El Dorado International Airport

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El Dorado International Airport
Aeropuerto Internacional El Dorado
Logo aeropuerto el dorado.png
Aeropuerto Eldorado - Aviones.jpg
Airport type Public / Military
Operator OPAIN S.A.
Location Bogotá
Hub for
Elevation AMSL 2,548 m / 8,361 ft
Coordinates 04°42′05″N 74°08′49″W / 4.70139°N 74.14694°W / 4.70139; -74.14694Coordinates: 04°42′05″N 74°08′49″W / 4.70139°N 74.14694°W / 4.70139; -74.14694
Website Aeropuerto El Dorado
BOG is located in Colombia
Location of airport in Colombia
Direction Length Surface
m ft
13L/31R 3,800 12,467 Asphalt
13R/31L 3,800 12,467 Asphalt
Statistics (2017)
Passengers 30,989,932
Cargo tonnage 773,475 TM (2,016)

El Dorado International Airport (IATA: BOG, ICAO: SKBO) is an international airport serving Bogotá, Colombia and its surrounding areas. The airport is located mostly in the Fontibón district of Bogotá, although it partially extends into the Engativá district and the municipality of Funza in the Western Savanna Province of the Cundinamarca Department. In 2017, it served almost 31,000,000 passengers, 770,000 metric tons of cargo, and 304,330 aircraft movements. This makes El Dorado the third busiest airport in Latin America in terms of passenger traffic, the second busiest in terms of aircraft movements, and the busiest in terms of cargo. El Dorado is also by far the busiest and most important airport in Colombia, accounting for just under half (49%) of the country's air traffic.

El Dorado is the main hub for the Colombian flag-carrier Avianca, the second largest airline conglomerate in Latin America and the second-oldest airline in the world. It is also a hub for Copa Airlines Colombia, LATAM, Satena, EasyFly and many cargo companies. It is owned by the Government of Colombia and operated by Operadora Aeroportuaria Internacional (OPAIN), a consortium composed of Colombian construction and engineering firms and the Swiss company Flughafen Zürich AG, the company that operates Zurich International Airport. The airport has been named the best airport in South America by World Airport Awards.[1] El Dorado received four-star certification and its staff was rated the best in South America by Skytrax,[2] as well as achieving 42nd place in Skytrax's World's Top 100 Airports in 2017.[3]


Early years[edit]

Main entrance for domestic departures at El Dorado International Airport
International departure terminal at El Dorado

The El Dorado Passenger Terminal was designed during the government of General Gustavo Rojas Pinilla. Its construction began in 1955 and entered in service by December 1959, replacing Techo Internatioal Airport, which had been the city's main airport since 1930. Before it's inauguration, Soledad International Airport in Barranquilla was the nation's air hub, and was relegated to secondary importance in the country when El Dorado Airport opened. The new terminal consisted of several taxiways, maintenance platforms, parking areas, a cellar, passenger halls, Mezzanine areas and other amenities. Its second floor consisted of the departures area with executive waiting rooms and restaurants. The third floor consisted mainly of offices for the airlines and of other airport related services.

The fourth floor held the administrative offices and its dependencies which accounted through to the fifth floor. The sixth floor contained mainly the dependencies of meteorology and power station of air navigation aids of the ECA. The seventh floor held the route control facilities for the runways and taxiways and the eighth floor contained air traffic radar controllers. The ninth floor contained the airport's electrical maintenance and offices, and the tenth floor held the control tower and air traffic controllers.

In 1973, the airport accomplished a milestone by serving nearly three million passengers and processing nearly 5 million units of luggage. That year turned out to be one of the most prosperous for the industry of aviation, registering high passenger growth in both domestic and international traffic. Then it became necessary for a second runway at El Dorado with concerns that the explosive growth would lead to over congestion in the future. In 1981, Avianca undertook the construction of the Puente Aéreo Terminal inaugurated by President Julio César Turbay Ayala, to serve its high density flights from Bogotá to Cali, Medellín, Miami and New York City. In 1990, the Special Administrative Unit of Civil Aeronautics (Aerocivil) moved to the third floor in the main building. During this same year, the Centro de Estudios Aeronáuticos and at the east part of the airport the building for the National Center for Aeronavigation were constructed. In 1998, the second runway was officially opened.

