Palonegro International Airport
|Palonegro International Airport
Aeropuerto Internacional de Palonegro
|Approach to Palonegro Airport|
|IATA: BGA – ICAO: SKBG
|Elevation AMSL||3,897 ft / 1,188 m|
|Cargo movement (T)||3.566|
|Source: World Aero Data|
Palonegro International Airport (Spanish: Aeropuerto Internacional de Palonegro) (IATA: BGA, ICAO: SKBG) is located in the town of Lebrija, Santander, about 30 km west of Bucaramanga, Colombia. The airport provides the Bucaramanga Metropolitan Area and surrounding towns with access to international and domestic flights.
The airport was built over the mountains surrounding the Bucaramanga plateau. A mountain road connects the city with the airport, which is located at about 1,200 m above sea level (The city of Bucaramanga is located at 950 m above sea level). The airport bears the name of the nearby area, "Palonegro". This was the place of a famous battle of the Thousand Days War, which happened in the early 20th century.
The airport receives flights from major cities in Colombia as well as international flights from Panama City. The main terminal is 18 minutes from the city in the fast lane of the highway west to Giron. It is currently positioned as the eighth largest airport in Colombia, for this reason they are currently investing money in the expansion and construction of a new National boarding area.
Palonegro International Airport, located in the Municipality of Lebrija, marked a new stage of progress for the Department of Santander and its capital, the city of Bucaramanga. The work was directed by the Administrative Department of Civil Aviation, who also were responsible for the construction of new airports and Pitalito Monteria and remodelling in Leticia and Eldorado in this period.
The modern facility that was opened by the President Misael Pastrana in August 1974 just before leaving office, they replaced the old airport "Gomez Niño". The inaugural flight took place on a Boeing 727 Avianca Company, commanded by Captain Alvaro Barrera Gómez.
Gómez Niño Airport, located within the urban area of Bucaramanga was for 25 years who attended the air traffic in the city with significant limitations, given their geographical location and its adverse conditions for security and air navigation. In fact, there were several fatal air accidents brought mourning to the city and country. The old airport, located in the current Ciudadela Real de Minas, was built by the company Scadta in late 1938, when operations began in Junkers F-13 aircraft in its wheels. Child Gómez Airport was purchased by Empresa Colombiana de Aerodrome in 1954 and was one of the few airports in Colombia that operated two runways simultaneously, built in a configuration of X, which allowed their use depending on the prevailing winds. Aerotaxi Avianca and had a great hub and other airlines such as Taxader, had its headquarters at the airport.
Palonegro The site was the historic setting of political strife and the battle of the same name, which took place on 25 May 1900, during the War of the Thousand Days. The land where existing facilities are located and the track was formed by a series of no less than seven hills of considerable height and six canyons with depths exceeding 60 metres.
That is why it was necessary to move at least 14 million cubic metres of earth in successful operation and a great engineering work that began in 1969. The location of the airport has an elevation of 1190 m relative to sea level and an average temperature of 21 degrees Celsius, and distant 18 kilometers from Bucaramanga on the main road that passes through the historic town of Giron. The asphalt runway is 2170 m long and 45 m wide with a buffer zone of 48 m on each side of the track, following the recommendations of ICAO and the FAA for the operation of jet aircraft.
Its airport facilities were designed to successfully address the traffic of aircraft and the growth of passenger and cargo flow projected until 1990 and thereafter, it was envisaged the construction of a taxiing runway parallel to the original runway, the which was actually built years later, along with the facilities, apron and hangars to serve general aviation.
Structure and capacity
The planning of the passenger terminal building is 7000 square meters of construction, took into account the uneven terrain where this arises. This allows passengers arriving Palonegro can be mobilized by first level expeditiously and smoothly. In this first level is the baggage room, which communicates with the car park parking lot. In turn, passengers leaving the city with easy access to the terminal by a wide road that communicates with the dispatch hall airlines. From there down wide stairs to the waiting room with a boarding capacity for 400 people.
The terminal building also had a restaurant, a popular café, stores, offices of Civil Aviation and Meteorology and tourism services, Telecom, the National Police, Customs, airport security and aviation fire station.
The Control Tower has a height of 34 metres equivalent to 10 floors, where one can see widely the length of the track in its entirety and platforms for parking of passenger and cargo aircraft.
Furthermore, additional works including drainage systems, acquisition and operation of track lighting systems, control lights, rotating beacon, navigation aids visual and nonvisual water supply network, electricity and telephone equipment. The Colombian company Terpel aviation fuel, was responsible for building and operating storage tanks and supply facilities.
Palonegro The airport security was under discussion several times, it was precisely from this airport that the flight originated kidnapped on Fokker F-50 Avianca by armed personnel in 1999 and then another plane of Aerotaca B1900 in 2000 on a flight also originated in the air terminal.
For the year 2007 was ranked among the seven airports in Colombia, and for this reason the Civil Aviation decided to invest in expanding and building a new boarding area national and international.
It is now carried out between 70 and 80 daily flights scheduled airlines in five domestic destinations: ADA, Avianca, Copa Airlines Colombia, EasyFly, Aires and Satena. A few months ago began international flights Palonegro joining with the city of Panama by AeroRepublica. This position Palonegro eighth in passenger traffic in the country.
The National Government through its Ministry of Transport and continuing with the policy of granting airports, airport included in the so-called Group Palonegro Northeast. The airport group is also composed of the airports in Cúcuta, Barrancabermeja, Valledupar, Santa Marta and Riohacha. It is hoped that the award process is completed within two years in 2011 for a private operator to invest in the necessary work to adapt the terminal to improve the existing traffic and cargo handling facilities, which eventually will be needed to meet growth in this activity when they sign the FTA with the United States.