El Dorado International Airport (IATA: BOG, ICAO: SKBO) is an international airport located in Bogotá, Colombia. It is the largest Latin American airport in terms of cargo movements with 512.844 tons (2009) and the third in terms of passenger traffic, only behind Mexico City's Benito Juarez International Airport and São Paulo-Guarulhos International Airport, transporting 14,899,199 passengers in 2009; as well as the largest airport in Colombia and the main international and domestic air gateway in the country, serving as an important hub for Avianca (the national flag carrier of Colombia), AeroRepública, Aires, Satena, EasyFly and other cargo companies. It is managed by Operadora Aeroportuaria Internacional (OPAIN), a consortium composed of Colombian construction and engineering firms and the Swiss Flughafen Zürich AG.
El Dorado is, politically and economically, the most important airport in Colombia and serves as the nation's primary international gateway, accounting for 49% of the total air traffic in the country. It handles all domestic and international flights into Bogotá and boasts the world's third largest landing field 6.9 square kilometres (1,700 acres) of land. El Dorado is located about 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) west of the city center; Avenida El Dorado (26 street), one of the fastest highways in Bogotá, provides passengers access to downtown. At the end of the year 2008 construction of a new TransMilenio line started, which will connect the airport with the mass transportation system of the city.
El Dorado Passenger Terminal was designed during the government of General Gustavo Rojas Pinilla. Its construction began in 1955 and entered in service at the end of 1959, replacing the interim terminal and joining other portions of the then brand new airport. 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.
In 1973, the airport hit a milestone by serving nearly three million passengers and processing nearly 5 million pieces of luggage. That year turned out to be one of most prosperous for the industry of aviation, registering high passenger growth in both domestic and international loads. In that time the necessity for a second runway at El Dorado was expressed under 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.
Over the past few years, the baggage claim areas has been extended on both the northern and southern portions of the airport, and the departure lounges towards the west have also been greatly expanded, adding more restaurants and shops.
Avianca's main hub
On December 10, 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, Mexicana, Lacsa (part of Grupo Taca), Iberia and Air Canada.
Operations out of the Bogotá hub allow travelers to easily connect between domestic destinations (such as Medellín to San Andres), 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. Apart from being Avianca's main hub, it is also to be the biggest connection center in South America. If Avianca indeed does enter the Star Alliance, the airport in the end will ultimately become a star hub like that of São Paulo. This has been the biggest contribution from Lufthansa to date for the airport amd for the airline itself to achieve this.
The Puente Aéreo, is the exclusive terminal Colombian airline Avianca to domestic flights. It is considered one of the largest and most modern air terminals in the country and the Andean region. It is located in the vicinity of El Dorado International Airport. It was also thought and made a request to the airline Avianca to this international flights also leave (as was done initially in the case of Miami and New York when it opened). The terminal, use the entire system of El Dorado International Airport (runways, air traffic control, etc.), So both have a functioning air terminals Annex.
In 1981, Avianca undertook the construction of Terminal called Air Bridge, inaugurated by President Julio Cesar Turbay Ayala, as annexed to the Airport El Dorado International Airport to channel flights from Bogotá to Cali, Medellín, Miami and New York. Between 2005 and 2006, the air terminal was remodeled between changes include new lounges, new Boarding Boards, Boards of Entry and Exit of passengers. All this with the aim of showing the new image of Avianca in service and modernization of its aircraft and ground service. Assuming all domestic flights of Avianca. In February 2008 opened a store called Souvenir Store Avianca, the airline, which sold different products including: airplanes, hats, umbrellas, among other products, with the company logo. According to the plans up to now known on the reconstruction of El Dorado International Airport, the Airlift Terminal, would be demolished to make way for mega new passenger terminal
CATAM Military Airport
On 3 September 1932, launched the Military Transport Service in Colombia, when a Junkers F-13 carried for the first time, to the south of the country, Colonel Luis Acevedo and his party, who served as general director aviation in the country. Although the military air transport infrastructure was not formed yet, that mission was accomplished during the conflict with Peru in a rudimentary but effective, with aircraft like the Junkers W-34, Ju-52 and BT-32 Condor.
In 1954 he created a "Liaison Squadron" operating on the direct orders of the President of the Republic, at the time, Gen. Gustavo Rojas Pinilla Airport and located in the Roof. The success led to create the Military Airlift Group, which reached Category Transport Base in 1959. By then, finished the construction of the El Dorado International Airport, so that the command of the Colombian Air Force ordered the transfer of the Unit to the site, using the airport facilities, while finishing the construction of the base, which ended on May 28, 1963. For FAC Directive No. 4429 of 8 July of that year, provided that the base unit to acquire the status of Operations and Logistics Support, starting operations on 25 October of that year. In 1968 the first two Hercules C-130B, FAC-1001 and 1002. These aircraft, clearly designed for missions and troop transport war materials led the landing on short runways and unpaved requirements at the time approaching to the needs of the Colombian Air Force.
