Pope Francisco Visit to Medellin: Olaya Herrera Airport to Shut for a Week
Medellin’s downtown Olaya Herrera airport will eliminate all flights from September 4 through September 10 to accommodate enormous crowds expected for Mass ceremonies for Pope Francisco’s visit.
According to the official press statement from Olaya Herrera airport management, all flights that normally would arrive and depart from the downtown airport instead will be transferred to Medellin’s José María Córdova (JMC) international airport at Rionegro.
The Medellin Archdiocese estimates that some 800,000 people are expected to attend Mass ceremonies with the Pope – and such enormous crowds would best be accommodated by taking-over the vast area within the Olaya Herrera airfield, according to the airport agency.
Because of the shift in flight operations, JMC will have to accommodate an extra 144 daily flights serving about 2,800 daily passengers, according to the managing directors of both airports. Extra airport workers and special facilities will be assigned to JMC to handle the surge of baggage and passengers during that week.
A special bus service will operate to and from Olaya Herrera to handle the extra volume of passengers arriving and departing from JMC, according to the airport agencies.