Simón Bolívar International Airport (Venezuela)

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Maiquetía "Simón Bolívar" International Airport
Aeropuerto Internacional de Maiquetía "Simón Bolívar"
Airport type Public
Owner/Operator Instituto Autónomo del Aeropuerto Internacional de Maiquetía
Serves Caracas, Venezuela
Location Maiquetía
Hub for
Elevation AMSL 235 ft / 72 m
Coordinates 10°36′11″N 066°59′26″W / 10.60306°N 66.99056°W / 10.60306; -66.99056Coordinates: 10°36′11″N 066°59′26″W / 10.60306°N 66.99056°W / 10.60306; -66.99056
SVMI is located in Venezuela
Location of airport in Venezuela
Direction Length Surface
m ft
10/28 3,610 11,483 Asphalt
09/27 3,270 9,930 Asphalt
Statistics (2012)
Total passengers 10,430,243

Simón Bolívar International Airport or Maiquetía "Simón Bolívar" International Airport (IATA: CCSICAO: SVMI, Spanish: Aeropuerto Internacional de Maiquetia "Simón Bolívar")[1] 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.[2]

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.

Transport links[edit]

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).[3]

Terminals, airlines and destinations[edit]

View of the apron
Customs and immigration area


Airlines Destinations Terminal1
Aerolíneas Argentinas Buenos Aires-Ezeiza I
Aeroméxico Mexico City I
Aeropostal Barquisimeto, Cumaná, Las Piedras, Maracaibo, Maturín, Porlamar, Puerto Ordaz D
Air France Paris-Charles de Gaulle I
Air Europa Madrid I
Alitalia Rome-Fiumicino I
American Airlines Miami I
Aserca Airlines Barcelona, Barquisimeto, Las Piedras, Maracaibo, Maturín, Porlamar, Puerto Ordaz, Santo Domingo D
Aserca Airlines Aruba I
Avianca Bogotá I
Avianca Peru Lima I
Avior Airlines Barcelona, Porlamar D
Avior Airlines Aruba, Curaçao I
Caribbean Airlines Port of Spain I
Conviasa Barinas, Barquisimeto, Coro, Cumaná, El Vigía, Las Piedras, Maracaibo, Maturín, Porlamar, Puerto Ayacucho, Puerto Ordaz, San Antonio del Táchira, San Fernando de Apure, Santo Domingo, San Tomé D
Conviasa Bogotá, Buenos Aires-Ezeiza, Havana, Madrid, Panama City I
Copa Airlines Panama City I
Copa Airlines Colombia Bogotá I
Cubana de Aviación Havana I
Delta Air Lines Atlanta I
operated by Varig
Aruba, Punta Cana, São Paulo-Guarulhos I
Iberia Madrid I
Insel Air Curaçao I
Insel Air Aruba Aruba I
LAN Airlines Miami, Santiago de Chile I
LAN Perú Lima I
LASER Airlines Barcelona, El Vigía, Maracaibo, Porlamar, Santo Domingo D
LASER Airlines Aruba, Santo Domingo
Seasonal: Punta Cana
Línea Turística Aereotuy Los Roques D
Lufthansa Frankfurt I
RUTACA Airlines Barcelona, Porlamar, Puerto Ordaz, Santo Domingo D
RUTACA Airlines Curaçao I
SBA Airlines Miami, Panama City I
TAM Airlines São Paulo-Guarulhos I
TAME Bogotá I
TAP Portugal Funchal, Lisbon, Porto I
United Airlines Houston-Intercontinental I
Venezolana Cumaná, Maracaibo, Maturín D
Venezolana Santo Domingo I

1 D = Domestic Terminal, I = International Terminal.


The following airlines maintain freight operations to and from Simón Bolívar International Airport:


Movements 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005
National 7,256,934 6,208,000 5,796,629 5,277,907 4,863,991 4,559,247 4,621,254 3,781,682 3,547,602
International 4,699,244 4,222,000 4,115,214 3,552,781 3,909,470 4,081,752 3,668,783 3,251,037 3,224,981
Total 11,956,178 10,430,000 9,911,843 8,830,688 8,773,461 8,722,268 8,373,053 7,032,719 6,772,583
Source: IAIM

Other facilities[edit]

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.[4]

Accidents and incidents[edit]

  • 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.[6]
  • 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.[7]
  • 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[edit]

The airport is shown on the movie Menudo: La Película, when a pair of Menudo friends board a flight during the film's final scenes.

See also[edit]


External links[edit]

Media related to Simón Bolívar International Airport at Wikimedia Commons