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Jose Maria Cordova Airport

José María Córdova International Airport
Aeropuerto Internacional José María Córdova
Airport type Commercial
Operator AirPlan
Serves Medellín
Location Rionegro
Elevation AMSL 2,142 m / 7,027 ft
Coordinates 06°10′02″N 75°25′36″W / 6.16722°N 75.42667°W / 6.16722; -75.42667
Direction Length Surface
m ft
18/36 3,557 11,483 Paved
Statistics (2009)
Passengers movement 2.719.311
Cargo movement 89.956 T
Air operations 49.055
Sources:World Aero Data, Aerocivil

José María Córdova International Airport (IATA: MDE, ICAO: SKRG) is the main airport serving the Colombian city of Medellín and its surrounding metropolitan area. The airport is located about 30 minutes from the urban area by the new Las Palmas express way, in the municipality of Rionegro. It is the second largest airport in Colombia after the El Dorado International Airport of Bogotá in terms of infrastructure and passenger service.

Today is the most important airport in the department of Antioquia, and serves the metropolitan area and Valle de Aburrá. In terms of infrastructure, is the most important in western Colombia.It is one of the most important airports in Colombia, it currently serves a lot of international destinations, one of the busiest from this airport is the route to Miami international airport, it currently serves the biggest demand route within Colombia (Medellin-Bogota), which is currently served by main airlines, mainly avianca and aires, it has made significant upgrades regarding its technology and infrastructure, it is recognized as one of the best airports in colombia. From JMC out international flights to destinations in the United States, Panama, Venezuela, Ecuador, Peru and Spain, and domestic flights to major U.S. cities such as Bogota, Cali, Barranquilla, Cartagena, Santa Marta and San Andres Island. Freight transport is also one of the strengths of the terminal, most of the production of flowers and other products of the region east of Antioquia out by the airport. From here flights to South, Central and North America and Europe.

Since its inauguration in 1985 until 1990, had a lot of movement of passengers and cargo. When the Olaya Herrera reopened, traffic was reduced JMC. However, since 1993 has shown a rebound in the coming into operation of airlines like American Airlines, LAN, Taca, Aerogal, and increasing its ally Cup As for cargo airlines, such as Martinair, Centurion Air Cargo, ABSA, and Florida West International Airways and national as Tampa Cargo, LANCO, AeroSucre have increased their flights to the terminal. The major investments under the terminal, over the next five years are: The National quay extension, rehabilitation of the entire terminal and total change of acrylic dome, changing boarding bridges, redistribution of areas, new shopping areas, including others.


The airport serves all major international and domestic routes in contrast to Olaya Herrera Airport which also serves the Medellín area with regional flights and airlines. José María Córdova is set for a major expansion which will include new international terminals and an expansion on the cargo terminal this is set to start next year according to the Special Administrative Unit of Civil Aeronautics. The airport is named after José María Córdova, a Colombian army general who was a native of Ríonegro City. The José María Córdova International Airport is the second in Colombia in total passenger and cargo also international, national and international after the El Dorado International Airport in Bogota. The runway is also used by the nearby military base in the Air Force of Colombia located in Rio Negro, named Air Combat Command No. 5 (CACOM 5), where all types of aircraft arriving military and national police.

The airport has air navigation aids such as VOR, NDB, ILS, which allows greater ease of operation for the drivers and safer to operate in bad weather, is located to 2,137 meters. In January 2006, the Airbus A380, landed at the air terminal (first time on American soil) to conduct technical tests of the engines. As for the cargo terminal, most of the production of flowers and other products in the region of eastern Antioquia out by the airport. TAMPA The airline has its main base at the airport, and operates flights to countries from South, Central and North America. The same has a platform that can accommodate up to ten aircraft, you can receive all types of aircraft, including Boeing 747, Douglas DC-10, Boeing 767, among the most commonly arrive at the terminal, in addition, the terminal is near the customs area and Airline hangars Tampa Cargo.

The airport has three restaurants and a shopping area, where are banks, ATMs, money exchange and car rental. Also the airline Avianca has a VIP room inside the facilities serving domestic and international flights. Outside the main building with a parking lot with a capacity for 250 cars and an area for motorcycles.


Between 1930 and 1932, three wealthy families in the metropolitan area of Medellin, began with the idea of providing the city with an airport, as they were part of the Colombian Air Navigation Company which sought to carry passengers and mail from the city of Medellin to Puerto Berrio, then along the Magdalena River and ultimately connect the cities of Medellin and Bogotá. One of the most important was Gonzalo Mejia, who in a very colloquial decided what would be the only place where you could build an airport, this place was confirmed by the Curtiss Wright firm based in New York.