Avianca's main hub[edit]

On 10 December 1998, Avianca officially opened its hub in Bogotá, offering an estimated 6,000 possible connections per week, including greater numbers of frequencies, schedules and destinations served. Connections between domestic and international destinations are currently operated directly and through codesharing agreements with airlines such as Delta Air Lines, Iberia, Air Canada, Lufthansa and Air France.

Operations out of the Bogotá hub allow travelers to easily connect between domestic destinations (such as Pereira San Andrés), from a domestic destination to an international destination (Such as Cali to Los Angeles), from an international destination to a domestic city (Such as Ft. Lauderdale to Baranquilla), between two international destinations (Such as Paris to Guayaquil) and allows for simpler codeshare connections (such as Atlanta to Cartagena with Delta Air Lines and Avianca).

The hub also features facilities for easier transits, such as exclusive check-in counters for travelers in transit, buses for internal transportation between Puente Aéreo and El Dorado terminals, and a special lounge for international transit passengers to avoid having to go through Colombian customs and immigration between transits.

Puente Aéreo[edit]

La oración al proscrito, artwork by Rodrigo Arenas Betancourt

Vargas Swamp Lancers, artwork by Rodrigo Arenas Betancourt In 1981, Avianca undertook the construction of a new exclusive terminal to be called the Puente Aéreo (Air Bridge), which was eventually inaugurated by President Julio Cesar Turbay Ayala. Avianca's original purpose for the terminal was for flights serving Cali, Medellín, Miami and New York. During the first years of operation and until 2005 Avianca gradually moved all of its domestic operations to the Puente Aéreo and shifted the Miami and New York operations to the main terminal.

This allowed them to streamline their operations by using space previously assigned to customs and immigration for passenger gates and lounges. The culmination of this process came in 2006 when the airline undertook extensive renovations on the building. However, the airline was mindful of the impending and current renovations of El Dorado. One possible plan will be demolishing the Puente Aéreo Terminal, Main terminal and old cargo buildings which will be replaced with a new mega terminal. Many of the renovations made to the terminal in 2006 were obviously temporary and designed to be cheap but effective. For example, the walkways for the new gates are simply floor tiles placed over the old tarmac and the structure is made of aluminum with plastic sheets instead of glass windows. Passengers must cross the lanes used by buses, baggage carts and other vehicles in order to reach the aircraft. Once at the gate travellers must climb stairs to access the plane, the norm in the 1950s and 1960s but has for many years been surpassed by jetways.

In February 2008 Avianca opened a pioneer store called Aviancastore which sells different products including: toy airplanes, hats, umbrellas, clothing, stuffed toys, pens, mugs and other such products, all embossed with the company logo. The store was an instant success and the airline expanded the concept to various other cities in Colombia.

CATAM military airport[edit]

On 3 September 1932 it was launched the first Military Transport Service in Colombia, when a Junkers F-13 carried Colonel Luis Acevedo and his party to Leticia. Colonel Acevedo also served as Colombia's General Director of aviation. Although the military air transport infrastructure was not formed yet, that mission was accomplished during the conflict with Peru in a rudimentary but effective way, with aircraft like the Junkers W-34, Ju-52 and BT-32 Condor.

In 1954 he created a "Liaison Squadron" operating under direct orders of the President of the Republic, at the time, Gen. Gustavo Rojas Pinilla. The Squadron was located in the Airport of Techo, the first airport of Bogotá. Its success led to the creation of a Military Airlift Group, which reached the category of Transportation Base in 1959. By then El Dorado International Airport was finished, so the Colombian Air Force ordered the transfer of the Unit to an area adjacent to the new Airport of El Dorado, using the civil airport facilities, while finishing the construction of a new base. The base was baptized as Comando Aéreo de Transporte Militar (Military Transportation Air Command) or CATAM. The base was inaugurated on 28 May 1963.

