Los Garzones Airport
|Los Garzones Airport
Aeropuerto Los Garzones
|Passenger services ceased||Aces Colombia, Aires, SAM Colombia, Tavina, West Caribbean Airways, Aerotal|
|Elevation AMSL||36 ft / 11 m|
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).
The runway is 8 kilometres (5.0 mi) north of Montería. The Monteria VOR-DME (Ident: MTR) is located on the field. 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.
- 1 History
- 2 Old Arrivals Hall
- 3 Airlines and destinations
- 4 Accidents and incidents
- 5 See also
- 6 References
- 7 External links
Planning and constuction
In the 1960s, the city's airport, San Jeronimo Airport reached it's maximum capacity. The terminal was very small and tarmac was too small to fit many aircraft. The runway was worn down and very small. Also, the city wanted Jet aircraft to fly there. The only aircraft that could land there were propeller powered. The local government had decided that the city needed a new airport to replace it. Which a long runway was planned and simple radar, since the old airport had no radar. The chosen construction site was next to the town of Los Garzones. So it was called Los Garzones Airport. After months of planning, construction started in late 1971.
Los Garzones before 2008
The airport opened in 1974, replacing the old airport and closed it down. All operations were moved to the airport on its opening day. The same day it opened, an Avianca Boeing 727 landed at the airport from El Dorado International Airport. This was the first ever jet-powered plane to land in the Córdoba Department. The runway was 6,285 feet when it first opened. The first airlines to begin operations were Avianca and Aerotal, which originally operated at the old San Jeronimo Airport. However, the runway was twice as long as the old airport. So, regional jets could be able to land there. Overtime, the airline Tavina, which was a small regional airline, started operating there in the early 1980s. Which lead to a small expansion of the terminal. Aerotal ceased operations in 1983. In, 1991, the airline ACES Colombia acquired several ATR 42s and soon started to fly there. At this time, security systems in the airport was renovated along with expanding the baggage check-in. SAM Colombia started operations there in the late 1990s, when Tavina ceased operations there. In 2001, West Caribbean Airways started operations there. ACES Colombia ceased operations in 2003 and West Caribbean Airways ceased operations in 2005. That same year, new simple ILS systems were added.
Contract with Airplan
In 2008, the terminal had three parking gates and a terminal that was 446 feet and was the busiest year the airport had ever had. The old tarmac was worn down and the terminal was very old and outdated. In late 2008, the city of Montería agreed to modernize the aging airport with help from the company Airplan. In early 2009, the control tower was renovated, then in late 2009, the original terminal was demolished and was replaced with a new terminal. In 2010, SAM Colombia ceased operations there. Then in 2014, three more gates and a new cargo terminal were added. The runway was extended to 7,546 and also was widened by 30 feet on each side the same year. Finally, the terminal was then expanded and renovated and a sixth gate was added. The expansion was completed in early December 2016.
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. Three more gates were added to make six in total, making it easier for airlines to make new routes and destinations. The city of Montería is considering adding a new immigration hall in 2018.
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 with be demolished and replaced with a parking lot.
Airlines and destinations
|ADA||Barranquilla, Cartagena, Medellín-Olaya Herrera|
|EasyFly||Medellín-Olaya Herrera, Cartagena|
|Viva Colombia||Medellín-Córdova, Bogotá|
|Avianca||Panama City, Miami (Operations begin in 2020)|
|Viva Colombia||Panama City|
|Copa Airlines||Panama City (Operations begin in 2020)|
|TAME||Seasonal: Quito (Operations begin in 2020)|
|SARPA||Puerto Asís, Medellín-Olaya Herrera|
|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.