Enrique Olaya Herrera Airport

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Olaya Herrera Airport
Aeropuerto Olaya Herrera


EOH is located in Colombia
Location of airport in Colombia
Airport type Commercial
Operator AirPlan
Serves Medellín
Location Medellin
Elevation AMSL 1,505 m / 4,940 ft
Coordinates 06°13′11″N 75°35′25″W / 6.21972°N 75.59028°W / 6.21972; -75.59028
Direction Length Surface
m ft
02/20 2,510 8,234 Paved
Statistics (2009)
Passengers movement 1.125.253
Cargo movement 5.498 T
Air operations 82.570

Enrique Olaya Herrera Airport (Spanish: Aeropuerto Enrique Olaya Herrera) (IATA: EOHICAO: SKMD) is an airport located in Medellín, Colombia, which serves regional and domestic flights in the country. Additionally, the airport is also used for a lot of general aviation in Colombia, and features several hangars for charters too. Due to the large number of general aviation and charter flights, regional and national, Olaya Herrera is the second busiest airport in Colombia by number of flights.

Today, it is considered the main regional airport of the country due to the large number of scheduled and charter flights of this type operated to and from the airport. Formerly Medellin International Airport before the construction of the José María Córdova International Airport, located in the municipality of Rionegro, Antioquia, 29 km east of the city of Medellin. Between the two airports of Medellin, there were more than 4.7 million passengers per year, which makes it the second busiest passenger city in Colombia after Bogotá.


Don Gonzalo Mejia was a visionary and observer of commercial aviation in the 1920s and 1930s and saw a great opportunity for the development of it in Medellin because of its topography, that transport to and from an odyssey Medellín (who would like to travel by plane had to go to Puerto Berrio) decided to launch a struggle for the city to have its own airport.

Then he began his many efforts to ensure that Medellin had an airport, starting with securing the financial resources to Bountiful businessmen of the time, choose the same land where the airport should be built (roamed the hills surrounding Medellin a horse) and overcome all sorts of obstacles imposed by the local government then. Then managed to form the UMCA (Urabá Central Airways Medellin) and established as a subsidiary of Pan American Airways at the time was the dominant company's outlook for the global aviation and finally succeeded in opening the July 5, 1932 Airport Medellin Enrique Olaya Herrera, named in honor of President of Colombia at the time, who supported Don Gonzalo Mejía and his idea of an airport to Medellin.

In the 1940s the city was growing rapidly and new aircraft of the time required better facilities. Therefore Gonzalo Mejia, despite being very ill, returned to battle and succeeded in 1945 signed a contract for the expansion of the runway and the existing facilities, a work that was opened on May 1, 1947. The Airport continued to serve the city, but in the 1970s was being re-saturated and unable to meet the demand of the city air, so it was announced the construction of the José María Córdova International Airport in Rionegro. This resulted in the closure of the airport and the allocation of land to a park. However users are asked not to close the airport and the April 11, 1986 the airport began operations again. In that same year landed in the Olaya Herrera Pope Juan Pablo II and made some improvements, which also is called Aeroparque Juan Pablo II. In 1992 the Civil Aeronautics ruled that the airport was used in a strictly regional. Outside the arrival of Pope John Paul II Airport also recorded the death of Carlos Gardel in 1935.

It was also one of the mainstays of Carrier Aces from its source to its sad demise in August 2003. Today it is an airport with heavy use and constant growth (second in number of operations in Colombia) and was declared a national monument on October 19, 1995 for its historical value, cultural and architectural for the city of Medellin and Colombia. The airport was handed over by the national government in granting the operating company North Central Airport - Airplan, a company that is conducting a series of renovations and operations at the terminal at the time of this writing they are running.

Structure and Capacity[edit]

The airport still retains its classification International Airport even though it only operates domestic and regional flights. The runway is 2508 m long and is at an altitude of 1506 meters. Currently there are restrictions on the type of aircraft operating from the Olaya Herrera, due to its classification of regional airport, commercial aircraft can operate only 50 passengers or less excluding Satena state airline that carries passengers to 76 Embraer 170 aircraft.

The passenger terminal has two waiting rooms that have access to the main platform, which has a capacity of over 30 aircraft, also has a large shopping area with banking establishments, offices and shops of all kinds, a food court, 11 double counters, airline check-in, a smoking room, and close connection with the plaza Gardel.

It has a very large LCD screens provided by Scala to give information of flights, and times of departure and arrival of aircraft, these screens were also designed to receive hospital care for those who wait, with music and animations in Macromedia.