The base acquired the status of Operations and Logistics Support Center by FAC Directive No. 4429 of 8 July 1963, starting operations on 25 October. In 1968 the first two Hercules C-130B, with Colombian airplane military numbers FAC-1001 and FAC-1002, were delivered to this base. These aircraft, clearly designed for war missions and troop and materials transport, were able to use short and unpaved runways used in military operations through the country, fulfilling the needs of Colombian Air Force.

Boeing E-4 in CATAM

In 1977, the Military Transport Aviation Command was named after the Colombian aviation pioneer, Honorary Brigadier General Camilo Daza Alvarez. In order to expand its capacity for troop and cargo transportation in support of surface forces, in their fight against subversion and drug trafficking, the Air Force acquired new C-130 Hercules aircraft that been used for security purposes but also for humanitarian assistance. Between 1990 and 1991 the base received from the U.S. government six C-130B aircraft to support operations to combat drug trafficking and guerrillas.

In 1996 the base opened new ground accesses through an area devoted to the Military Transport Aviation Command. The narrow street that impeded the entrance and exit of vehicles was replaced by a dual carriageway and a tunnel that allows access to vehicular traffic passing below the airplane access ramp to runway number 2 of El Dorado International Airport. The parking lot was also enlarged to serve up to 260 vehicles. The base hosts the Colombian Air Force Museum, which has planes in display that represent the various types used in service during the 85 years history of the force.[4]

In 2003 NVG equipment for night vision air operations was installed in Hercules C-130 and CN-235 Nurtanio airplanes. This increased the operational and support capacity of the base given to ground Army force, by allowing transportation, parachuting and aeromedical evacuation on combat runways lacking illumination. In this way Colombian Air Force almost doubled its operating capacity at this base, since it works 24 hours a day.[5]

Terminals and facilities[edit]

International Departures gate in the Terminal 1

New construction and renovations are presently underway in the terminal area. Once fully completed, the new main terminal will be known as Terminal 1 (T1). The T1 building is shaped like an "h" and is divided in two piers or concourses: the international one to the north side and the domestic pier/concourse on the south side. The new terminal has three airline lounges (operated by LATAM, Avianca and American Airlines) in the international concourse, as well as a food court plaza and several retail stores and cafés in the duty-free area. There are also car rental facilities, ticket counters, ATM's, telephones, restrooms, luggage storage space and even a small casino. The terminal has complimentary Wi-Fi service.

T1 has several check-in counter areas, check-in kiosks and expanded immigration lanes compared to the previous terminal. "Express lanes" were added for holders of biometric passports and Global Entry Membership. The new terminal has moving walkways, escalators and elevators to guarantee universal access and faster connections. The new terminal contains 32 gates: 10 for international flights, 17 for domestic flights and 5 remote gates.

The "Puente Aéreo" is currently Terminal 2 (T2). It has been Avianca's exclusive terminal for domestic flights. On 8 June 2014, Avianca will move some of their domestic flights to T1 and will operate both terminals. This terminal contains a revamped food plaza, an Avianca premium lounge and several retail stores.

The Special Administrative Unit of Civil Aeronautics (Aerocivil) is located in the new Aerocivil Building, located on the airport property.[6][7] Previously it was located on the fourth floor of the main terminal building.[8][9]

Airlines and destinations[edit]


