Cartagena Airport, Colombia Spotting Guide

I recently flew to Cartagena in Colombia for a short trip away from Bogota. We flew on AeroRepublica EMB-190 and had a great experience – although the flight was a little bumpy going out, with the afternoon thunderstorms brewing around the coast.

Cartagena is a lovely old walled city, full of Caribbean charm, colourful buildings, endless vistas of the sea, sunsets, and great wining and dining experiences. But you’re here for the aircraft, so I’ll carry on.

The terminal at Cartagena Airport is very modern. And sadly it does not knowingly cater for the spotter at all. When arriving or departing, passengers funnel through a walkway which leads between the aircraft and the terminal. If you’re in the departure lounge, your view out of the window is of this walkway and its slatted wall. In order to see aircraft, you have to wait until they move, and with binoculars focussed on a gap, hope the registration passes by.

Nevertheless, once you walk to/from the aircraft, you do get a chance to see what’s on the smallish ramp. This usually includes MD-80s and F100s of Avianca, EMB-190s of AeroRepublica, 737-700s and DHC-8s of AIRES, and the odd US airline such as Spirit. Movements are fairly quiet – maybe 4 per hour at peak times.

Cartagena does play host to a number of biz jets each day, however. They park either to the side of the airliner ramp, or on the ramp on the opposite side of the runway. Also, there are a number of Air Force and Navy aircraft in residence, including Casa CN235s.

Around the terminal there are no obvious views of the aircraft, apart from on the road passing the end of the runway, where you’ll see aircraft just as they depart or land. I wouldn’t venture much around looking for holes in the fence, as there ‘s a strong military presence, and the housing area is quite poor around the airport.

AeroRepublica HK-4506 at Cartagena

AeroRepublica HK-4506 at Cartagena

AIRES 737-700s fly from Bogota

AIRES 737-700s fly from Bogota

These two biz jets were in Cartagena in July 2009

These two biz jets were in Cartagena in July 2009

Cartagena Airport from above

Cartagena Airport from above

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1 Response

  1. Mark says:

    I was in Cartagena earlier this year and really enjoyed the visit. I got the impression that the best place to take photos would be on approach, but as I did not have a car I did not explore this possibility. I also loved Bogota – so many B727s. I did see this Colombian AF aircraft at Cartagena:

    http://www.jetphotos.net/viewphoto.php?id=6561570

    Cheers
    Mark

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