El Dorado Airport, Bogota, could almost double its capacity by 2037 and expand flight options in line with Colombia’s increasing tourism market, according to a new study from the International Air Transport Association (IATA).
In 2022, El Dorado received 35.3m passengers, making it Latin America’s second busiest airport after Mexico City International. The IATA’s report predicted demand will grow to around 68.2m passengers in 2037, a 93% increase.
The report outlines 23 measures which El Dorado Airport can implement to cater to this capacity over the short-, medium- and long-term.
Expanding use of Palanquero airspace to 24 hours per day, for example, could generate additional savings of 12 to 41 nautical miles – the equivalent to 15,000kg in fuel and 46,000kg in CO2 of daily savings.
“It is essential to consider that El Dorado’s operational capacity influences the efficiency of all airports in the country, as many domestic and international connections are made through this terminal,” said Paula Bernal, General Manager of IATA in Colombia.
“Therefore, adopting the study’s recommendations benefits the timely connectivity of passengers to their destinations in the short, medium, and long term.”
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Colombian aviation market hits turbulence
Colombia’s domestic air traffic decreased by 11% in the first half of 2023 amid the loss of Viva Air and Ultra Air, two low-cost airlines.
This has impeded post-pandemic recovery, although overall trends still indicate Colombia is cementing itself as a destination no longer considered unsafe by tourists.
In Latin America, Colombia’s airline sector is only surpassed by Brazil’s in terms of overall volume of deals since 2018.
Increased capacity at El Dorado Airport will allow the sector to contribute $1.64m per year to GDP growth, the report claims, and create an additional 131,000 jobs.
“Implementing these recommendations could result in the airport’s hourly operations in Bogota being similar to those of other international airports like Heathrow in London, which has configurations similar to El Dorado”, Bernal added.
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