Aerolíneas Argentinas Buenos Aires–Ezeiza
Aeroméxico Mexico City
Air Canada Rouge Toronto–Pearson
Air Europa Madrid
Air France Paris–Charles de Gaulle
American Airlines Dallas/Fort Worth, Miami
Avianca Armenia, Aruba, Barcelona, Barrancabermeja, Barranquilla, Boston, Bucaramanga, Buenos Aires–Ezeiza, Cali, Cancún, Cartagena, Chicago-O'Hare (begins November 16, 2018)[10], Corozal, Cúcuta, Curaçao, Florencia, Fort Lauderdale, Guatemala City, Havana, Ibagué, La Paz, Leticia, Lima, London–Heathrow, Los Angeles, Madrid, Manizales, Medellín–Córdova, Mexico City, Miami, Montería, Montevideo, Munich (begins November 16, 2018), Neiva, New York–JFK, Orlando, Pasto, Pereira, Popayán, Punta Cana, Rio De Janeiro-Galeão, Riohacha, San Andrés Island, San Juan de Puerto Rico, San Salvador, Santa Marta, Santo Domingo–Las Américas, Santiago de Chile, São Paulo–Guarulhos, Valledupar, Villavicencio, Washington–Dulles, Yopal
Avianca Brazil Fortaleza, Recife,[11] Salvador, São Paulo–Guarulhos
Avianca Costa Rica San José de Costa Rica
Avianca Ecuador Aruba, Guayaquil, Panama City, Quito, Santa Cruz de la Sierra
Avianca El Salvador San Salvador
Avianca Peru Cusco, Lima
Avior Airlines Caracas, Valencia (VE)
Copa Airlines Panama City
Copa Airlines Colombia Panama City
Cubana de Aviación Havana
Delta Air Lines Atlanta
EasyFly Ibagué, Manizales, Neiva, Pereira, Popayán, Quibdó, Yopal
Iberia Madrid
Interjet Cancún, Mexico City
JetBlue Airways Fort Lauderdale, Orlando
KLM Amsterdam1
LATAM Brasil São Paulo–Guarulhos
LATAM Chile Santiago de Chile
LATAM Colombia Aruba, Barranquilla, Bucaramanga, Cali, Cancún, Cartagena, Cúcuta, Leticia, Lima, Medellín–Córdova, Miami, Montería, Pereira, San Andrés Island, Santa Marta, Valledupar, Yopal
LATAM Perú Lima
Lufthansa Frankfurt
Satena Apartadó, Arauca, Buenaventura, Corozal, Florencia, Ipiales, La Macarena, Medellín–Olaya Herrera, Mitú, Pasto, Puerto Asís, Puerto Carreño, Puerto Inírida, Quibdó, San José del Guaviare, San Vicente del Caguan, Saravena, Villagarzon, Villavicencio
Spirit Airlines Fort Lauderdale, Orlando (begins November 8, 2018)[12]
TAME Guayaquil, Quito
Turkish Airlines Istanbul–Atatürk2
United Airlines Houston–Intercontinental, Newark
Viva Air Colombia Barranquilla, Bucaramanga, Cartagena, Lima, Medellín–Córdova, Montería, Pereira, San Andrés Island, Santa Marta
Viva Air Peru Lima (begins November 10, 2018)
Wingo Aruba, Cancún, Caracas, Cartagena, Havana, Mexico City, Panama City-Balboa, Punta Cana, Quito, San Andrés Island


  • ^1 KLM's flight from Bogotá to Amsterdam makes a stop in Cartagena. However, the airline does not have eighth freedom traffic rights to transport passengers solely between Bogotá and Cartagena.
  • ^2 Turkish Airlines' flight from Bogotá to Istanbul makes a stop in Panama City. However, the airline does not have traffic rights to transport passengers solely between Bogotá and Panama City.


