El Dorado Airport Terminal 1 Use Plan

Bogota, Colombia



    Project Size

  • 23,000 SM


Airports Council International recently indicated that the Colombian aviation sector will be among the top-10 fastest growing in the world over the next 30 years. In light of this forecast, Operadora Aeroportuaria Internacional (OPAIN) recognized the realities of decreasing non-aeronautical revenue areas, disconnected passenger flows, and inconsistencies of terminal and holdroom environments at the El Dorado Airport. To address the predicted growth and optimize the passenger experience, they engaged Ghafari to revitalize the 23,000 SM terminal.


Our team analyzed the entire departing passenger sequence from parking and drop-off areas to the furthest holdroom through on-site evaluations and meetings, review of existing drawings, and the development of 3D models. Based on our findings, we focused on the passenger experience and developed spaces full of controlled natural light and enhanced with wood and greenery contrasting the existing hard and gray palette.

Influenced by Colombian cultural norms, a prominent focus of the revitalization was on the landside amenities, including a relaxation park and an addition with seating, concessions, and a massive living wall. Our plan calls for the transformation of a section of the departures hall into a fully dedicated check-in and entertainment zone for a premier airline, including an experience center complete with interactive digital and audible media. After the security checkpoint, the passenger experience is augmented with holdrooms that offer passengers a variety of micro-environments and lounge-type seating linked to nearby concessions. Our plan reorganizes the international retail space to create a large, open environment connected to the revitalized duty-free area by use of curved escalators and a circulation loop.


Our solution creates a cohesive vision for the terminal experience that establishes an El Dorado-branded environment. As terminals are often the first and last image of visitors, the design represents a positive impact on Colombia’s image as a modern, dynamic country.