September 26, 2023
Infrastructure

Repaving at Medellin’s International Airport Spells Closings February 19-20, 26-27; Second-Runway Expansion Talks Accelerating

Airplan – the operator of Medellin’s José María Córdova (JMC) international airport in Rionegro – confirms that runway repaving will require a partial halt to flights at JMC on Saturday and Sunday February 19-20, then again on Saturday and Sunday February 26-27.

The two weekend closures – each lasting 36 hours — start 2-am on each of those two Saturdays and then continue until 2-pm on each of those two Sundays. Airlines are notifying passengers of resulting flight changes.

“The maintenance work will be carried out at two specific points of the runway track that require the intervention of the pavement: milling, removal and disposal of the material to install asphalt layers,” according to Airplan.

“The closing dates were previously arranged with the different airlines that operate at JMC, thus enabling timely notification to passengers and, consequently, the reorganization of flights.”

Second-Runway Talks Underway

Meanwhile, Colombia’s Transport Minister Ángela María Orozco announced January 13 that a multi-government work group is pushing ahead with negotiations that would involve an estimated US$2.78 trillion (US$699 million) expansion of JMC — including construction of a second landing/take-off runway.

“The investments would be focused on the acquisition of land, a new runway with a length of 3.5 kilometers, a new terminal, taxiways, a connectivity system between terminals, a new control tower, a new perimeter road, an electrical substation and a commercial platform,” according to the Transport Ministry announcement.

The multi-party talks include JMC airport concessionaire Airplan, the departmental government of Antioquia, the Mayor’s Office of Medellín, the Mayor’s Office of Rionegro, business-promotion group ProAntioquia, the Medellín Chamber of Commerce, the Chamber of Commerce of Oriente and Ferrocarril de Antioquia, according to the Ministry.

“What we want is that all the actors and sectors of the region that are involved in these decisions have the same technical information, to be able to debate what is convenient and what is not, in a framework of transparency and equality,” explained Minister Orozco.

JMC is now handling more than 1.1 million passengers each month — even despite travel declines caused by the Covid-19 health crisis, according to the Civil Aeronautics authority.

While officials had previously envisioned a second-runway expansion by around 2033, passenger and air-freight traffic at JMC is growing so much that accelerated expansion now would seem more convenient if completed by 2030 or even 2028, according to Civil Aeronautics.

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