Paul Filmer continues his Colombia series with a visit to Enrique Olaya Herrera Airport, Medellin.
Most of the group was going back to the airshow today, but of course we were looking for alternatives, as two days at an airshow is overkill in my mind. A Vickers Viscount in a playground was already on the agenda, plus a look at the domestic airport right in the centre of Medellin seemed like a good plan.
The previous night we’d searched for clues as to where the Viscount was, with a lengthy scan on Google Maps and eventually we found it – success!
We arranged a taxi with the front desk in the morning, explained that we’d need the driver to wait at the park, and then take us to Medellin. All sorted.
Arriving at the park the aircraft was shootable from the road, but the light meant being inside would be the better option.
Talking to the guy at the entrance, we explained what we wanted to do, and after the exchange of a few skippyscage zaps, which of course I pointed out had a picture of the same type of aircraft on, he was happy to let us in.
Onwards to Medellin, which itself was a pleasant drive, over large hills with some impressive scenery. The town is at the bottom of a valley and you enter at the top where the views are spectacular as you travel downwards on the winding road.
As we skirted the side of the airport with the sun in the optimum position, we saw some kind of stadium, which was obviously elevated. This looked promising, plus this is where we’d been tipped off to seek out for a place to shoot. We dumped our taxi here and tried to gain access.
Unfortunately all the gates were locked. Further down at the side, however, one gate was open so we walked in, and past a security booth, where I guess you’d pay admission when an event was on. No one batted an eye, so we continued.
The stands were open so we walked to the top, and here was an almost uninterrupted view of the runway and approach. Result indeed!
There was probably a movement at least every ten minutes, and the approach is quite unusual, as the aircraft are high to get over the hills on approach, then they need to a dive down onto the runway.
After about an hour security came up to check on us. We feared the worse, but they spoke no English and us no Spanish. We ascertained they wanted to make sure we weren’t taking photos of people, but after showing them the photos on the back of the camera, they were fine with us shooting the aircraft.
They came back a few times to attempt to talk, but we all just ended up laughing and not understanding one another.
Three more of our group arrived a little while later, but the light was beginning to fade, so it was time to find a taxi back to the hotel.
It turned out to be a great side trip, and certainly better than spending a second more crowded day at the airshow!
Probably my favourite airport of the trip.