52% of the investments in airport infrastructure made in the Andean region are concentrated in the coffee country
According to Rafael Farromeque, senior specialist of the infrastructure vice-presidency of the Development Bank of Latin America (CAF), half of the air traffic of all the countries of the Andean region (Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia) will be concentrated in the Colombian territory within 7 years. Farromeque said that "in total in the region, passenger traffic to 2040 will reach 541 million passengers and Colombia will be the largest passenger market, because it would reach the 274 million people mobilized."
Leer en español: Colombia será uno de los centros de conexiones aéreas más importantes en el 2025
According to the study carried out by the CAF, this is due to the fact that the country has made great efforts to improve connectivity and has increased investments to modernize airports, thus increasing the flow of passengers. According to the CAF, 52% of the investments in airport infrastructure made in the entire Andean region have been concentrated in Colombia.
Farromeque highlights that the different zones of Latin America have been analyzed, and within the analysis of the Andean region, Colombia appears as a country with high growth rates in the last 10 years, with a 10.9% increase in traffic This increase in traffic is much higher than the economic growth of the countries throughout the Andean region". It can then be concluded that Colombia could become the hub for air connections in the Andean area by 2025.
According to the CAF, to achieve this objective it is essential to expand the capacity of El Dorado airport, a project that is already underway. According to the schedule of the National Infrastructure Agency (ANI, in Spanish) and the latest Air Navigation Plan (PNA, in Spanish) delivered by the Aerocivil, El Dorado II will be located between Facatativá and Madrid Cundinamarca and it should enter into operation in 2023.
Additionally, at the Rafael Núñez de Cartagena airport, extensions and remodeling are planned for 7.5 million passengers in the next year. Also in Cartagena, it has been proposed the construction of a citadel where a new airport could be ready by 2025. In addition, the Civil Aeronautics awarded the contract for the development of plans for 10 small airports in the country.
What does this mean for Colombia?
The expansion of air connectivity by 2025 will have positive results for the country's finances. This is because, according to the final report of Fedesarrollo a Fontur on competitiveness in air transport in Colombia, the participation of the air transport sector in Colombia corresponds to 0.5% of the national GDP. The report also states that "for each colombian peso that the sector generates in added value, $ 3.6 pesos more are generated in the Colombian economy."
Likewise, the development of the air sector also promotes the development of other sectors that depend on it, such as flower exports and tourism, since "30% of the sales of the [air transport] sector are made to the commercial sector".
While these figures are encouraging, a report presented by the CAF discusses the profitability of airlines and points out that these are becoming less profitable. However, this factor is not expected to affect the possibility of Colombia becoming a hub for air connections in the Andean region. According to Farromeque, "Latin American airlines continue to show a profitability of more than 10%, while European earnings oscillate between 0% and 5%."
LatinAmerican Post | Sofía Carreño
Translated from " Colombia será uno de los centros de conexiones aéreas más importantes en el 2025 "