Rains cause flooding at Bogota airport

Flooding has been causing landing problems at Bogota’s El Dorado airport, Colombia’s aviation authority announced Tuesday.

The southern runway of the airport is currently flooded with water, and Civil Aeronautics Director Santiago Castro said that it will likely be necessary to construct a barrier, in order to prevent water overflowing from the nearby Bogota River from entering both the airport grounds and the city’s eastern district Fontibon, which has also experienced flooding.

“The backup solution is that the barrier that adjoins the Bogota river be completely re-established. As it continues to rain, we must have a strong material that will not permit [water] to reach the surrounding areas,” said Castro, according to a report by Caracol Radio.

Despite the flooding, Castro said in a dialogue with RCN Radio that the airport will remain open, but that until the plan is put into action, airplanes will not be able to circle in that area of the landing strip.

In the meantime, the director said that the Civil Aeronautics department is financing the use of motorized pumps to extract the water from the affected areas.

Inhabitants of the La Tortigua barrio bordering the airport, meanwhile, have complained that efforts to drain the water from the airport grounds has led to increasing water levels in their barrio.

Concern over the high, and rising, water levels of the Bogota River have been increasing for some time in regards to El Dorado operations. During April’s Holy Week, air authorities reported that the airport was being closely monitored, in the expectation of possible flooding.

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