AeroSucre Quito
Avianca Cargo Asunción, Lima, Mexico City, Miami, Montevideo, Panama City, Quito, San Juan, Guatemala
Cargolux Aguadilla, Latacunga, Luxembourg
Cielos del Perú Lima
DHL Aviation
operated by DHL Aero Expreso
Panama City
Etihad Cargo Barbados
Ethiopian Airlines Cargo Miami[13]
FedEx Express Memphis
KF Cargo Miami
Korean Air Cargo Tokyo-Narita, Seoul-Incheon
LATAM Cargo Brasil Fortaleza, Guayaquil, Manaus, Miami, Quito
LATAM Cargo Colombia Miami, Rio de Janeiro–Galeão, Quito, Amsterdam
LATAM Cargo Mexico Guadalajara, Mexico City
Líneas Aéreas Suramericanas Aruba, Quito
Martinair Amsterdam, Aguadilla, Santiago de Chile
TAB - Transportes Aéreos Bolivianos Miami, Santa Cruz de la Sierra–Viru Viru
Turkish Airlines Cargo Aguadilla, Istanbul-Atatürk, New York-JFK, Zaragoza
UPS Airlines Louisville, Miami
Vensecar Internacional Caracas
Western Global Airlines Miami


Movements 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008
Passengers 31,041,841 30,566,473 27,430,266 25,009,483 22,525,873 20,427,603 18,934,203 14,899,199 13,548,420
Cargo (TM) 773,475 769,823 636,657 622,145 637,153 618,062 594,946 512,844 578,812
Movements 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000
Passengers 12,763,979 11,771,284 10,711,108 10,003,434 7,281,664 7,533,000 7,380,052 7,212,583
Cargo (TM) 585,598 590,931 585,598 531,474 482,152 420,605 374,608 378,035
El Dorado is the main hub of Avianca, one of the largest airlines in Latin America
Iberia Airbus 340-600 aircraft taxiing at Bogotá El Dorado International Airport.
Air France Airbus A340 landing from Paris–Charles de Gaulle
Boeing 777-200ER of KLM in El Dorado
Busiest international routes (roundtrip) out of El Dorado International Airport (2017)
Rank City Passengers % Load Factor % Change Airlines
1 Panama Panama City, Panama 854.879 84,16% Decrease 5,57% Avianca Ecuador, Copa Airlines, Copa Airlines Colombia
2 Peru Lima, Peru 839.758 80,84% Increase 9,68% Avianca, Avianca Perú, LATAM Perú, Viva Colombia
3 United States Miami, United States 721.320 86,32% Increase 3,35% American Airlines, Avianca, LATAM, LATAM Colombia
4 Mexico Mexico City, Mexico 702.021 78,65% Increase 4,65% Aeroméxico, Avianca, Copa Colombia, Interjet
5 Spain Madrid, Spain 664.014 90,28% Increase 13,87% Air Europa, Avianca, Iberia
6 Chile Santiago de Chile 568.115 80,50% Decrease 9,12% Avianca, LATAM
7 Brazil São Paulo, Brazil 514.902 95,57% Increase 24,02% Avianca, LATAM Brasil
8 Ecuador Quito, Ecuador 414.743 71,32% Decrease 5,30% Avianca Ecuador, Tame, Wingo
9 Mexico Cancun, Mexico 318.898 74,11% Decrease 3,87% Avianca, LATAM Colombia, Wingo
10 United States Fort Lauderdale, USA 310.999 86,25% Increase 7,11% Avianca, JetBlue, Spirit Airlines
11 United States New York City, United States 287.990 88,49% Decrease 5,11% Avianca
12 Venezuela Caracas, Venezuela 265.003 55,97% Decrease 32,47% Avior, Wingo
13 Ecuador Guayaquil, Ecuador 204.547 77,21% Increase 5,28% Avianca Ecuador
14 Argentina Buenos Aires, Argentina 201.147 70,02% Decrease 19,84% Aerolíneas Argentinas, Avianca, LATAM Brasil
15 United States Orlando, United States 198.555 91,34% Increase 11,85% Avianca, JetBlue
16 El Salvador San Salvador, El Salvador 188.293 78,62% Increase 7,78% Avianca, Avianca El Salvador
17 United States Houston, United States 186.470 87,79% Increase 2,69% United Airlines
18 France Paris, France 179.028 89,94% Increase 6,64% Air France
