avianca soon began regular service with a Boeing 727, followed by services on aircraft Aerotal Caravelle. SAM later resumed services using Lockheed Electra aircraft on routes from Bogota and Cali with an international Leticia to Manaus.
Currently the market leader in the Amazon is AeroRepública Embraer 190 with modern equipment and regular service day. Satena also a presence in Leticia. Airport Leticia Vasquez Cobo ranked No. 24 among major airports in the country and in 2008 moved a total of 93 000 passengers. Aires is the new airline to operate regular Leticia on Boeing 737-700 and it is hoped that this new range of chairs at affordable prices is an increase in domestic and foreign tourists. The potential of ecotourism in the region is booming and expected continued growth for the benefit of the capital of the Department.
Airlines and destinations
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