Since its inauguration on April 14th of this year, the Executive Terminal of Aviation “Gonzalo Mejía Trujillo” of the Olaya Herrera Airport, designed by the award-winning architect Laureano Forero, has been the epicenter of important national and international activities and it began to write its history, to become an icon to the city as it is today the passenger´s terminal, declared a Cultural Interest of the Nation.
The task has not been easy. The insistent management of the General Manager of the Public Establishment of the Olaya Herrera Airport, Jesús Alberto Sánchez Restrepo with the national government allowed that the terminal, which threatened to become an unutilized place, to begin to render its services, not only to the country but to the entire world.
On June 16th, during the World Economic Forum, it was possible to align all the agencies that intervene to make an international flight possible: DIAN, ICA, Migration Colombia, Antinarcotics Police, Airport Police, the Civil Aeronautic Authority and Interpol gathered together to make it happen. The expectation was great but the flights were few. The first flight to take off to Miami was a Piper PA-46 in which a businessman from Antioquia traveled with his family at 10:00 am. At 1:45 pm, the first international flight arrived from the city of Puebla, Mexico, with nine passengers, who were invited to the World Economic Forum.
After the Forum, things returned to normal and management resumed so that the Civil Aeronautic Authority´s permit was permanent. This goal was achieved, but it was not enough because it was missing the resolution of the DIAN declaring the terminal as Primary Customs Area and thus to be able to attend to the departure and arrival of international passengers. The visits and requirements of this entity have already been attended by the Airport Concessionaire and are waiting for the definitive authorization to provide the service, which is expected from October.
On November 28th, during the tragedy of the Lamia´s aircraft, in which the Brazilian soccer team Chapecoense was traveling, this Terminal played a primary role: its privileged location in the southwest of the city, allowed the constant gathering of the authorities. It received more than 500 volunteers among Portuguese speaking psychologists and translators who volunteered to receive the families of the victims, allowed the location and attention to the media in an orderly manner. It also housed embassy diplomats in adequate spaces to carry out all the necessary procedures for the repatriation of their compatriots and it also allowed the attention of some relatives of the victims by psychosocial staff with a total privacy and discretion.
On December 17th, French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault, landed in this Terminal with his work team to attend the inauguration of the H line of the Metrocable. He was there received by some members of his delegation to fulfill his diplomatic commitments. At the end of the afternoon, the Chancellor returned to the terminal to continue with his agenda and leave for Haiti without any other stopover.
It is expected that by 2017 and after obtaining the resolution of the DIAN for the full operation of international flights, the Executive Terminal of Aviation “Gonzalo Mejía Trujillo” of the Olaya Herrera Airport, will continue to provide high quality services such as aircraft management and service in ramp, flight support service, passenger and crew service and VIP meeting rooms for executives and, thus, become a reference center for business in the city of Medellín.