Alfonso Bonilla Aragón International Airport

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Alfonso Bonilla Aragón International Airport
Palmaseca International Airport
Terminal de pasajeros del aeropuerto Alfonso Bonilla Aragon.JPG
Airport type Public
Operator Aerocali (Cali Aeronautical company)
Serves Santiago de Cali, Palmira, Colombia
Elevation AMSL 3,162 ft / 964 m
Coordinates 3°32′30″N 76°22′55″W / 3.54167°N 76.38194°W / 3.54167; -76.38194Coordinates: 3°32′30″N 76°22′55″W / 3.54167°N 76.38194°W / 3.54167; -76.38194
CLO is located in Colombia
Location of airport in Colombia
Direction Length Surface
m ft
01/19 3,000 9,843 Asphalt
Statistics (2015)
Aircraft operations 81,420
Passengers 5,122,389
Cargo tonnage 42,363
Sources: GCM[1] Google Maps[2]

Alfonso Bonilla Aragón International Airport (IATA: CLOICAO: SKCL) also known as Palmaseca International Airport is an airport located between Palmira and Cali, the capital of Valle del Cauca Department, Colombia. It is Colombia's third busiest airport in terms of passengers, transporting 3,422,919 in 2010; in infrastructure it is the second largest airport in Colombia. The airport often serves as the alternate airport for Bogotá - El Dorado Int'l Airport and other Colombian airports.

Alfonso Bonilla Airport is in the broad Cauca River valley, which runs from south to north between the Western and Central Colombian Andes ranges. It is approximately 5 hours flight from Santiago de Chile, 50 minutes from Quito, Ecuador, and about 3 hours 18 minutes from Miami airport.

The airport has one runway, equipped with the following navigation aids: primary radar, secondary radar, ILS, ALS, PAPI, RVR, runway centerline lights, threshold lights, and taxiway lights. The airport has SEI IX[3] protection.

The Cali non-directional beacon (Ident: AS) is located 0.59 nautical miles (1.09 km) off the Runway 01 approach threshold. The Cali VOR-DME (Ident: CLO) is located 7.78 nautical miles (14.41 km) off the Runway 01 threshold.[4][5]

Alfonso Bonilla airport is notable in that it is one of the few secondary airports in Latin America open 24 hours a day. Due to excellent meteorological conditions, the airport is in operation throughout the year. With the largest population center, Cali, being 14 kilometres (8.7 mi) away, the airport is allowed to operate without any environmental/noise restrictions. Alfonso Bonilla Aragón International Airport has non-stop flights to the United States, Spain, Ecuador, and Panama, plus direct flights to Peru.


On 21 April 1921 Ferruccio Guicciardi flew his Italian made Macchi-Hanriot HD-1, named "Telegraph I" from Guayaquil, Ecuador, stopping in Quito and Pasto, Colombia before landing in Cali. This was the first ever plane to land in Cali.

The Department of Valle and the City Council had offered a prize of $9,500 pesos to the first pilot to land in the city. This was followed by aerial activity in the capital of Valle del Cauca.

SCADTA Company[edit]

Following the conflict with Peru in 1932, President Enrique Olaya Herrera sought the help of engineers and pilots of SCADTA to find a suitable site to build an airport to support military air operations. After evaluating several alternatives, the German pilot Herbert Boy settled on an area called "El Guabito" because of its location, proximity to the city, and its proximity to an extension of Juanchito Antioquia Avenue. He quickly proceeded to level the land using a bulldozer. There a fledgling Air Force Base and Air National Guard station commenced service on 21 September 1933. In time, airline SCADTA Panagra was followed by TACA de Colombia and VIARCO SAETA.

However, the company Panagra initiative and with its own budget, we looked for a suitable place to build an airport to meet their international flights to Panama joined with the southern continent with a stop in Cali, as well as domestic flights of Avianca. Hence they acquired the lands of "The glial" located in the municipality of Candelaria to 18 miles from the center of the city of Cali. Thus was inaugurated on 17 April 1947 the facilities of the modern "Calipuerto". The airport passed to the Colombian state in the 50s when the RCTs and was subsequently taken over by the Civil Aeronautics in 1968.