The airport has 111 hangars located south of the terminal, where are the executive offices of many airlines, charter, cargo, like flight schools. The airline Aires built a hangar near the headwaters north of the airport, this power because of servicing aircraft and reaffirming their commitment to Medellin and the new base of operations at this airport opened. Also, the Carrier of Antioquia has six hangars where they keep their planes and provides maintenance. Aviation Schools, Aviation Antioqueña Academy and the School of Aviation The Falcons, two of the most recognized in Colombia, operating from the hangar area as well.

The airport was with five other airports given in concession to a private operator to manage that within the proposed works include total refurbishment of the terminal, the construction of a cargo terminal, repairing the track platform, implementing new security systems are, expansion and refurbishment of waiting rooms and baggage claim belts, construction of a new control tower on the west side, construction of a terminal for business aviation that will work for domestic and international flights of this type (with this new terminal would return from international flights from the airport), new shopping areas, among others.[citation needed]

Aerolínea de Antioquia has its headquarters on the airport property.[1] West Caribbean Airways, when it existed, had its corporate headquarters, operational center, and call center in Hangar 73 on the airport property.[2]

Modernization Olaya Herrera[edit]

With an investment of more than US$27.000.000, Airplan began the transformation in the Olaya Herrera Airport, located in the city of Medellín, under the parameters defined in the concession contract concluded between the company operates, and the Civil Aeronáutuica Public Establecimeinto Olaya Herrera. The modernization plan began in March 2009 and ends in 2014.

The main works will be advanced at this airport are:

  • Extension platform
  • New control tower
  • Boarding Bridges
  • Restructuring of the central dome
  • New parking tower
  • Walking Trails
  • Construction of Cargo Terminal
  • Expanding the area of baggage: a band pass three bands baggage
  • New lighting system
  • Arrival Information Flight Information
  • Wide range of shops
  • The adequacy of office space
  • Opening of terraces
  • Food Zone
  • Information technology components: internet, WiFi, X-rays, closed circuit television.
  • Improved Airport Health Service
  • Improving fire services
  • Construction VIP terminal

Among the main objectives are to ensure aviation safety and comfort of passengers and their companions, and meet the requirements of ICAO, International Civil Aviaicón of the Aerocivil Colombian Civil Aviation Authority and IATA-International Association Air Transport. It is worth mentioning that the Olaya Herrera airport operational spaces have category B, according to IATA. The IATA standard of service is the assessment that relates different flows and delays with the space available in each area of a passenger terminal, combisystems level A (excellent) to F nivel (collapsed), with four levels intermediios. Therefore, to achieve the required nievel prevalence should be given to the Aeras for each passenger.

Airlines and destinations[edit]

Airlines Destinations
ADA Acandí, Apartadó, Armenia, Bahía Solano, Bucaramanga, Capurganá, Caucasia, Condoto, Corozal, Cúcuta, El Bagre, Manizales, Montería, Nuquí, Pereira, Quibdó, Remedios, Tolú
Aexpa Bahía Solano, Condoto, Nuquí, Quibdó
EasyFly Apartadó, Bucaramanga, Cúcuta, Montería, Quibdó
LAN Colombia Apartadó, Bucaramanga, Cúcuta (via Bucaramanga), Ibagué, Montería, Pereira, Quibdó
Satena Apartadó, Bahía Solano, Bogotá, Quibdó
Searca Capurganá
Seasonal: Condoto, Quibdó

Accidents and incidents[edit]

  • On June 24, 1935, internationally renowned Argentinian tango singer Carlos Gardel and a group of his musicians were killed in a collision between two small airplanes at the Olaya Herra Airport.
  • On November 30, 1996, ACES Colombia Flight 148, bound to Bahía Solano, with a stopover in Quibdó, stalled and crashed to a mountain terrain, after takeoff. 14 of the 15 people died in the crash. Cause of the crash was the plane was overloaded.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Contáctenos." Aerolínea de Antioquia. Retrieved on January 26, 2011. "www.ada-aero.com Aeropuerto Olaya Herrera Medellín-Colombia "
  2. ^ "PREGUNTAS FRECUENTES WEST CARIBBEAN AIRWAYS." West Caribbean Airways. August 11, 2003. Retrieved on January 26, 2011. "6. ¿Dónde quedan ubicadas las oficinas de West Caribbean Airways? Las oficinas principales, es decir, la sede administrativa, operaciones, el área comercial y el call center están ubicados en el hangar 73 del aeroparque Olaya Herrera."
  3. ^ "Accident description". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 5 September 2009. 
  4. ^ "HK-1504 Accident description". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 21 June 2010. 
  5. ^ "PNC-0211 Hull-loss description". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 21 June 2010. 
  6. ^ "Ocho heridos deja el estallido accidental de una granada en un avión policial en Colombia" (in Spanish). Ultima Hora. 18 February 2009. Retrieved 22 June 2010. 

External links[edit]