19 Spain Barcelona, Spain 172.184 95,54% Increase 7,02% Avianca
20 Dominican Republic Punta Cana, Dominican Republic 166.741 79,14% Increase 14,74% Avianca, Wingo
21 Germany Frankfurt, Germany 154.799 85,27% Increase 1,68% Lufthansa
22 United Kingdom London–Heathrow, United Kingdom 158.548 88,94% Increase 18,95% Avianca
23 Costa Rica San Jose, Costa Rica 150.759 79,21% Increase 21,32% Avianca Costa Rica
24 United States Atlanta, United States 147.377 91,47% Increase 30,88% Delta Air Lines
25 Aruba Oranjestad, Aruba 120.192 77,92% Decrease 6,72% Avianca, Avianca Ecuador, LATAM Colombia, Wingo
26 Brazil Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 118.617 97,09% Increase 64,70% Avianca
27 Cuba Havana, Cuba 89.282 66,59% Decrease 10,94% Avianca, Cubana de Aviación, Wingo
28 United States Los Angeles, United States 89.189 84,98% Increase 5,83% Avianca
29 Dominican Republic Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic 88.993 72,18% Increase 3,18% Avianca
30 Canada Toronto, Canada 87.907 85,84% Increase 2,49% Air Canada
31 United States Newark, United States 87.452 91,42% Increase 4,64% United Airlines
32 Netherlands Amsterdam, The Netherlands 86.110 88,84% Increase 10,99% KLM
33 United States Washington, United States 72.684 84,00% Decrease 0,98% Avianca
34 United States Dallas, United States 72.531 76,20% Increase 1,26% American Airlines
35 Panama Panama City-Balboa, Panama 63.906 51,74% Increase 0,20% Viva Colombia, Wingo
36 Guatemala Guatemala City, Guatemala 62.901 75,02% Increase 1,55% Avianca
37 Curaçao Willemstad, Curaçao 51.285 70,61% Decrease 8,98% Avianca
38 Brazil Fortaleza, Brazil 47.654 77,56% Increase 1104,32% Avianca Brazil
Busiest domestic routes (roundtrip) out of El Dorado International Airport (2015)[14]
Rank City Passengers Airlines
1 Colombia Medellin, Antioquia 3.406.849 Avianca, Copa Airlines Colombia, LATAM, Satena, Viva Colombia.
2 Colombia Cali, Valle del Cauca 3.025.401 Avianca, Copa Airlines Colombia, LATAM, Viva Colombia.
3 Colombia Cartagena, Bolívar 2.390.508 Avianca, LATAM, Viva Colombia.
4 Colombia Barranquilla, Atlántico 1.878.726 Avianca, LATAM, Viva Colombia.
5 Colombia Bucaramanga, Santander 1.407.557 Avianca, LATAM, Viva Colombia.
6 Colombia Santa Marta, Magdalena 1.226.004 Avianca, LATAM, Viva Colombia.
7 Colombia Pereira, Risaralda 1.218.550 Avianca, LATAM, Viva Colombia.
8 Colombia San Andrés 1.107.089 Avianca, Copa Airlines Colombia, LATAM, Viva Colombia.
9 Colombia Cucuta, Norte de Santander 949.083 Avianca, LATAM, Viva Colombia.
10 Colombia Monteria, Córdoba 607.278 Avianca, LATAM, Viva Colombia.
11 Colombia Armenia, Quindío 434.724 Avianca.
12 Colombia Yopal, Casanare 399.733 Avianca, EasyFly, LATAM.
13 Colombia Valledupar, Cesar 355.417 Avianca, LATAM.
14 Colombia Neiva, Huila 312.869 Avianca, EasyFly.
15 Colombia Pasto, Nariño 270.535 Avianca, Satena.
16 Colombia Leticia, Amazonas 218.804 Avianca, LATAM.
17 Colombia Manizales, Caldas 195.632 Avianca.
18 Colombia Barrancabermeja, Santander 176.468 Avianca, EasyFly.
19 Colombia Ibague, Tolima 148.294 Avianca.
20 Colombia Riohacha, La Guajira 134.353 Avianca.
21 Colombia Popayán, Cauca 115.931 Avianca, EasyFly.
22 Colombia Villavicencio, Meta 111.237 Avianca.
23 Colombia Arauca, Arauca 88.361 EasyFly, Satena.
24 Colombia Quibdó, Chocó 81.016 EasyFly, Satena.
25 Colombia Florencia, Caquetá 78.741 Avianca, Satena.
26 Colombia Corozal, Sucre 28.333 Satena.