In 1977, the Military Transport Aviation Command was named after the Colombian aviation pioneer, Brigadier General Honorary Camilo Daza Alvarez. In order to expand capacity troop transport and cargo in support of surface forces in their fight against subversion and drug trafficking, the Air Force acquired new C-130 Hercules aircraft that have supported, not only missions public policy, but also humanitarian assistance. Between 1990 and 1991, received U.S. government, six C-130B aircraft to support operations to combat drug trafficking and guerrillas.
El Dorado International Airport
International Departures gate in the Terminal 2
path and taxi area
Overview of Terminal 2
In 1996 began to take shape breakthroughs in the area of infrastructure Military Transport Aviation Command, the narrow street that impeded the entrance and exit of vehicles destined for the office, was replaced by a dual carriageway and a tunnel that allows access vehicular traffic below the access ramp to the track N ° 2 El Dorado International Airport. In addition, increased parking capacity of the Unit, from 120 vehicles to 260 or so. The museum there is allowed to inform the public part of the institutional history, see planes that have been in service over the 85 year history of the Colombian Air Force and establish a closer bond between the community and the Air Force. With the advent of night vision air operations since 2003, the Military Transport Aviation Command acquired the ability to operate on computers NVG Hercules C-130 and CN-235 Nurtanio, in order to increase the operational and support capacity to surface forces, through the implementation of transport missions, parachuting and aeromedical evacuation on unprepared runways and without illumination. In this way the Air Force increased its operating capacity by 100% since props are made of all kinds 24 hours a day.
Terminals, airlines and destinations
The airport has two passenger terminals, the main terminal, El Dorado, named after the famed legend of El Dorado handles all international and domestic arrivals, except Avianca's domestic flights. Check-in counters, ticket counters, immigration office and customs are located on the lower level while information boards, information office, waiting rooms and emigration are located on the upper level.
The main building has two concourses; the domestic concourse and the international concourse. The domestic concourse contains 11 gates and 5 additional for regional flights. The international concourse contains 9 gates. This main building has a passenger area of 54,000 square feet (5,000 m) and provides different services such as travel agencies, restaurants, book stores and craft shops, ATM machines, duty free shops, communication services and complimentary Wi-fi throughout the terminal. At the domestic and international arrivals level, passengers can find tourist information offices and ground transportation services within the city.
The second terminal, known as Puente Aéreo (air bridge) is a privately owned terminal that exclusively serves Avianca's and its subsidiary SAM's domestic and regional flights. Initially, the terminal exclusively served passengers on the Miami, New York-JFK, Cali, Medellín, Pasto, and Montería routes. It was renovated in October 2006, after an investment of USD$7.5 million and handles a total of more than 120 daily flights with capacity to handle 4.4 million passengers annually. The terminal has a passenger area of 4,416 square feet (410.3 m) and 14 domestic gates and helps reducing connection times between domestic flights. The terminal also provides additional services for travelers and visitors, such as access to shopping facilities, domestic and international calls, taxi services, ATM machines, restaurants and fast food restaurants and numerous book and gift shops.
New Cargo Terminal
Was recently given the new cargo terminal, with an additional area of 5,586 meters square, plus 36,000 square meters for cargo processing, making El Dorado at the airport with higher load capacity in Latin America. The area of the warehouse is 19,757 m2, in which the loading dock levelers are increased by 45 units to improve the loading and unloading the trucks directly to the processing area of the new cargo terminal. As for the Mezzanine this area is 4,471 m2, within which interior spaces were extended for the convenience of the operators and users.
Accidents and incidents
Due to the high demand of passengers, it has now become apparent to build a new airport much more modern and more capable for both commercial and cargo flights. Although the original master plan called for a massive overhaul and expansion of 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 February 7, 2007, the airport was given a concession to the consortium Opain. The national government accepted the proposal with Opain (airport operating company), in demolishing the airport on March 14, 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 were not compromising the integrity of the building today. Opain from the beginning had proposed the demolish the aging terminal and had even submitted a new design to replace it, but the government had strongly opposed 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 are discovered, the government agreed to the demolition of the airport and compensation for the renovations that Opain had already been reached 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 September 19, 2007 began the implementation of Milestone 1 of the plan for modernization and expansion of the airport. This consists of expanding the current Central Arrivals Hall of the terminal and installation of 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. All of the above was completed in September, 2009.
The third milestone of the project began in late November 2009. This is Terminal 2, on the north side of the current terminal. This will require the demolition of the domestic cargo terminal, which will start in the new cargo buildings. Is expected to be completed in 2012, when the old terminal will be demolished to build a larger terminal. The new El Dorado International Airport will undoubtedly be the largest infrastructure project in the city, when completed in the Summer of 2014 , will be the largest and most modern airport in Latin America and one of the main scales of interconnections and the Americas, which undoubtedly will handle all the passengers and cargo that the city will receive an economic revival. It is estimated that when the handset is built is estimated to go through the 20 million passengers in 2015. The new airport will be bigger than the airports in São Paulo, Mexico City and Santiago de Chile, and will be the largest cargo terminal on the continent. On August 12, 2009 the Congress passed legislation changing the name of the airport by Luis Carlos Galan International Airport in honor of the Liberal leader assassinated in 1989.
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