It should be noted that in 1946, the company VIARCO valle, under the management of Ricardo A. Deeb, following a policy of expanding it, was determined to build its own airport in the city of Cali. The airport would be open to all companies in the country, except Avianca. In November 1946, the aviation authority requested the inspection of construction of the new airport "El Limón", located in Pasoancho. In early 1947, the works were completed at the airport, which was put in service equipped with the most modern facilities and equipment available at the time. Here they also operate LANSA and other smaller companies, which until then used military facilities in El Guabito, which I later called the Marco Fidel Suarez AFB. The Limonar was closed in 1954, when operations became Calipuerto LANSA, concluding stage of merger with Avianca. The city of Cali, like Bogota, managed to have three active airports simultaneously. At present, where he was Calipuerto works Abastos Center in Cali, Cavas.

Palmaseca International Airport[edit]

The history of the new airport serving the city of Cali, dates back to the Valle large enforceable in sports: the VI Pan American Games, whose head was given to the departmental capital. The simple allocation of the seat of an event of such magnitude and Valle forced the national government to think big and commit to building the long-awaited project. ACE in the mid-sixties had acquired the land from the hacienda Palmaseca, located in the town of Palmira. It was not easy to develop the work, because then there were also external financial difficulties and had to resort to the central government for resources by $35 million that enabled the realization of the architectural and aviation safety. There was also need to build the road to join Palmaseca road trip Cali-Yumbo.

Palmaseca International Airport was inaugurated on 24 July 1971 during the government of President Misael Pastrana Borrero, and had a runway of 3000 meters, taxiways, aircraft parking apron, and a satellite terminal building for domestic and international passengers that had airline service counters, restaurants, and shops. It was thought oversized at the time, but air operations and passenger movements soon grew. Given the airport facilities and technical equipment, it soon became the Eldorado Airport alternate airport.

The airport name was changed to "Alfonso Bonilla Aragón" in honor of a Cauca Valley civic leader and journalist who promoted the controversial construction of the terminal. Even the Business Committee and the Cali Chamber of Commerce asked the government in June 1989 to intercede with the Civil Aeronautics to return the original name "Palmaseca".[6]

Structure and capacity[edit]

  • Loading facilities feature a 747 freighter dock, bonded warehouse, transit zone, free port and trade zone, mechanical steering, health officials, security for valuables, express and messenger center.
  • The airline Avianca has its own lounge at the airport offering services such as Wi-Fi, satellite television, bar facilities, meals and entertainment.


There are car hire desks of the most recognized companies. The airport also offers ATMs, currency exchange services, public phones, and Wi-Fi.

  • Eating: Restaurants, cafés and bar.
  • Shopping: Souvenir items, press and snuff.
  • Baggage: Airlines operating at the airport offer baggage offices for passengers who find trouble with theirs.
  • Parking: There is a parking area in front of the terminal.
  • Hotels: There is a Hotel named GHL comfort at 3rd level of airport where one can stay.

Airlines and destinations[edit]

There is one Terminal, International and Domestic Concourse.

Airlines Destinations Concourse
Aerolínea de Antioquia Quibdó 1
American Airlines Miami 2
Avianca Barranquilla, Bogotá, Bucaramanga (begins 18 August, 2017), Cartagena, Medellín-Córdova, Pasto, Tumaco, San Andrés Island (begins 18 August, 2017), Santa Marta (begins 18 August, 2017) 1
Avianca Madrid, Miami, New York-JFK1 2
Avianca Ecuador Guayaquil 2
Avianca El Salvador San Salvador 2
Avianca Peru Lima 2
Copa Airlines Colombia Panama City–Tocumen 2
LATAM Colombia Bogotá, San Andrés Island 1
Satena Guapi, Quibdó, Puerto Asis, Tumaco 1
TAC Timbiqui
Charter: El Charco
TAME Esmeraldas, Quito 2
VivaColombia Bogotá, Cartagena, Medellín-Córdova, Santa Marta 1
VivaColombia Panama City-Balboa[7] 2
Wingo San Andrés Island 1
Wingo Panama City-Balboa 2


  • 1: Avianca's flight from Cali to New York make a stop in Medellin.

Cargo airlines[edit]

Airlines Destinations
Líneas Aéreas Suramericanas
Tampa Cargo

Accidents and incidents[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Airport information for CLO at Great Circle Mapper.
  2. ^ Google Maps - Cali
  3. ^ Security measures
  4. ^ Cali NDB
  5. ^ Cali VOR
  6. ^ Escobar, Jaime.
  7. ^ "vivaColombia Adds Cali – Panama Route from Sep 2016". routesonline. Retrieved 30 June 2016. 
  8. ^ "Accident description". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 8 October 2009. 

External links[edit]