Accidents and incidents[edit]

  • On 7 June 1973, Vickers Viscount HK-1061 of Aerolíneas TAO was damaged beyond economic repair in an accident on landing.[15]
  • On 24 January 1980, Douglas C-53D HK-2214 of Aerotal Colombia crashed after an in-flight engine failure following which the propeller on the engine was feathered. The aircraft was on a test flight. All four on board were killed.[16]
  • On 8 February 1986, Douglas DC-3 HK-3031 of SAEP Colombia crashed on approach. The port engine had lost power shortly after take-off on a cargo flight to Rondon Airport and the decision was made to return to Bogotá. Although the aircraft was destroyed in the post-impact fire, all five people on board survived.[17]
  • On 27 November 1989, Avianca Flight 203, flying from Bogota to Alfonso Bonilla Aragon International Airport in Cali, was destroyed by a bomb while flying over Soacha. All 107 passengers and crew and three people on the ground died. Pablo Escobar bombed the plane in an attempt to assassinate presidential candidate César Gaviria Trujillo, who was not on the plane and was elected President of Colombia in 1990.
  • On 25 January 1990, Avianca Flight 52, flying on a Bogotá-Medellín-New York JFK route, crashed on Long Island after running out of fuel.
  • On 20 April 1998, Air France Flight 422 from Eldorado Airport to Quito, Ecuador, using an aircraft leased from TAME and flown with Ecuadorian crew, crashed into a mountain near Bogotá. All 43 passengers and 10 crew died.[18][19]
  • On 7 July 2008, a Kalitta Air Boeing 747-209B crashed shortly after departing from El Dorado International Airport in Bogotá at 3:55 am. The plane was en route to Miami, Florida, with a shipment of flowers. After reporting a fire in one of the engines, the plane attempted returning to the airport but crashed near the village of Madrid, Colombia. One of the plane's engines hit a farm house, killing an adult and two children who lived there. The crew of eight survived.[20][21]

Future developments[edit]

Windows on the main platform
Vehicles on the platform

Due to the high demand for passengers, it has now become apparent to build a new, more modern airport with much more capacity for both commercial and cargo flights. Although the original master plan called for a massive overhaul and expansion of the existing terminal, the Colombian government has now realized the need to build a new airport.

The process began with the creation of the new terminal. On 7 February 2007, the airport gave a concession to the consortium Opain. The national government accepted the proposal with Opain (airport operating company), to demolish the airport on 14 March 2008, after having given its concession. Initially the grant provided for the modernization of existing buildings and the construction of some additional buildings connected to the main terminal, but during the upgrading works (see below, Milestone 1), structural defects were discovered, which do not compromise the integrity of the building today. Opain from the beginning had proposed to demolish the aging terminal and had even submitted a new design to replace it, but the government had strongly opposed it due to pressing budget and legal issues (because it would be a big change to the terms of the concession, which could make Opain as well as other competitors who participated in the tender submitted claims), although many sectors of public opinion agreed with Opain. After the structural problems were discovered, the government agreed to the demolition of the airport and compensation for the renovations that Opain had already been hired to perform (Milestone 1). For the airport to handle 16 million passengers annually and 1.5 million tons of cargo, Opain plans to move the cargo terminal to allow the expansion of the passenger terminal and ensure access for at least an additional avenue to 26th Street.

