Alfonso Bonilla Aragón International Airport

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Alfonso Bonilla Aragón International Airport
Aeropuerto Internacional Alfonso Bonilla Aragón
File:Terminal de pasajeros del aeropuerto Alfonso Bonilla Aragon.JPG
CLO is located in Colombia
Location of airport in Colombia
Airport type Public
Operator Aerocali (Cali Aeronautical company)
Serves Santiago de Cali
Location Palmira
Elevation AMSL 3,162 ft / 964 m
Coordinates Lua error in Module:Coordinates at line 668: callParserFunction: function "#coordinates" was not found.
Direction Length Surface
ft m
01/19 9,842 3,000 Asphalt
Statistics (2010)
Aircraft operations 50,125
Passengers 3,422,919
Cargo tonnage 30,126

Alfonso Bonilla Aragón International Airport (IATA: CLOICAO: SKCL) also known as Palmaseca International Airport is an airport located in Palmira, Colombia, serving Cali and its surrounding region. It is Colombia's third largest airport in terms of passengers, transporting 3,422,919 in 2010. Cali airport often serves as the alternative airport to Bogotá - El Dorado Int'l Airport and other Colombian airports.

Alfonso Bonilla Aragón is located in a long valley that runs from north to south, and is surrounded by mountains up to 14,000 feet (4,000 m) high. An (H24) airport strategically located in the Western Hemisphere for flights of the transcontinental zone of the Pacific coast that connects North America with South America. It is located approximately 5 hours flight from Santiago de Chile, 50 minutes from Quito, Ecuador, and about 3 hours 18 minutes from Miami airport.

The airport has one runway, 9,842 feet (3000 m) in length. This runway is asphalt paved, and at an elevation of 3,162 feet (964 m). The runway can serve aircraft up to the size of a Boeing 747. It is equipped with the following navigation aids: Primary Radar, Secondary Radar, ILS, ALS, PAPI, VOR, NDB, DME, RVR, runway centerline lights, threshold lights, and taxiway lights. The airport has a SEI IX protection.

Alfonso Bonilla airport is notable in that it is one of the few secondary airports in Latin America open 24 hours a day. Due to excellent meteorological conditions, this airport is in operation throughout the year. With the nearest population center, Cali, being 12 miles away, the airport is allowed to operate without any environmental/noise restrictions. Alfonso Bonilla Aragón International Airport has non-stop flights to the United States, Spain, the Netherlands, Ecuador and Panama, plus direct flights to Peru.


On 21 April 1921 Ferruccio Guicciardi flew his Italian made Macchi-Hanriot HD-1, named "Telegraph I" from Guayaquil, Ecuador, stopping in Quito and Pasto, Colombia before landing in Cali. This was the first ever plane to land in Cali.

The Department of Valle and the City Council had offered a lucrative prize of $9,500 pesos to the first pilot to land in the city. This was followed by aerial activity in the capital of Valle del Cauca.

SCADTA Company

Following the conflict with Peru in 1932, President Enrique Olaya Herrera sought the help of engineers and pilots of SCADTA to find a suitable site to build an airport to support military air operations in the south of the country. After evaluating several alternatives, the famous German pilot Herbert Boy settled on an area of land called "El Guabito" because of its location, proximity to the city and its proximity to the road a stretched into Juanchito Antioquia Avenue. He quickly proceeded to level the land leveling, using a bulldozer. There a fledgling Air Force Base and Air National Guard station commenced service on 21 September 1933. In time SCADTA Panagra, followed by TACA de Colombia, and VIARCO SAETA.

However, the company Panagra initiative and with its own budget, we looked for a suitable place to build an airport to meet their international flights to Panama joined with the southern continent with a stop in Cali, as well as domestic flights of Avianca. Hence they acquired the lands of "The glial" located in the municipality of Candelaria to 18 miles from the center of the city of Cali. Thus was inaugurated on 17 April 1947 the facilities of the modern "Calipuerto". The airport passed to the Colombian state in the 50s when the RCTs and was subsequently taken over by the Civil Aeronautics in 1968.

It should be noted that in 1946, the company VIARCO valle, under the management of Ricardo A. Deeb, following a policy of expanding it, was determined to build its own airport in the city of Cali. The airport would be open to all companies in the country, except Avianca. In November 1946, the aviation authority requested the inspection of construction of the new airport "El Limón", located in Pasoancho. In early 1947, the works were completed at the airport, which was put in service equipped with the most modern facilities and equipment available at the time. Here they also operate LANSA and other smaller companies, which until then used military facilities in El Guabito, which I later called the Marco Fidel Suarez AFB. The Limonar was closed in 1954, when operations became Calipuerto LANSA, concluding stage of merger with Avianca. The city of Cali, like Bogota, managed to have three active airports simultaneously. At present, where he was Calipuerto works Abastos Center in Cali, Cavas.

