ColombiaOne.comColombia newsDelays and Cancellations at Bogota Airport Affect Thousands of Passengers in Colombia

Delays and Cancellations at Bogota Airport Affect Thousands of Passengers in Colombia

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Bogota Colombia airport delays
Delays and cancellations at Bogotá airport affect thousands of passengers – Credit: AP / Colombia One

The delays and cancellations at Bogota’s Eldorado Airport continue, affecting thousands of passengers in Colombia’s main airport, the second busiest in passenger volume in Latin America. Aerocivil and the involved airlines claim these events are due to weather conditions rather than a shortage of air traffic controllers. However, the Colombian Association of Air Traffic Controllers (Acdecta) asserts a deficit of over 400 controllers.

Similar issues have occurred, though to a lesser extent, in other Colombian airports. Avianca, due to its significant operations across Colombian airports, is the most affected airline. Hundreds of its passengers spent the night at the airport terminal, waiting to be rebooked to their final destinations.

Conflicting accounts about the causes

Sergio París, the director of Civil Aeronautics, stated he was unaware of significant delays, and attributed delays of only a few minutes to climate change.

“It’s not what we have in official information. The day has been cloudless, windless, and perfect. The maximum delay is nine minutes; El Dorado Airport is operating well. Indeed, climate change is one of the emerging risks for aviation,” París stated regarding the issues at the Bogotá airport.

Moreover, the head of Aeronautics urged Acdecta to specify where the alleged shortages of controllers are. On their part, the organization of air traffic controllers claimed the problems are real and accused París’s institute of concealing the actual issues. “The recurrent failures reported are not a product of our imagination; they are being exposed precisely to prevent actions like today’s attempt to cover up the reality,” stated an Acdecta spokesperson.

Affected individuals demand solutions and compensations

Meanwhile, thousands of travelers endure hours of anguish and uncertainty about their flight plans. Some have missed connections or had to cancel their participation in events, or been forced to alter their holiday plans.

Approaching the weekend, when a significant increase in travelers is noticeable, Eldorado remains engulfed in chaos. While airlines try to provide solutions to their passengers, three days of delays and cancellations have escalated in the past few hours.

Civil Aeronautics maintains that weather conditions have improved since the morning of November 24, facilitating, in their opinion, the normalization of services. However, there are issues with the Check-In platform, causing long queues, and many fear missing their flights. Moreover, the screens are not displaying information about the waiting areas for flights until a few minutes before boarding, leaving many passengers feeling uninformed about where they should await boarding.

William Camargo, the Transport Minister, stated on Caracol Televisión’s news broadcast that Aerocivil is already seeking “a contingency plan” to address the situation. He also asked travelers for “patience” while solutions are found to normalize operations at the airport.

Retrasos cancelaciones aeropuerto Bogotá afecta miles pasajeros
Avianca plane at Eldorado airport in Bogota. Credit: Luis Ospino/Colombia One

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