On 19 September 2007, the implementation of Milestone 1 of the plan for modernization and expansion of the airport began. This consists of expanding the current Central Arrivals Hall of the terminal and installation of the CUTE system at the terminal. This was completed in March 2008. Additionally, the construction of the new cargo terminal, a new building for the office of civil aviation, a new fire station, an administrative center and quarantine were completed in September 2009.

The third milestone of the project began in late November 2009. Terminal 2, located on the north side of the current terminal, will handle all international passengers and its construction was set for 2012. The old building or Terminal 1 will handle only national passengers, except for Avianca's which will continue being served on Terminal Puente Aereo. Soon after Terminal 2 begins its operation, the old Terminal 1 building will be demolished in order to build a new terminal for national passengers. On 17 October, the new Terminal 2 was inaugurated and on the 19th, every international operation was moved from Terminal 1 to Terminal 2. The new El Dorado International Airport will undoubtedly be the largest infrastructure project in the city, when completed in the Summer of 2014,[22] it will be the largest and most modern airport in Latin America.

In January 2015, the Santos administration announced a two-stage plan to improve Bogota's aerial access. The plans consist of a major expansion to the current main terminal with the effect of increasing the number of gates from 37 to 56 and thus raising the capacity of the airport from 27 million passengers to 40 million. Phase 1 also involves improvements to the runway to increase efficiency. The time scale for phase one is approximately 24 months. Phase two involves the construction of a brand new secondary airport in the suburb of Facatativa west of Bogota. This new project is currently conceived as El Dorado II and is aimed to be in operation by 2020. These two major developments are part of a greater endeavor to modernize the nation's airports. It is expected that El Dorado and El Dorado II will be connected via a commuter/light rail project.[23]


  • 2016: The airport has been named the best airport in South America by World Airport Awards.[1] El Dorado received four-star certification and its staff was rated the best in South America by Skytrax,[2] as well as achieving the 46th place in the World's Top 100 Airports in 2016 list.[24]
  • 2017: The airport has been named the best airport in South America by World Airport Awards.[25] El Dorado received four-star certification by Skytrax, as well as achieving the 42nd place in the World's Top 100 Airports in 2017 list.[25]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b worldairportawards.com. "Best Airports in South America". Retrieved 21 March 2016.
  2. ^ a b worldairportawards.com. "Best Airport Staff in South America". Retrieved 21 March 2016.
  3. ^ worldairportawards.com. "Rating of the World's Top 100 Airports from the customer nominated 2016 World Airport Awards". Retrieved 21 March 2016.
  4. ^ [1]
  5. ^ [2]
  6. ^ "Inicio Archived 15 April 2011 at the Wayback Machine.." Special Administrative Unit of Civil Aeronautics. Retrieved on 26 January 2011. "Av. El Dorado 103-15 Nuevo Edificio Aerocivil – Bogotá, D. C."
  7. ^ "Oficinas y Dependencias Archived 4 October 2011 at the Wayback Machine.." Special Administrative Unit of Civil Aeronautics. Retrieved on 26 January 2011. "Sede Central Dirección: Aeropuerto El Dorado."
  8. ^ "Docket No. OST-2008-[permanent dead link] Regulations, gov. 3/37. Retrieved on 4 October 2016. "The government authority with competent jurisdiction over AIRES is the Unidad Administrativa Especial de Aeronáutica Civil ("UAEAC") de Colombia. The address of UAEAC is as follows: Aeropuerto El Dorado Piso 4 – Bogotá D.C. 211.20(b).
  9. ^ "Quality Policy Archived 25 August 2011 at the Wayback Machine.." Special Administrative Unit of Civil Aeronautics. Retrieved on 4 October 2016. " 2007–2010 Unidad Administrativa Especial de Aeronáutica Civil – UAEAC Aeropuerto El Dorado Piso 4 – Bogotá, D. C.."
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External links[edit]

Media related to El Dorado International Airport at Wikimedia Commons