Medellin’s Downtown Olaya Herrera Airport Starts International Executive-Jet Flights
Colombia’s national infrastructure agency (ANI) announced April 14 that just-completed upgrades to Medellin’s downtown Olaya Herrera airport enable the start-up of international executive-jet flights in May 2016 — just before the World Economic Forum (WEF) conference.
The airport upgrades (costing COP$21 billion/US$7 million) include a new control tower (30 meters tall, replacing an 18-meters-high tower); a new international executive flight dispatch and reception center; a new headquarters for airport police; new control hangars for vehicular and pedestrian access; repaving of 68,400 meters of runway; and a new, two-level parking lot with capacity for 40 vehicles.
At a dedication ceremony, Colombia President Juan Manual Santos pointed out that the World Economic Forum in Medellin (June 16-17) will welcome “the most important investors in the world [arriving] in private jets, which may land at Olaya Herrera without any problem.”
ANI director Luis Fernando Andrade added that Olaya Herrera now hosts domestic and regional airlines including Satena, Easyfly and ADA, covering routes from Medellin to Bogota, the Urabá region, the Pacific, the Caribbean region, the coffee region and the northern departments of Santander and Norte de Santander.
Last year, Olaya Herrera mobilized more than 1.1 million passengers, he added.
Upgrades Continue at International Airport
Meanwhile, Medellin’s international airport (Jose Maria Cordova/JMC, at Rionegro) continues to benefit from new upgrades and expansions, including the nearly complete construction of Avianca’s new, US$60 million aircraft maintenance center, President Santos pointed out.
ANI itself is investing another COP$220 billion [US$73 million] in modernization projects at JMC, as well as another COP$200 billion (US$67 million) at Carepa and other smaller airports in Antioquia.