Federalde Bachigualato International Airport (Culiacán Airport) serves the city of Culiacan in Sinaloa, a southern Mexico state. It is situated 12km west of the city and can be accessed through the Mexico 15D road.

The airport is currently operated by OMA Grupo Aeroportuario Centro Norte. It is the second busiest airport operating under OMA, handling around 1.06 million passengers every year.

The terminal at the airport is being expanded to increase the passenger handling capacity and comfort. Construction started in February 2012.

Culiacán Airport terminals

“It is the second busiest airport operating under OMA, handling around 1.06 million passengers every year.”

The Federal de Bachigualato airport has two terminals, the main terminal and the general aviation terminal.

The main terminal is used for all domestic and international commercial operations. It has two jetways, five contact and three remote aircraft positions, as well as four baggage carousels. Various airlines including Aero Pacífico, Aeroméxico, Aeroméxico Connect, Aéreo Calafia, Aéreo Servicio Guerrero, Interjet, VivaAerobus and Volaris provide passenger flight services from the terminal. Cargo services are provided by Estafeta Carga Aérea.

The terminal offers fast check-in without the need to pass through a normal terminal. It also includes a food court, ATM machines, vending machines, duty-free shops, customs, and taxi and car hire services.

The general aviation terminal is situated next to the main terminal. It is used for operations of private aircraft and helicopters

Federalde Bachigualato International airport expansion

The airport is currently undergoing a major expansion, which is aimed at providing the passengers with additional space for comfortable travel. Accessibility to the airport facilities will be improved under the project to provide more sophisticated services. Operations and functions of the airport will also be improved to enhance efficiency.

A chequered flag ceremony marked the start of the expansion project in February 2012. The project includes the extension of the terminal building by 3,100m² (33,368ft²) to increase the total area to 14,475m² (155,808ft²).

Construction of a new 1,500m² (16,145ft²) lobby and remodelling of the outpatient growth area and commercial shopping area are also part of the project. The inspection point on the top floor will be reconfigured to include three line inspections, while a vertical circulation core in the front wall featuring an elevator will also be built.

The last waiting room of the terminal will be extended to 1,856m² (19,977ft²) adding an area of 726m2 (7,814ft²), with a 320m² (3,444ft²) space set to be added to the check point to increase the total area to 440m² (4,736ft²).

Baggage handling systems of Culiacán Airport

In December 2010, OMA initiated a project to improve the baggage checking and screening infrastructure at the Federal de Bachigualato international airport. State-of-the-art baggage screening equipment of different models and capacities were installed as part of the project. This equipment features fully modernised computer tomography scanners and can trace explosive detectors.

“State-of-the-art baggage screening equipment of different models and capacities were installed as part of the project.”

The scanners provide three dimensional images of all contents present inside baggage. These images are in turn analysed based on the shape, size and contents of the items, which enables the operators to automatically detect explosives and prohibited objects.

The project was completed in 2011 and included civil works and installation of closed TV circuits and baggage conveyor belts. A bank loan of $23m was availed to fund the project. The ten-year loan was provided by UPS Capital Business Credit, a unit of UPS. The loan is backed by US Exim bank.

Federalde Bachigualato International runways

The airport has a single runway designated as 02/20. The runway is 2,300m long, 45m wide and paved with asphalt. It is equipped with high intensity runway lights and precision approach path indicators.

Culiacán Airport parking

Car parks are provided at the airport terminal for both short and long-term parking. The ongoing expansion of the terminal enhances ease in access from the parking area. Offsite highly secured parking offers an alternative.