PROJECT SPOTLIGHT: Colombia's US$460mn El Dorado airport expansion advances

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Thursday, March 2, 2017

Colombia's busiest airport, El Dorado, in capital Bogotá, is undergoing expansion and improvement work to increase capacity to 40mn passengers a year by 2021, up from 31mn handled in 2016.

Work is being managed by national infrastructure agency ANI and is being carried out under two contracts, together worth more than US$462mn.

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El Dorado Terminal

The first is a US$100mn runway contract awarded in 1995 to concessionaire Compañía de Desarrollo Aeropuerto Eldorado (Codad). As part of the contract, Codad last year began a 600,000m2 resurfacing project on the airport's north runway, completing the work in November.

It is also working on construction of a new access road and modernizing existing ones, work that had progressed 97% as of November.

Codad is controlled by Spanish firm Abertis and is its only Latin American airport business.

The other contract, for the remodeling and expansion of the airport terminal itself, was awarded to Opain in 2006 for 1.06tn pesos (US$362mn).

Opain is a Colombian-Swiss consortium responsible for the overhaul and operations of El Dorado airport, and is formed by local engineering and construction firms Grupo Odinsa, SS Constructores, Cóndor Inversiones, Marval, Termotécnica Industrial, Arquitectura y Concreto, Consultoría Colombiana, Construcciones El Cóndor and Swiss company Flughafen Zurich.

Last year, Grupo Argos announced it had signed a contract to acquire a 30% stake in Opain for 480bn pesos.

Upgrade work also includes a new control tower, which was finished in 2015, new cargo infrastructure, additional parking and spaces for planes, and administrative buildings. The terminal building is being expanded to 239,100m2 from 173,000m2.

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EL DORADO II

In addition, the El Dorado II project, a second airport that will be connected to the existing one, is now underway.

This project, separate from the improvements to the current airport, is in the feasibility stage. ANI awarded a 12.9bn- peso consultancy contract in December to a consortium formed by local firm C&M Consultores, the UK's Mott Macdonald and Spain's Aertec Solutions to look at the development.

El Dorado II involves the construction of a new terminal with capacity for 7.5mn users, which will be connected to El Dorado airport via a 16km railway. The project is expected to cost US$1.1bn to build and it is targeted for completion in 2021.

The project is part of the country's air transport master plan, which entails 2.8tn pesos in investment in 39 airports in 20 departments.