Palmaseca International Airport

The history of the new airport serving the city of Cali, dates back to the Valle large enforceable in sports: the VI Pan American Games, whose head was given to the departmental capital. The simple allocation of the seat of an event of such magnitude and Valle forced the national government to think big and commit to building the long-awaited project. ACE in the mid-sixties had acquired the land from the hacienda Palmaseca, located in the town of Palmira. It was not easy to develop the work, because then there were also external financial difficulties and had to resort to the central government for resources by $35 million that enabled the realization of the architectural and aviation safety. There was also need to build the road to join Palmaseca road trip Cali-Yumbo.

Palmaseca International Airport was inaugurated on 24 July 1971 during the government of President Misael Pastrana Borrero, and had a runway of 3000 meters, taxiways, aircraft parking platform and a satellite terminal building for attention of domestic and international passengers. A large room for the movement of passengers and visitors and attention to passenger counters, restaurants and shops. At that time it was thought that the airport was oversized, but soon grew air operations, as the number of passengers. Given the airport facilities and technical equipment, it soon became the Eldorado alternate airport, operating 24 hours.

The airport name was changed to "Alfonso Bonilla Aragón" in honor of a civic leader and journalist vallecaucano, promoting the construction of the terminal, creating much controversy in the public eye. Even the Business Committee and the Cali Chamber of Commerce asked the government in June 1989 to intercede with the Civil Aeronautics to return the original name "Palmaseca".[1]

Structure and capacity

  • The airport has a runway of 9842 feet (3000 m) in length.
  • The track is paved, and has an elevation of 3162 feet (962 m). The runway can handle aircraft as large as the Boeing 747. It is one of the airports in Latin America that operates 24 hours, 7 days. As a result, it often serves as an alternate airport to Bogotá Airport.
  • Loading facilities feature a 747 freighter dock, bonded warehouse, transit zone, free port and trade zone, mechanical steering, health officials, security for valuables, express and messenger center.
  • The airline Avianca has its own lounge at the airport offering services such as Wi-Fi, satellite television, bar facilities, meals and entertainment.


There are car hire desks of the most recognized companies. The airport also offers ATMs, currency exchange services, public phones and Wi-Fi.

  • Eating: Restaurants, cafés and bar.
  • Shopping: Souvenir items, press and snuff.
  • Baggage: Airlines operating at the airport offer baggage offices for passengers who find trouble with theirs.
  • Parking: There is a parking area in front of the terminal.
  • Hotels: There is a Hotel named GHL comfort at 3rd level of airport where one can stay.

Airlines and destinations

There is one Terminal, International and Domestic Concourse.

Airlines Destinations Concourse
Aerolínea de Antioquia Quibdó 1
American Airlines Miami 2
Avianca Barranquilla, Bogotá, Cartagena, Medellín-Córdova, Pasto, Tumaco
Seasonal:, San Andrés Island
Avianca Guayaquil, Houston-Intercontinental, Lima, Madrid, Miami, New York-JFK2, San Salvador 2
Copa Airlines Colombia Bogotá, San Andrés Island
Seasonal: Cartagena
Copa Airlines Colombia Panama City 2
Iberia Madrid3 2
KLM Amsterdam1 2
LAN Colombia Bogotá, Medellín-Córdova, San Andrés Island 1
Satena Guapi, Quibdó 1
TAC Timbiqui
Charter: El Charco
TAME Esmeraldas, Quito 2
Viva Colombia Bogotá, Cartagena, Medellín-Córdova, Santa Marta 1


  • 1: KLM's flight from Amsterdam to Cali makes a stop in Bogotá. However, the airline does not have traffic rights to transport passengers solely between Bogotá and Cali.
  • 2: Avianca's flight from Cali to New York make a stop in Medellin.
  • 3: Iberia's flight from Madrid to Cali makes a stop in Medellin. However, the airline does not have traffic rights to transport passengers solely between Medellin and Cali.

Cargo airlines

Airlines Destinations
Líneas Aéreas Suramericanas
Tampa Cargo

Accidents and incidents

  • On 3 May 1983, Douglas C-47B FAC-1126 of SATENA was damaged beyond repair in an accident at Palmaseca Airport.[2]
  • On 21 January 1974, a Vickers Viscount of Aeropesca Colombia was hijacked and diverted to Cali.[3]
  • On 20 December 1995, American Airlines Flight 965 from Miami to Bonilla Airport crashed into a mountain near Cali due to pilot error resulting from misinterpretation of waypoints meant to guide the plane into Bonilla.


  1. Escobar, Jaime.
  2. "FAC-1126 Accident report". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 27 July 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "Accident description". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 8 October 2009.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links