After several obstacles, the city of Medellín has finally accepted the construction of an unpaved runway about 974 m long. Soon many flights began arriving companies and Saco Scadta from the cities of Barranquilla and Bogotá. Finally the city understood the importance of air transport. Then in the 70s saw the need for a large airport for the city, due to saturation and the limitations of Olaya Herrera, in addition to not being within the city, two sites were defined to build a new airport in the vicinity of the municipality of Barbosa, and another in the valley of San Nicolas in Eastern Antioquia near Rionegro, finally took place in Rionegro, its construction was executed signature CES-DARC-TAMS.

It was opened in 1985. In the same year he tested the Boeing 747 by Avianca in the original runway (Olaya Herrera) to be tested later in the José María Córdova. During this time the airport had a lot of movement of cargo and passengers, as the operations from the Olaya Herrera declined to almost zero (both airports today have a lot of traffic, being more numerous destinations and the operations of Olaya Herrera).

The airport is named Jose Maria Cordova, in honor of this character, besides being a native of Antioquia and the region where the airport was built (born in Concepción, Antioquia), a municipality located in the north eastern Antioquia Rionegro held senior positions in the administration, and played important roles in the history of the nation.

Modernisation Jose Maria Cordova

In José María Córdova Airport anticipates the modernisation plan that includes various infrastructure projects, that will make this an airport terminal very attractive for tourists as for airlines. The community will find different and varied services at this terminal as:

  • The construction of a cargo terminal connected to the runway
  • Expansion of the passenger terminal, the national spring
  • Reinstatement of the road marking
  • Organisation of the aircraft parking
  • Recovery areas for terraces and gardens
  • Recovery dome
  • Gateways for the separation of passenger flow: incoming and outgoing
  • Twelve new positions approach
  • New escalators
  • Structural design stairs
  • Equalisation runway strip
  • Resurfacing of runway and taxiway
  • Complement and arrangement of the lighting platform.
  • Separation of flows: the first airport in Colombia have separation of flows according to the International Civil Aviation Organization, ICAO.

Within the works, too modernisation passengers will find security systems, flight information via digital displays, high-tech communication, passenger arrival lounges with shopping, improving health services Airport, improvement in firefighting services, improving baggage handling systems. The objectives of the modernisation and expansion plan are: to ensure aviation safety and comfort of passengers and their companions; meet the requirements of ICAO - International Civil Aviation, the AEROCIVIL - Colombian Civil Aviation Authority, and IATA-International Air Transport Association. Finally, with the transformation of José María Córdova International Airport it also seeks to contribute to the country's competitiveness through: the creation of spaces that enable optimal connectivity with other cities in the world, the development of new areas that are attractive to airlines , the creation of zones that favour the encounter of citizens and, of course, compliance with new policies of quality for passengers to enjoy the best service at time of travel.

Terminals, airlines and destinations

Airlines Destinations Terminal
AeroRepública Bogotá, Caracas, Panama City, San Andrés Island
Seasonal: Cartagena, Santa Marta
D, I
Aires Barranquilla, Bogotá, Cali, Fort Lauderdale, San Andrés Island D,I
American Airlines Miami I
Avianca Barranquilla, Bogotá, Cali, Cartagena, Madrid , Miami, New York-JFK, Santa Marta
Seasonal: Cartagena, Panama City, San Andrés Island
D, I
Copa Airlines Panama City D
LAN Perú Lima, Quito I
Spirit Airlines Fort Lauderdale I
TACA Costa Rica Panama City, San José de Costa Rica I
TACA Perú Lima, Quito I

Cargo airlines

  • AeroSucre
  • ABSA Cargo Airline
  • Centurion Air Cargo
  • Cielos Airlines
  • Florida West International Airways
  • Kalitta Air
  • Líneas Aéreas Suramericanas
  • LAN Cargo
  • MasAir
  • Master Top Airlines
  • Tampa Cargo
  • Tradewinds Airlines

Accidents and incidents

  • On June 7, 2006, a Tradewinds Airlines Boeing 747-200F (registration N922FT) had an engine failure on takeoff at José María Córdova International Airport. The pilot aborted, but the plane overran the runway. None of the 6 on board were injured. The plane was substantially damaged. The event was captured on airport surveillance cameras- Watch Video Link to the accident report

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General Info
Country Colombia
Time UTC-5
Latitude 6.164536
06° 09' 52.33" N
Longitude -75.423119
075° 25' 23.23" W
Elevation 6955 feet
2120 meters
Type Joint (Civil and Military)
Magnetic Variation 005° W (01/06)
Beacon Yes
Near City Rionegro
Operating Hours 24 HOUR OPERATIONS
International Clearance Status Airport of Entry

TWR 118.6
GND 121.9
ATIS 115.1

ID Dimensions Surface PCN ILS
18/36 11483 x 148 feet
3500 x 45 meters

The content above was published at in 2010.
We don't guarantee the information is fresh and accurate. The data may be wrong or outdated.
For more up-to-date information please refer to other sources.

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