Los Garzones Airport
Los Garzones Airport (IATA: MTR, ICAO: SKMR) is an airport serving the city of Montería in the Córdoba Department of Colombia. It is the only airport in the department that can handle modern jets (up to Airbus A330 size). On normal days, the airport receives 25 to 30 takeoffs and landings. It is one of the busiest airports in Colombia in terms of passenger flow.
In 2008, the consortium "AirPlan", formed by the following companies, was awarded a bidding process: Malibú S.A .; Fernando Mazuera y Cía., Information and Technology S.A., Portales Urbanos S.A., Colombian Society of Commercial Investments (Socinsa), Superstores and Olympic Drugstores, Noarco S.A. and Integral Services for Networks and Communications that, together with the Chinese company CAH Colombia, propose works among which are the construction of a new terminal, reconditioning of the runways and taxiways and new security systems. Since 2010, the airport has an urban bus service that connects the air terminal with the main bus terminal in the city of Montería
|Los Garzones International Airport
Aeropuerto internacional Los Garzones
|Elevation AMSL||36 ft / 11 m|
The first plane to reach Monteria was a hydrofoil, which was floating on the banks of the Sinu River thanks to the expertise of the German aviator Helmuth Von Krohn . They had been introduced to Colombia by the Colombo German Air Transport Company "Scadta", born in Barranquilla on December 5, 1919, when the deeds were signed at the second notary of Barranquilla. The partners were the Germans Werner Kaemerer, Stuart Hosie, Alberto Tietjen and the Colombians Ernesto Cortizzos (the first President of the airline), Rafael Palacio, Cristóbal Restrepo, Jacobo Correa and Aristides Noguera.
These aircraft were of the model Junker F-13, monoplanes of low wing and of completely metallic construction, whose motors had to be modified to be able to operate efficiently in the climatic conditions of the country. They were 9.50 meters long and 3.50 meters high. Its flight capacity was 850 kilometers and could carry up to 4 passengers, in addition to the two crew members. Due to the topographic characteristics of the country, the Junkers were adapted two floats in order to perform aquatization in the rivers of different populations.
The first of the Junker F-13, baptized with the name of "Colombia", was brought to Barranquilla in 1920 by a German crew, composed by the pilot Helmuth von Krohn and the engineers Guillermo Schorbusch and Fritz Hammer. As a historical fact, it should be noted that Von Krohn died in 1924 along with Ernesto Cortizzos, when the Junker "Tolima" plane crashed in Bocas Cenizas, in which they attended the culmination of the works of the tajamares.
Unfortunately, the time of its best commercial moment coincided with the period of the Second World War and by the strategy of the US government, which considered it very dangerous that an airline with so much German influence flying so close to the Panama Canal, the German pilots were fired. June 8, 1940. Six days later, on June 14, in the same notary where "Scadta" was created, the deed was signed to convert it into "Avianca".
Aviation had many protagonists in the Sinu territory. In the 1930s, passenger flights from Scadta landed in Montería and Lorica.Then, in the 40s, Avianca -produced from the liquidation of Scadta- and Lansa -Lineas Aéreas Nacionales SA-, which also covered Montería and Lorica. And in 1947 came the DC3, type C-47, from Sam - Sociedad Aeronáutica de Medellín, which initially made the transport of cargo to Planeta Rica.
The old San Jerónimo de Montería airport was inaugurated in 1937 on the land that is now occupied by the San Jerónimo Hospital and the Tacasuán Recreational Center. "Avianca" started its operations there with the famous Douglas DC-3. These planes arrived in the country in October 1939, and were flying at the incredible speed, at that time, of 200 miles per hour. The most famous DC-3 was the HK-111, commanded by Captain Alfredo Crismatt, graciously baptized by the people as the "Doctor", since "begins with one", "continues with one" and "ends with one".
The arrival of the Douglas DC-4, which required a longer runway, led to the opening in the 60s of the Berástegui Airport, on the grounds of the "San Antonio" farm, which was owned by General Gustavo Rojas Pinilla. The next step was the construction of the current airport of Los Garzones, inaugurated in 1974, to open the skies of Córdoba to modern Jets.
In 2016 Montería received 968,481 passengers, while in 2017 it received 943,772 passengers according to data published by the Grupo Aeroportuario del Sureste.
New terminal expansion
The new terminal was completed in early January 2017. This new building contained fresh architecture more advanced systems than the previous terminal. The number of check-in stands increased from 17 to 22, and electric escalators were added for the first time. There were more food courts and offices on the second floor, along with the entrance to the VIP lounge. The city of Montería is considering adding a new immigration hall in 2018.
Works at the Airport
Los Garzones will have track extension and varied services for the community. The concession contract concluded between Airplan, Aerocivil and the Olaya Herrera Public Establishment for the modernization of six airports in the north central zone of Colombia, includes significant infrastructure works at Los Garzones airport, whose investments amount to more than 50 billion of pesos, in value to the year of 2008. The modernization plan is for five years, counted from March 2009. It is also planned to internationalize the airport, with two main destinations that would be pilots: Panama, Panama Marcos A. Gelabert International Airport and Miami, Florida Miami International Airport.
The airport will have the following modernizations
- Expansion of passenger terminal
- Expansion of the waiting room
- New energy substation
- Extension of the track from 30m to 45m wide; and from 1800m to 2300 meters long
- Installation of a new luggage band
- Construction of cargo terminal, which will have water and sanitary facilities and parking
- Approach lighting system(ALS)
- Exclusive atmosphere and an atmosphere of rest and privacy.
- Wireless Internet (WiFi) from anywhere in the room.
- Work stations with Internet access, computers, multifunction printer. Spaces set with local and international television.
- Bar area with a variety of liquors, wines and beers.
- Variety of foods.
- Coffee bar and snacks.
- Selection of newspapers and magazines.
- Playroom for children.
Old Arrivals Hall
The arrivals hall originally opened in 1974, with the same technology as the previous airport. The luggage claim was very small and could only fit 40 people at most. It was expanded in the 1980s, they added seats and modernized the Conveyor belt which made luggage transportation easier. In the 1990s, the room was widened and more seats were added along with a fan to cool the passengers down. This expansion also allowed more people to fit in the building. In the late 1990s, when cargo airlines first started operations there, the airport needed a new cargo terminal.
So an expansion of the arrivals hall was made to build a very small and simple cargo terminal. This cargo terminal would later be replaced by a newer and more advanced cargo terminal in 2014. The final addition to the arrivals hall was a new TV screen that could show the arrivals and landings. It was installed in the early 2000s. In 2014, the old cargo terminal closed down and it was now vacant. In late 2016, the expansion was complete. In this new building, a new arrivals hall was built. This replaced the previous arrivals hall and leaving it vacant. It is planned in late 2017, the building will be demolished and replaced with a parking lot.
Airlines and destinations
|ADA||Barranquilla, Medellín-Olaya Herrera|
|EasyFly||Barranquilla, Cartagena, Medellín-Olaya Herrera, Panama City-Albrook|
|SARPA||Charter: Puerto Asís, Medellín-Olaya Herrera|
|Viva Colombia||Bogotá, Medellín-Córdova,|
|Líneas Aéreas Suramericanas||Bogotá, Medellín-Córdova|
Accidents and incidents
- On Wednesday the 2nd, 1990, a Grumman G-159 Gulfstream I ran off the end of the runway and caught fire. All 6 occupants made it out of the plane safely.
- On November 23, 2016, the front landing gear of a general aviation aircraft fell off and caused major damage to the aircraft's underside. Both of the aircraft's 2 occupants made it out safely