Rafael Nunez International Airport
Rafael Nunez International Airport is an airport located in the city of Cartagena, Colombia. It is the second largest airport on the Caribbean coast of Colombia, and the largest in the region in terms of passenger movement.
It is localized in the center of Crespo a neighborhood in Cartagena, and is administrated by Sociedad Aeropotuaria de la Costa S.A.
At the end of 1919, two entrepreneurs, Don Nemesio dee la Espriella and Don Guillermo Echavarria, established negotiations to import a French aircraft produced by aviation manufacturing firm Farman, but the aircraft arrived to Cartagena un-assembled and in boxes.
They proceeded right away to build a palm tree hangar in the area of Bocagrande, which in those days, was a simple peninsula covered by mangroves, icons and a few homes. The hangar had a 30 meters wide opening which could be used by hydroplanes towards the bay and by aircraft with wheels towards land. This was the starting point for the creation, in 1920, of the Compania Colombiana de Navagacion Area.
The first airport was opened in 1920 in an area in Bocagrande which belonged to the Compania Colombiana de Navagacion Area. On January 26, 1928, the pioneer of transatlantic flights, Charles Lindbergh, landed in this improvised airport commanding his vessel named Spirit of Saint Louis.
In 1930, a new airport was inaugurated on the island of Manzanillo, by the company SCADTASociedad Colombo Alemana de Transporte Aereo. Later in the year 1939 SCADTA changed its social name to AviancaAerovias Nacionales de Colombia.
In 1947, the airline LANSA was created, and opened its offices in Crespo. It built two runways, a main one 1600 meters long and another one for crosswinds 930 meters long. At that moment then Cartagena has two airports, until in the 1950s LANSA sold its facilities to Avianca, which closed its operations in Manzanillo and moved to Crespo.
A few years later Avianca sold its airport facilities to the Empresa Colombiana de Aerodromos (ECA), and the official entity Departamento Administrativo Aeronautica Civil (DAAC) took over the administration of the airport. In 1986 Crespo Airport took the name of "Rafael Nunez" to commemorate one century of the Colombian Constitution, written and signed by this illustrious Cartagenero who occupied the presidency of Colombia three times, and who also composed the words to the national anthem.
In 1996 the government privatized the airport administratively and through a public bid it became Sociedad Aeroporuaria de la Costa S.A. (SACSA), conformed by this Spanish-Colombian company which manages it at this moment.
The government of Bolivar and Atlantico are thinking of constructing a new airport in the Loma Arena. If the project is built it will be the second most important airport in Colombia. The actual airport of Cartagena could become an airport for national flights to places such as Medellin Olaya Herrera.
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Rafael Nunez International Airport