Simón Bolívar International Airport (Venezuela)
|Maiquetía "Simón Bolívar" International Airport
Aeropuerto Internacional de Maiquetía "Simón Bolívar"
|IATA: CCS – ICAO: SVMI|
|Owner/Operator||Instituto Autónomo del Aeropuerto Internacional de Maiquetía|
|Elevation AMSL||235 ft / 72 m|
Simón Bolívar International Airport or Maiquetía "Simón Bolívar" International Airport (IATA: CCS, ICAO: SVMI, Spanish: Aeropuerto Internacional de Maiquetia "Simón Bolívar") is an international airport located in Maiquetía, about 21 kilometres (13 mi) from downtown Caracas, the capital of Venezuela. Simply called Maiquetía by the local population, it is the main international air passenger gateway to Venezuela among the twelve international airports in the country. It handles flights to many important destinations in the Americas, the Caribbean and some in Europe.
The airport opened in 1945 as the Aeropuerto Internacional de Maiquetía.
It was regularly visited by the Anglo-French supersonic airliner Concorde until the 1980s.
In the 1970s an international terminal was constructed to offer increased capacity with a domestic terminal opening in the 1980s.
Since 2000, the airport has been undergoing major changes in order to meet international standards and to improve passenger traffic, security, immigration areas, and customs areas. Security measures have become top priority since the September 11 attacks, and now departure areas and arrival areas are completely split into the lower and upper levels of the airport.
As part of an expansion plan, new international gates are currently in construction, and a section of the parking area has been cleared to build an airport hotel.
In the 1950s, under the regime of Marcos Pérez Jiménez, road transport between the airport and the capital was improved by the inauguration of the Caracas-La Guaira highway. However, the La Guaira and Caracas Railway, dating from the nineteenth century, was closed. (In May 2007 a maglev train was proposed to link Caracas to La Guaira and Simón Bolívar International Airport).
Terminals, airlines and destinations
1 D = Domestic Terminal, I = International Terminal.
The following airlines maintain freight operations to and from Simón Bolívar International Airport:
From 1960 to 1997, it was the main hub for Viasa, Venezuela's former flag carrier till it went bankrupt. Conviasa (Consorcio Venezolano de Industrias Aeronáuticas y Servicios Aéreos, S.A.) replaced it in 2004. The headquarters of Conviasa is located on the airport grounds.
Accidents and incidents
- On 27 November 1956, a Linea Aeropostal Flight 253, a Lockheed Constellation, crashed while on final approach to Caracas Airport. All 25 passengers and crew on board were killed.
- On 12 December 1968, Pan Am Flight 217, crashed while on approach to Caracas. All 51 passengers and crew on board were killed.
- On 4 December 1969, Air France Flight 212 crashed shortly after takeoff from Simón Bolívar International Airport. All 62 passengers and crew on board were killed.
- On Monday, November 3, 1980, a Latin Carga Convair CV-880 crashed on take-off from the airport, resulting in the deaths of 4 occupants, and total destruction of the aircraft. The aircraft involved, registration YV-145C, had flown from 1962 to January 1974 for Delta Airlines of the United States and was retired by that airline, then sold to Latin Carga in 1979.
- On 16 October 2008 a RUTACA Airlines Boeing 737 went out of the runway while braking for arrival at 3:30 PM. It was flying from San Antonio de Tachira with 44 people. No one was killed or injured.
In popular culture
The airport is also shown in the 1975 French film "Le Sauvage" [Call me Savage, UK Title - See the "Lovers Like Us" article on Wikipedia for reference ] starring Catherine Deneuve, Yves Montand Luigi Vannucchi and Tony Roberts, directed by Jean-Paul Rappeneau, as several key scenes were filmed at the airport.
- Los Roques Airport – an airport serving Los Roques archipelago national park, remotely controlled from Simón Bolívar International Airport
- List of airports in Venezuela
- List of Venezuelan airlines
- "Aeropuerto Internacional de Maiquetía "Simón Bolívar" (official website)" (in Spanish). Retrieved 5 June 2013.
- Vías hacia la modernización 1935/1958. Historia de Venezuela en Imágenes. 1999
- "Sede Principal" (in Spanish). Conviasa.
- ASN Aircraft accident Lockheed L-749-79 Constellation YV-C-AMA Caracas Airport
- ASN Aircraft accident Boeing 707-328B F-BHSZ Caracas-Simon Bolivar Airport
Media related to Simón Bolívar International Airport at Wikimedia Commons
- Aeropuerto Internacional de Maiquetía "Simón Bolívar" (official website)
- Airport information for SVMI at World Aero Data. Data current as of October 2006.
- Accident history for CCS at Aviation Safety Network